Light Hearted

Light Hearted podcast – Index page 25

Episode 121From the mid-eighteenth through the early twentieth centuries, the waterways of coastal Georgia, from the St. Marys River in the south to the Savannah River in the north, were a vital part of the state’s economy. Lighthouses of the Georgia Coast is the eleventh book by William Rawlings. He’s been the recipient of a number of writing awards. The new book includes information about lighthouse design and construction, the role and legacy of the keepers, and the strategic importance of the structures during the Civil War.

Episode 122Litløy fyr, on a small island off the northwest coast of Norway, was first lit in October 1912. The lighthouse’s staff was removed in 2003. A couple of years later, the Norwegian Coastal Administration sold 20 lighthouses to new stewards. Elena Hansteensen bought Litløy fyr with the intention of making it accessible to the public. The property, known as Littleisland Lighthouse in English, has been renovated. Overnight accommodations are now available, as well as guided tours. Elena Hansteensen, owner and managing director of Littleisland Lighthouse, was honored with an award for women entrepreneurs in 2017.

Episode 123Wave-swept Bell Rock Lighthouse, about five miles from Arbroath in southeastern Scotland, was first lighted in 1811 and is the oldest wave-swept, or sea-washed, granite lighthouse in the world. The lighthouse operated in tandem with a shore station known as the Bell Rock Signal Tower. The Signal Tower was converted into a museum in the 1970s. The museum has exhibits on Bell Rock Lighthouse and its keepers, as well as exhibits on the local manufacturing and fishing industries. Caroline Taylor is the Heritage Learning and Engagement Lead at ANGUSalive.

Special Edition – Hudson-Athens Lighthouse on the Hudson River in New York went into service in late 1874. It was run by a resident keeper until it was automated in the 1950s. In 1982 a group of local citizens formed the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse Preservation Society. Recent efforts have mostly focused on shoring up the foundation of the structure. Van Calhoun is chair of the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse Preservation Society’s Foundation Renovation Committee. Bob Taylor is the historian for the Society, and Bill Palmer is a volunteer and boat captain.

Episode 125Boon Island is located in southern Maine, about six miles from the nearest point of land. For the safety of local fishermen and coastal trading vessels, a lighthouse replaced an earlier day beacon in 1811. The slender granite tower that stands today is 133 feet tall, making it the tallest lighthouse in the New England states. A second-order Fresnel lens in the tower was first lighted on January 1, 1855. The Coast Guard automated the station soon after the keepers’ house was badly damaged in the disastrous Blizzard of 1978. Kirby Eldridge (interviewed in this episode) and Leo Berry were the last keepers on the island. Co-hosting this episode is Bob Trapani, Jr., executive director of the American Lighthouse Foundation.

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