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Lighthouse News of the Week – September 10, 2021

Historic Alligator Reef Lighthouse in the Florida Keys transferred to new owners with plans for preservation

After a two-year application process, the fate of a 148-year-old Florida Keys lighthouse is now in the hands of a non-profit community organization with plans for a massive preservation project. This week, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland approved a recommendation from the National Park Service that Friends of the Pool, Inc., be granted ownership of Alligator Reef Lighthouse. The Islamorada-based Friends of the Pool hosts an annual eight-mile swimming race to the lighthouse and back to fund collegiate scholarships.

Alligator Reef Lighthouse, Florida. U.S. Lighthouse Society photo.

The black-and-white Alligator Reef Lighthouse stands 136 feet above the water. It is named after the USS Alligator, a U.S. Navy schooner that ran aground on the reef in 1822 and sank.

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Tybee Island Lighthouse (GA) license plate approved

Georgia drivers are one step closer to being able to showcase the Tybee Island Lighthouse on their license plates. The city announced the winning plate design on Thursday, which features the state’s oldest and tallest lighthouse against a clear blue sky.

Residents aren’t able to tack the plate onto their cars just yet. In order for the new tag to become available to drivers, 1,000  pre-orders must be made in order for the bill to pass in the 2022 legislative session. Right now there’s 350, said Tybee Island Historical Society (TIHS) Executive Director Sarah Jones. Pre-orders must be made by January 2022 on tybeelighthouse.org.

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Improvements underway at Pascagoula’s Lighthouse Park (MS)

At Lighthouse Park in Pascagoula, Mississippi, home to the reconstructed Round Island Lighthouse, construction began Wednesday that will bring several new improvements to the popular park.

Round Island Lighthouse, Pacagoula, Mississippi. By FEMA / Christopher Mardorf

Among the amenities being built are improvements to the parking area, drainage and landscaping, as well as other new features. The $450,000 development is being done through Tidelands Funds.

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Antique lens returns to Pomham Rocks Lighthouse (RI)

For 43 years, the Custom House Maritime Museum in Newburyport, Massachusetts, displayed a fourth-order Fresnel lens from Pomham Rocks Lighthouse in East Providence, Rhode Island. On Wednesday, the lens came back to the lighthouse. 

Pomham Rocks Lighthouse, Rhode Island. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

The lens is now on display in the lighthouse’s museum, which occupies the floors below the tower and will be open for tours starting sometime next spring. The lens sits on its original pedestal for visitors to see.

Lampist Kurt Fosburg and volunteers of Friends of Pomham Rocks Lighthouse, a chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation, with the Fresnel lens that has been returned to the lighthouse. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

Lampist Kurt Fosburg crafted a replica of the brass oil lamp with a red glass shade that would have originally lit the lens from within. He also made a platform for the lens and a replica of the pedestal that held the original sixth-order Fresnel lens that lit Pomham Rocks from its commissioning in 1871 to 1926.

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Iconic Longstone Lighthouse (England) is getting a makeover

The red and white stripes of the Longstone lighthouse on the Farne Islands are being repainted. A spokesperson for Trinity House, which is responsible for lighthouse maintenance in the UK, said: “It is a ‘schedule 1’ painting project, which is a total redecoration of the lighthouse exterior.

Longstone Lighthouse, England. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

“On this particular job we will use 927 liters (about 245 gallons) of paint. There are six people on station, including two rope access operatives, three painters and one Trinity House lighthouse technician.”

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Navy offers a helping hand at Mukilteo Lighthouse

Personnel from the U.S. Navy came out last week to help spruce up the Mukilteo Lighthouse ahead of this weekend’s Lighthouse Festival.

Mukilteo Lighthouse, Washington. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

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Click here to read about this weekend’s lighthouse festival

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Historic Burnett Heads Lighthouse (Australia) gets a facelift

The historic Burnett Heads Lighthouse has been given a spruce up with Bundaberg Regional Council and the community working together to put some life back into the much-loved building. The historic Burnett Heads Lighthouse serviced the Bundaberg Region coast for 99 years, from 1873 to 1972.

Burnett Heads Lighthouse, Australia. Photo by Marguerite Carstairs from Yangquan, China

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Martha’s Vineyard Museum (MA) hosts 20th annual Children’s Memorial Ceremony of Remembrance at Edgarttown Lighthouse

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum will hold the 20th annual Ceremony of Remembrance at the Edgartown Lighthouse Children’s Memorial on Saturday, Sept. 18, at 1 pm, with a rain date of Sunday, Sept. 25. The museum, under license from the town of Edgartown, opens the tower to the public on a seasonal schedule and maintains the ongoing Children’s Memorial project.

Edgartown Lighthouse, Massachusetts. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

The idea for placing a memorial at the base of the Edgartown Lighthouse belonged to Rick Harrington, who envisioned it as “one more light to leave on” for his late son Ricky, the release says. Very quickly the concept grew into a way to memorialize the many children who have died.\

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Hull (England) shipyard wins £4.7m contract to restore Spurn Lightship

A Hull-based ship repair firm has been appointed to restore two of the city’s most historic vessels, Spurn Lightship and the Arctic Corsair. Spurn Lightship will re-open as a visitor attraction in Hull Marina after being refurbished.

Spurn Lightship, England. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

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U.S. Lighthouse Society News is produced by the U.S. Lighthouse Society to support lighthouse preservation, history, education and research.

If you have items of interest to the lighthouse community and its supporters, please email them to Jeremy D’Entremont at Jeremy@uslhs.org

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