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Lighthouse News of the Week – September 17, 2021

Group is working to illuminate future of historic Nottawasaga Lighthouse (Ontario, Canada)

A lonely sentinel of a bygone era signals the rough shores of Georgian Bay. On a desolate island inhabited only by butterflies, cormorants and the odd dead seagull, the Nottawasaga Lighthouse stands tall against the wind, water and weather that mercilessly batter the shores.

Nottawasaga Lighthouse, Ontario. (Nottawasaga Lighthouse Preservation Society)

Robert Square, vice-chair of the Nottawasaga Lighthouse Preservation Society board, said the lighthouse is one of six of its type built on Georgian Bay. A lightning strike in 2014 damaged the structure, and the group decided it was time to wrap the scarred and crumbling outer stone walls. The Nottawasaga group believes it could renovate the lighthouse for $3 million. The tower is presently sealed to prevent further decay.

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Nottawasaga Lighthouse Preservation Society

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This group wants to save a Florida Keys lighthouse, and the feds gave them the job

Fittingly, Rob Dixon was dockside on the waters of the Florida Keys when he learned that he and others had a shot at restoring a piece of maritime history. That’s the Alligator Reef Lighthouse, which was first lit in 1873 and sits four miles off Islamorada in the Upper Keys.

Dixon, a longtime charter boat captain in Islamorada who still runs boats, checked his email to find a message from the U.S. Department of the Interior. It said the federal government was handing over ownership of the lighthouse to the nonprofit he helps run.

“Goosebumps, just goosebumps,” said Dixon, 60, president of the Friends of the Pool, Inc., which announced the acquisition this week. “I couldn’t believe it.” Alligator Reef Lighthouse is an honored symbol for the Village of Islamorada, appearing in the center of its official seal. “This is Islamorada’s Statue of Liberty,” said Dixon.

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Save Alligator Lighthouse

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Love is an ocean: Couple gets married 30 miles out to sea on lighthouse platform (NC)

A North Carolina couple had a one-of-a-kind wedding, exchanging vows at Frying Pan Tower, an old lighthouse more than 30 miles off the East Coast. “It was everything I’ve ever wanted, ever dreamed of. It was perfect,” said bride Audrey Black. About 85 feet above the ocean, she and Ben Black tied the knot Saturday in the first wedding ever at the tower.

For 110 years crews manned a lightship at Frying Pan Shoals. Construction of the new tower was completed November 24, 1964. (U.S. Lighthouse Society Archives)

The Frying Pan Tower is now used for environmental research and serves as a shelter to a natural ecosystem.

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Frying Pan Tower site

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Preserving Huron Islands Lighthouse (MI)

Jeffery Loman, a member of the Huron Islands Lighthouse Preservation Association, discovered a broken sign on a trip earlier this month to Lighthouse Island, also known as West Huron Island. HILPA is trying to stop acts like this from happening, as well as maintain the eight-island chain, located in Lake Superior about three miles off the mouth of the Huron River in northwestern Marquette County.

Huron Islands Lighthouse, Michigan. U.S. Lighthouse Society photo by Mike and Carol McKinney

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Seney National Wildlife Refuge is responsible for stewarding the eight islands that make up the Huron National Wildlife Refuge and Wilderness, including the historic lighthouse station on Lighthouse Island.

HILPA is holding a benefit from 6 p.m. to midnight Sept. 25 in the Banquet Room at the Landmark Inn in Marquette. The cost is $50 for dinner or $25 for just “music and fun.” Award-winning poet Kathleen Heidemann, author Loren Graham and entrepreneur Scott Holman will be at the event, which will feature music by Michael Waite, an awards ceremony, a silent auction and a cash bar. For details click here.

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Alki Point Lighthouse (WA) opening for first tours since pre-pandemic

The Coast Guard Auxiliary is offering timed tickets for groups of friends or family members (up to 10 people per group) for Alki Point Lighthouse guided tours on the afternoons of September 19 and 26. The 30-minute time slots on the 19th may already be booked but there’s still availability on the 26th. Reservations for the free tours are available on this site while supplies last: calendly.com/cgauxiliaryseattle/30min

Alki Point Lighthouse, Washington. U.S. Lighthouse Society photo.

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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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