Lighthouse News of the Week – November 5, 2021

Split Rock Lighthouse to commemorate sinking of Edmund Fitzgerald on November 10

This annual event commemorates the sinking of the freighter Edmund Fitzgerald and the loss of her 29 crew members on November 10, 1975. It is also a time to reflect on the memory of all lives lost in Great Lakes shipwrecks.

Split Rock Lighthouse, Minnesota. U.S. Lighthouse Society photo.

The lighthouse, fog signal building, and visitor center will be open. Costumed interpreters will greet visitors and provide historic site and shipwreck information. At 4:30 pm, the lighthouse will close temporarily while the names of the crew members are read to the tolling of a ship’s bell. Following the ceremony, the beacon will be lit, and the tower will be open again to tour.

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California State Parks hosts 149th anniversary celebration for Pigeon Point Light Station

For nearly a century and a half, the Pigeon Point Lighthouse has weathered storms and cast its beacon from its solitary perch on the San Mateo County coast. To commemorate the lighthouse’s historic background, California State Parks is hosting a 149th-anniversary celebration next week.

Pigeon Point Light Station, California. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

The free event will run from 1 to 7 p.m. on Nov. 13, and the evening will conclude with lighting the original Fresnel lens that currently sits in the Fog Signal building. The party will include music, children’s activities, puppet shows, native plant sales and a book-signing from local maritime author JoAnne Semones.

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$5.1 million awarded for Point Betsie Lighthouse, MI

$5.1 million has been slated for shoreline restoration at the Point Betsie Lighthouse. Established in 1858, the historic lighthouse is owned by Benzie County and managed by The Friends of Point Betsie Lighthouse, Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization. 

Point Betsie Lighthouse, Michigan. U.S. Lighthouse Society photo by J. Candace Clifford.

In 2020, high water levels and wave action damaged an ageing barrier that protects the lighthouse and beach from erosion. “As the Lake Michigan water level rose from the low in 2013 to the high end last year, the shoreline system repair project gained a new urgency,” said Richard Taylor, president of the Friends of Point Betsie Lighthouse board of directors.

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Aerial shots reveal lofty effort to restore East Chop Lighthouse (MA)

Photography shared by the Martha’s Vineyard Museum with the MV Times offers unique vantage points on the ongoing East Chop Light restoration. ICC Commonwealth is engaged in a $259,700 bracket restoration job on behalf of the museum. 

East Chop Lighthouse, Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

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Restored portholes on South Haven lighthouse (MI) give the beacon a fresh look

Those paying a visit to the iconic South Haven South Pierhead Light may notice a recent upgrade on the outside of the structure. Restoration of the six portholes on the lighthouse’s exterior was recently completed.

South Haven South Pierhead Lighthouse, Michigan. U.S. Lighthouse Society photo.

The project was funded by the Historical Association of South Haven. The interior and exterior of the lighthouse was fully remodeled in 2016 following a $300,000 restoration campaign.

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Preserving history and Turn Point Lighthouse on Stuart Island (WA)

Imagine the most beautiful place in the world. Not hard to do, living here in the PNW. Now imagine a remote island in the very farthest northwest corner of the San Juan archipelago.

Turn Point Light Station, Washington. U.S. Lighthouse Society photo.

This is Stuart Island, and for Jim and Linda Bergquist it is the most beautiful place in the world.

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Older than the lighthouse, a part of Ponce Inlet’s (FL) story preserved

Before there was a town in Ponce Inlet, even before the lighthouse there was built, there was a little hotel by the banks of the Halifax River called the Pacetti House.

The Pacetti Hotel and the lighthouse as they looked around 1900. (Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and Museum)

It’s still there and was put on the National Registry of Historic Places only last year. The Ponce De Leon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association has begun restoration work with the aim of transforming it into a museum, event venue, and public outdoor space. The house is within sight of the Ponce Inlet’s famous and much-photographed lighthouse.

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Four Cuban migrants found clinging to American Shoal Lighthouse near Sugarloaf Key

Four Cuban migrants were found near Sugarloaf Key. Video shared on social media Wednesday showed the migrants clinging onto the lighthouse, six miles off the island.

American Shoal Lighthouse, Florida. U.S. Lighthouse Society photo by Mike and Carol McKinney.

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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

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