Rhode Island photographer races to capture the fading lighthouse lights
For storm-tossed mariners, lighthouses long served as beacons of hope, their beams slicing through fog and darkness, illuminating the way to safe harbor. But in an age of satellites and GPS navigation, the landmark lights are being rendered redundant, victims not only of changing technology but also of climate change, their lights extinguished by rising seas, raging storms, and government bureaucrats.
So David Zapatka — a veteran cameraman, photographer, and lighthouse aficionado who lives in North Kingstown — finds himself in a race against time, engaged in a midnight quest to photograph the nation’s 800 working lighthouses at night, beneath the stars. So far, he has shot 182 lighthouses in 18 states. At the wheel of a donated RV named “Ruthie,” he is hoping to photograph the remaining 618 before many of them are shut down, as part of a United States Lighthouse Society project.
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County Fronts Money to Keep Cana Island Lighthouse (WI) Project On Track
The Door County Board of Supervisors agreed to advance money to keep the Cana Island Lighthouse Restoration Project on track.
The unanimous vote on Dec. 14 was, specifically, to transfer up to $700,000 from the county’s unassigned fund balance – and use $50,000 from its Cana Island Reserve Fund – to act as an interest-free, temporary loan for the project. The bridge loan was needed to complete the fourth and final phase, which includes restoration of the light keeper’s house and the light tower interior.
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Cape Elizabeth (ME) plans to improve views, safety along Cliff Walk at Fort Williams Park
Visitors to widely popular Fort Williams Park will soon be afforded expanded views of Portland Head Light and Casco Bay following planned improvements to the southern end of the Cliff Walk. The town has issued requests for contractors’ bids on two projects that will extend the southern section of the walkway that rims the rocky edge of the bay north and south of the lighthouse.
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Champlin Foundation announces grant for Block Island Southeast Light Station (RI)
The Champlin Foundation announced its latest round of grant funding on December 6 with a total of $13.2 million in capital funding for 126 non-profit organizations, mainly in Rhode Island.
The Southeast Lighthouse Foundation will receive $110,450 for window renovation. The Foundation will use the grant to continue renovations on the iconic lighthouse. In 2019 the tower was restored and more recently, in the summer of 2021, a portion of the interior of the lighthouse was opened as a museum with the help of a Champlin Foundation grant for the installation of HVAC systems.
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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
Jeremy D’Entremont is the author of more than 20 books and hundreds of articles on lighthouses and maritime history. He is the president and historian for the American Lighthouse Foundation and founder of Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, and he has lectured and narrated cruises throughout the Northeast and in other regions. He is also the producer and host of the U.S. Lighthouse Society podcast, “Light Hearted.” He can be emailed at Jeremy@uslhs.org