Historic Point Bonita Lighthouse (CA) reopens after two-year closure
An historic lighthouse that has guided ships into the Golden Gate since the Gold Rush reopened to the public this week after being closed to visitors for nearly two years.
Perched on a rocky outcrop in the Golden Gate strait, Point Bonita lighthouse’s sweeping views of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco and the Pacific Ocean have made it a popular destination for thousands of visitors each year. The National Park Service closed the lighthouse after the onset of the pandemic in March 2020 and had a brief reopening in July 2021. But in stroke of bad luck, electrical issues prompted another months-long closure that lasted until last weekend when it finally reopened.
* * *
Fond du Lac Lighthouse (WI) under repair
Fond du Lac Lighthouse is located at the entrance to the harbor and Yacht Club on the southern end of Lake Winnebago. Work is expected to begin this year on a major repair project. The lighthouse has been closed since last September when water damage to the inside upright wood members was discovered during routine maintenance.
* * *
Nonprofit could reap rewards of Beavertail Lighthouse (RI) license plates
The most visited landmark in Jamestown, Rhode Island, could appear on a special Rhode Island license plate if a proposed bill passes the state legislature. The bill was introduced in January by Rep. Deb Ruggiero, a Democrat who has served Jamestown since 2009. If passed into law, it would allow the Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles to create a license plate for the Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association, and most likely would include a depiction of the lighthouse itself.
Kewaunee Pierhead Lighthouse (WI) closer to protection as historic place
Kewaunee Pierhead Lighthouse moved a step closer Friday to being listed on the state and national registers of historic places.
* * *
United States Provides 472K to Help Restore Iconic Elbow Reef Lighthouse in the Bahamas
On Friday, February 18, U.S. Embassy Nassau Chargé d’Affaires Usha Pitts, Prime Minister the Honourable Philip “Brave” Davis, and other U.S. and Bahamian government officials and stakeholders gathered on the lawn in front of the iconic Elbow Reef Lighthouse in Hope Town, Abaco, to inaugurate the Elbow Reef Lighthouse Restoration project, made possible by a grant from the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) worth over $472,000 dollars.
Through the AFCP, the United States is partnering with the Elbow Reef Lighthouse Society and the Elbow Reef Foundation to restore this iconic and historic landmark, which has stood on Elbow Cay for 158 years.
* * *
A Nova Scotia, Canada, craftsman makes replicas of the Peggy’s Cove lighthouse. His business is booming
Not long after moving to Nova Scotia from Montreal in 1997, Vito Forgione was hired to patrol the rocks at Peggys Cove. He was tasked with preventing people from getting too close to the ocean and staying off the black rocks. That meant a lot of time bracing the elements, like heavy wind and rain storms. “I basically saw that lighthouse every day. And I said to the lighthouse, ‘You’re going to pay me back for this,'” Forgione said, laughing.
Twenty-five years later, Forgione, now 64, runs Peggy’s Cove Replicas, creating models of Nova Scotia’s most famous lighthouse for people to enjoy at their own homes.
* * *
Yaquina Head (OR) Artist-in-Residence Program is unveiled
The Bureau of Land Management, the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts, and Friends of Yaquina Lighthouses have announced the creation of an artist-in-residence program at Yaquina Head Outstanding National Area, which is home to Oregon’s tallest lighthouse.
Artists 18 years or older of all disciplines are encouraged to apply for the program, which will begin May 14. Applications will be accepted until March 7 at midnight.
* * *
Australia’s Breaksea Island lighthouse marks 120th anniversary
A recently restored lighthouse off the coast of Albany in Western Australia has marked 120 years of operation. Breaksea Island Lighthouse celebrated its 120th “birthday” on February 15.
A true story involving this lighthouse provided inspiration for Albany author Dianne Wolfer in her popular 2010 children’s book Lighthouse Girl.
Interview with Dianne Wolfer, author ofLighthouse Girl:
* * *
The story of the lighthouse keeper who put Hong Kong dragon boat racing on the global map
There is no official memorial in Hong Kong to commemorate Charlie Thirlwell. No parks, roads or public buildings bear his name. But his legacy compares favorably with that of any governor or wealthy merchant from the city’s past.
This Hong Kong-born lighthouse keeper campaigned vigorously for the socially marginalised Tanka, the ethnic group of indigenous people who traditionally lived afloat in junks and earned their living from fishing. He founded several fishermen’s associations, tutored children in English, started sports programs, sought out employment opportunities, and put the traditional Tanka sport of dragon boat racing on the international map.
* * *
Push to preserve Plum Island (NY) gets boost
Preservationists are proposing that New York’s Plum Island be designated as a national monument — culturally significant historic sites deemed protected areas, managed by the federal government — to effectively turn it into a park preserve.
Ninety percent of the island is undeveloped land that is home to federally threatened piping plovers and a migratory stop for hundreds of other bird species. It is also home to nationally significant historic buildings, including the Plum Island Lighthouse built in 1869.
* * *
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