Light Hearted

Light Hearted ep 164 – Terry and Jeri Cole, Fort Point, ME 1 of 2; Valeriy Kostyuk of Lighthouse Immersive

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Fort Point Lighthouse is in Stockton Springs, Maine, near the mouth of the Penobscot River. The light station is part of Fort Point State Park and is adjacent to the remains of Fort Pownall, which was built in 1759 to guard against the French. Fort Point Light Station was established in 1836, and the 31-foot square brick lighthouse that stands today was built in 1857.

Fort Point Light Station, Maine. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.
Terry and Jeri Cole with Molly the lighthouse dog, at Fort Point in the 1990s. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

In 1973, 22-year-old Coast Guardsman Terry Cole became the light keeper at Fort Point. While he was stationed at Fort Point with the Coast Guard, Terry served as park manager for a while before he and his family moved on to another assignment on Cape Cod. In 1988, Fort Point Light was automated and the Coast Guard removed its keepers. The keeper’s house became housing for a park ranger and his family. The first person to fill the live-in position was Terry Cole, beginning in 1989. Terry’s wife Jeri also played a large role, helping to organize events and answering visitors’ questions. Terry retired this past summer after 44 years working for Maine Parks and Lands and more than 30 years of living at the Fort Point Lighthouse.

The historic fog bell tower at Fort Point, sunrise view by Terry Cole.
Fort Point Light Station in winter, courtesy of Terry Cole.

An organization called Lighthouse Immersive is sponsoring a fundraising initiative built around a show called Immersive Shevchenko: Soul of Ukraine. The subject of the show is Taras Shevchenko (1814-1861), a Ukrainian poet, writer, artist, political figure, and folklorist. In the new show, the audience can see pieces by Shevchenko projected across the gallery walls, and the show is set to a soundtrack to further immerse you in his world. The exhibit first opened in Odesa to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Ukrainian independence last year. Immersive Shevchenko will be shown in five cities on March 15 – Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Toronto, and San Francisco. There will also be a virtual showing on March 15. Details are available at lighthouseimmersive.com. One of the show’s producers, Valeriy Kostyuk, discusses the exhibit in a “Be a Lighthouse” segment.

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