Lighthouse News of the Week – March 18, 2022

Restoration work continues at historic Rock of Ages Lighthouse (MI)

When the Rock of Ages Lighthouse Preservation Society was formed in 2008, the historic Rock of Ages Lighthouse at Isle Royale had fallen into disrepair. The society has made great strides in restoration since the work on the grounds began in 2016. With spring approaching, WTIP thought it would be a good time to learn how things are going at the historic site.

Rock of Ages Lighthouse, Michigan. USLHS archives.

The lighthouse on Lake Superior, 14 miles from the Minnesota shoreline, was built in 1907-1908 and was last staffed by a light keeper in 1979.  So the lighthouse was in fairly rough shape when the preservation society was able to begin restoration work.

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Grants awarded to preserve Michigan lighthouses

Two West Michigan lighthouses will undergo renovations to preserve their history, courtesy of grants totaling $100,000. The city of Grand Haven and Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association (SPLKA) received Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program (MLAP) grants from the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). Funding for the program is from the sale of specialty Save Our Lights license plates.

Grand Haven South Pierhead Inner Light and Grand Haven South Pierhead Entrance Light, Michigan. USLHS archives.

Grand Haven received a $60,000 grant from MLAP, and the SHPO matched the amount with a sum of $76,409. The city will use the funds to hire a contractor to rehabilitate the Grand Haven South Pier entrance and inner lights. The proposed work includes the repair of the exterior concrete wall and deck surfaces; restoring the exterior concrete stairs; restoring the concrete curb and installing new metal flashing and repainting.

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Public comments sought on Ocracoke Lighthouse (NC) Rehabilitation Project

The National Park Service invites public review and comment on an environmental assessment (EA) for the rehabilitation of the Ocracoke Light Station at Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Two public meetings are scheduled on Monday, March 28.

Ocracoke Light Station, North Carolina. USLHS archives.

The Ocracoke Light Station rehabilitation project is needed because historic structures have been damaged from recent storms and, if the buildings are left as they are, it is expected that they will be damaged further by future storms. In the wake of recent storm damage and in consideration of future impacts from climate change and sea level rise, the National Park Service proposes to sustainably rehabilitate the Ocracoke Light Station and mitigate reasonably foreseeable flooding impacts while continuing to provide visitor access.

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Currituck Beach Lighthouse (NC) opens Saturday with free climbing day

Currituck Beach Light Station will open for the 2022 climbing season on Saturday, March 19 and visitors can climb for free on opening day. Visitors may climb 220 steps to the top for breathtaking views of the exquisite architecture, the Atlantic Ocean, and Currituck Sound while learning from docents and museum-quality exhibits about the active aid to navigation’s significance, the lives of lighthouse keepers, and the original first-order Fresnel lens.

Currituck Lighthouse, North Carolina. USLHS archives

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East Chop Lighthouse (MA) excavation begins

U.S. Coast Guard contractor Renova Environmental Co. has begun excavation of lead paint–tainted soil at East Chop Lighthouse in Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard. The removal is expected to “yield approximately 250 tons of impacted soil,” according to a Revona work plan.

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

The Coast Guard has known for years lead was present in the soil at the lighthouse, but appears to have taken action only after The Times published several articles on the subject, and after a restoration contractor working on behalf of the Martha’s Vineyard Museum did informal soil testing and found lead.

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In 2022, visit the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse (MD)

The U.S. Lighthouse Society and the Annapolis Maritime Museum & Park are pleased to announce the 2022 dates for the iconic Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse tours. The Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse is a National Historic Landmark and one of only ten lighthouses in the country to be bestowed this honor. Built in 1875, it is arguably the most recognized lighthouse in Maryland.

Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse, Maryland. USLHS photo by J. Candace Clifford.

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Flamborough Lighthouse (England) to re-open for tours

Flamborough Lighthouse will re-open for tours next week for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Operated as a partnership between Sewerby Hall and Gardens and Trinity House, the twenty-minute tours offer views of the coast. Visitors climb the 119 steps to the top of the lighthouse to enjoy the coastline.

Flamborough Head Lighthouse, England. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

The lighthouse was built in 1806 and acts as a waypoint for deep sea vessels and coastal traffic, as well as marking the Flamborough Headland for vessels heading for the ports of Scarborough and Bridlington.

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Covesea Lossiemouth Lighthouse (Scotland) to be illuminated in purple to raise awareness of epilepsy

Covesea Lossiemouth Lighthouse, Scotland. USLHS archives.

Covesea Lighthouse will be illuminated in purple to raise awareness of epilepsy for Purple Day later this month. Local councils across the nation will be supporting the awareness campaign set to take place on Saturday, March 26.

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Information on Purple Day

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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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