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Lighthouse News of the Week – May 13, 2022

A spring refresh: St. Augustine Lighthouse (FL) undergoing $880K renovation over the next 2 weeks

St. Augustine Lighthouse is getting a fresh coat of paint this spring. The project, which includes painting the interior and exterior of the tower and work on the building’s metal stairs and railings, should be finished in about two weeks.

St. Augustine Lighthouse, Florida. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

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Split Rock Lighthouse (MN) closed temporarily after lightning strike

Split Rock Lighthouse was closed for a couple of days this past week after the facilities took a lightning strike Monday afternoon. Lightning struck a tree near the parking lot. The electricity then went from a nearby light pole to the visitor center, and fried some of the building’s internal systems.

Split Rock Lighthouse, Minnesota. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

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Mayflies hamper Menominee lighthouse (MI) cleaning

Volunteers from the Menominee Historical Society cleaned the interior of the lighthouse Tuesday but postponed exterior scrubbing and painting because black mayflies covered much of the beacon’s base, windows and doors.

Menominee North Pierhead Lighthouse, Michigan. USLHS photo.

The lighthouse opens Memorial Day weekend for tours, and the volunteer lighthouse keepers want it to look its best. They plan to repaint the exterior base this spring, after vandals attacked the walls with graffiti.

But the painting will have to wait until the mayflies have left, which hopefully will be in a week’s time, said Mike Kaufman, executive director of the Menominee County Historical Society.

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Huntington Lighthouse (NY) officials ‘tickled to death’ by return of osprey pair

It was for the birds. In an effort to relocate a juvenile osprey pair, officials at Huntington Lighthouse last year created a raised platform in the granite rock on the northeast side of the building. But while the idea proved successful then, they weren’t sure the couple would return to the nest for a second breeding season.

Huntington Harbor Lighthouse, New York. USLHS photo.

“We were nervous all winter long. This is a pretty barren location, it’s out in the middle of Huntington Bay,” said Pamela Setchell, Huntington Lighthouse Preservation Society president. When officials discovered that the couple had returned, she said, “We were tickled to death.”

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Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum celebrates history on Outstanding Natural Area Day today

Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum is celebrating Outstanding Natural Area Day today (Friday). It’s a chance for families to explore nature and history all at once.

Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse, Florida. USLHS photo.

“It’s a special property in the natural conservation lands that includes Jupiter Lighthouse Museum,” said Josh Liller, historian. “One hundred twenty acres is preserved by congress to save the history the archeology and the wonderful nature here.”

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Outer Banks park (NC) needed summer lighthouse keepers. It was overwhelmed with volunteers

A historical position in North Carolina’s Outer Banks was flooded with applicants a little over a day after it was advertised. An “overwhelming” amount of people want to be a lighthouse keeper for the summer, according to Cape Hatteras National Seashore, which shared a post about the position recently.

Ocracoke Lighthouse, North Carolina. USLHS photo.

The park needed to recruit volunteer lighthouse keepers for Ocracoke Island and offered participants free housing if they volunteer at least 32 hours a week, according to the park’s announcement. No experience was needed to apply.

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Harbour Town Lighthouse (SC) adds new historical chapter with installation of Fresnel lens

The iconic Harbour Town Lighthouse on Hilton Head Island has added an exciting chapter to its storied history with the installation of a genuine Fresnel lens to further the power of the light that blossoms from the top. Just over five decades old, the red-and-white striped Lighthouse — featured prominently in CBS’ coverage last month of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage golf tournament — serves not only as a beacon to the many ships that reside in the Yacht Basin but also as a landmark that symbolizes the region and the resort.

Harbour Town Lighthouse, South Carolina. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

The new lens is a replica of an original fourth-order Fresnel lens as created and designed by Dan Spinella, a Florida-based artist and engineer who began his research and restoration work on lenses 30 years ago.

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Columbia lightship (OR) refurbished

Thrilling visitors for 60 years, the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria, Oregon, defies preconceived notions of “old, stuffy history.” “It’s real, tangible, huge, and interactive,” says Caroline Wuebben, the marketing manager at Columbia River Maritime Museum. “It’s not simply a bunch of pictures on the wall.”

Lightship Columbia, Oregon. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

The pride and joy of the museum is a 128-foot lightship recently refurbished to bring aspects of its operation into public view for the first time since 1979. Stationed for nearly 30 years at the mouth of the Columbia River, the lightship— essentially a floating lighthouse —is now a beloved museum fixture and a stand-alone attraction, beckoning visitors interested exclusively in the decommissioned U.S. Coast Guard vessel.

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Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse (NY): Giving light for 200 years

This year marks the bicentennial anniversary of the Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse in New York, the oldest surviving lighthouse on Lake Ontario. You can find this historic and still functioning lighthouse on a bluff overlooking the mouth of the Genesee River and lake, at 70 Lighthouse Street in Rochester’s Charlotte neighborhood.

Charlotte-Genesee Light Station, New York. USLHS photo by Ralph Eshelman.

“We are celebrating the year the tower was built, which was 1822,” said Fred Amato, president of the Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse Historical Society. “The light station was built in this year, and although we don’t know an exact date, historical documents lead us to believe it was in July or September.”

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City Commission approves St. Joseph Pierhead Lighthouse (MI) tours for the year

St. Joseph City Commissioners have approved the Heritage Museum and Cultural Center Lighthouse Tour agreement for the year. Heritage Museum Board member Dennis Szymanski told commissioners Monday last year’s tours were affected by COVID, and that’s not all. “One third of all tours that were scheduled last year were canceled due to high lake levels or wind or a combination of both,” Szymanski said.

St. Joseph Pierhead lights, Michigan. USLHS photo.

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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

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