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Lighthouse News of the Week – May 20, 2022

Staten Island Lighthouse (NY) shines extra bright after undergoing a six-week restoration

The Staten Island Rear Range Lighthouse atop Lighthouse Hill is shining a bit brighter nowadays after recently undergoing a six-week makeover, thanks to New Jersey-based Zack Painting.

Staten Island Lighthouse, New York. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

Zack is a painting subcontractor for Pavkov Contracting, the general contractor responsible for the restoration and repair of nine Aids to Navigation (ATON) assets in the New England Area. It was a challenge to drive in the massive 135-foot boom lift required to elevate the crew safely. Rather than entering through the beacon’s traditional entrance, painters gained access through a neighbor’s driveway. They navigated around the structure while trying not to displace any wildlife or damage any private property.

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Sand Point Lighthouse in Escanaba, Michigan, to open this summer

The Dr. John and Mary Jane Beaumier Museum and historic Sand Point Lighthouse are returning to their normal hours of operation this summer. Set to open on Memorial Day, members of the Delta County Historical Society, a local non-profit organization that works to preserve the history of Delta County, are ready to welcome back tourists and residents.

Sand Point Lighthouse in Escanana, Michigan. USLHS photo.

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Marblehead Lighthouse (OH) celebrating 200th year

For two centuries, Marblehead Lighthouse has been a towering mainstay along Lake Erie’s shoreline. Since its construction in the early 19th century, the lighthouse has provided a steady beacon and landmark for sailors and served as a popular subject for photographers and painters.

Marblehead Lighthouse, Ohio. USLHS photo.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is hosting a series of events this year to honor Marblehead Lighthouse’s bicentennial anniversary, beginning Saturday with “Legacy on the Lake: Celebrating 200 Years of the Marblehead Lighthouse.” There will be entertainment, food trucks, birthday cake, games, giveaways, ODNR naturalists with some of the area’s wild animal friends, a touch-a-truck, Smokey Bear, free lighthouse tours, and other activities.

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GoFundMe page for new walkway at Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse, NH

The 84-foot wooden walkway that enables visitors to walk from the shore to Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse in New Castle, New Hampshire, was last rebuilt in 2006, and it’s taken a beating in storms and high tides since then. In order to keep providing safe access for visitors and volunteers, Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses (a chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation) will need to have it rebuilt in 2023 for about $35,000. In addition, about $3000 in repairs are being carried out in spring 2022 in order to make sure it’s safe for this tour season. This new GoFundMe page is part of the fundraising effort for the walkway.

A view from the top of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse, showing the walkway that leads to the lighthouse tower. the 1860s wall of Fort Constitution, and the former light keeper’s house. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

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This remote (and rather spectacular) lighthouse in Scotland could be yours for just £140,000 (about $175,000)

If living in a busy, stuffy, loud city is all getting a bit too much, well, here we’ve got an ideal escape. A cottage near a lighthouse in Scotland is up for sale – and it’s in one of the UK’s most remote, private and naturally spectacular locations. The cottage is in Strathy Point, a rocky headland around three miles out from the village of Strathy. It’s on Scotland’s north coast and, on a clear day, offers views all the way out to Orkney.

Strathy Point Lighthouse, Scotland. USLHS photo.

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Charges made for Grand Haven lighthouse (MI) vandalism

After investigating two separate incidents of vandalism at the Grand Haven Lighthouse, an iconic landmark on the shores of Lake Michigan, the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety has charged three teenagers and arrested another.

The Grand Haven lights, Michigan. USLHS photo.

On May 10, four males were spotted scratching graffiti onto the side of the lighthouse. Security camera footage was released by the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety, and within a few hours, the suspects were identified as four 18-year-old males from Grand Rapids and Jenison.

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Tours at Point Wilson Light Station, WA

The U.S. Lighthouse Society is the caretaker of Point Wilson Light Station, under a license from the U.S. Coast Guard. Public tours are conducted from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Because of liability issues and Coast Guard regulations, the lantern room will be off limits.

Point Wilson Light Station, USLHS photo by Pete Lerro.

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Structure housing 150-year-old Piedras Blancas (CA) lighthouse lens is in danger of collapse

The structure housing a roughly 150-year-old lighthouse lens in Cambria, California, could be in danger of damage or collapse — potentially threatening public safety, San Luis Obispo County officials warn. The circa-1875 First Order Fresnel lens once sat at the top of the Piedras Blancas Light Station near San Simeon, where it warned mariners about dangerous rocks and shoals.

The Piedras Blancas lens in Cambria, California. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

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Third Annual RetroFest on the Potomac Brings All Things “Vintage” to Piney Point Lighthouse Museum (MD)

The Friends of St. Clement’s Island & Piney Point Museums present the Third Annual RetroFest on the Potomac, on Saturday, June 4, 2022, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Piney Point Lighthouse Museum & Historic Park. This event is in conjunction with the nearby Southern Maryland Boat Club’s Piney Point Regatta.

Piney Point Light Station, Maryland. USLHS photo.

RetroFest on the Potomac represents all things vintage and is new and improved from past years. Enjoy live music from Kiti Gartner & the Drifting Valentines; food truck, beer truck, ice cream; classic cars and vintage boats, and much more. Tickets include entrance to visit museum exhibits and the lighthouse.

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Presque Isle Lighthouse: Family Day at the Land Lighthouse (PA)

The Land Lighthouse is a great place to explore! Come learn about the history of the lighthouses in Erie, climb the tower, and participate in family-friendly activities at this free event. Part of  Erie County Public Library’s first ever histERIE Week.

Erie Land Lighthouse, Pennsylvania. USLHS photo by Tom Tag.

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Special tours at Marquette Harbor Lighthouse (MI)

The Marquette Maritime Museum has two special lighthouse tours coming up. Yooper Paranormal will host a Paranormal Tour of the Marquette Harbor Lighthouse at 7 p.m. on Friday. Tickets for this fundraiser are $25 each and are nonrefundable. Registration is required. Participation is for 18 and over only. The second special tour is an evening lighthouse tour, open to all ages, at 7 p.m. May 24.

Marquette Harbor Lighthouse, Michigan. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

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For one day only, public granted access to NAS Pensacola, lighthouse and Aviation Museum (FL)

Naval Air Station Pensacola will allow a one-day public access to the installation on Saturday, June 4, 2022. This one-time access was selected for June 4 to commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of Midway, a pivotal battle of World War II that occurred from June 4-7, 1942.

Pensacola Lighthouse, Florida. USLHS photo.

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Museum to open new exhibit on Cape Henlopen Lighthouse (DE) on May 27

A new exhibit opening Friday, May 27, at the Rehoboth Beach Museum will examine the historic, artistic and symbolic legacy of the Cape Henlopen Lighthouse.

Cape Henlopen Lighthouse, Delaware. USLHS archives.

Although 96 years have passed since the tower fell to the beach, it still holds an important place in the hearts and minds of local residents and is one of the most popular symbols of Delaware’s coastal community.

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Stairway to the Stars Lighthouse Climb in Cape May (NJ)

Located in Lower Township’s Cape May Point State Park in Cape May, New Jersey, the Cape May Lighthouse offers visitors the chance to climb the 199 steps up to the historic, cast-iron spiral stairway and witness a staggering view of the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean. Built in 1859, the lighthouse also offers visitors a chance to take in the surrounding nature trails leading to the beach and Cape May Borough. 

Cape May Lighthouse, New Jersey. USLHS photo by Ed Hewitt.

For those who are looking for a nighttime experience at the famed lighthouse, new this summer is the Stairway to the Stars Lighthouse Climb. Without the light of the moon, visitors will really see the stars and constellations shine! Taking place on May 30 from 7 to 9 p.m. and June 28, July 28, and August 27 from 8 to 10 p.m., the event coincides with the start of the New Moon and a new 29.5-day lunar cycle. 

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Lighthouse tour honors grandfather’s important work

Harry Thomson is halfway through visiting ten of the beacons that pepper Scotland’s coastlines. His grandfather Hugh Thomson followed in his own dad and grandad’s footsteps to become a lighthouse keeper after the First World War. Speaking during a visit to Kinnaird Head in Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, Harry said: “He was a third-generation keeper and he knew the importance of the job. He obviously had a lot of commitment to it.”

Kinnaird Head Lighthouse, Scotland. USLHS photo.

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Future of Firths Voe Lighthouse (Scotland) unsure due to coastal erosion

Coastal erosion has prompted a review of the lighthouse in Firth, which has been described as a “local landmark.” The Northern Lighthouse Board said it is looking at options more inland. The Firth’s Voe lighthouse is located at the edge of the shore, and it sits near Yell Sound. It was established in 1909 by David Alan Stevenson.

Firths Voe Lighthouse, Scotland. Creative Commons photo by Mike Pennington.

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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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