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Lighthouse News of the Week – May 27, 2022

Great Point Lighthouse (MA) in danger of crumbling

Members of Nantucket’s Historical Commission say something needs to be done to protect Great Point Light before a series of structural cracks leads to more serious damage. It’s been 36 years since the lighthouse was rebuilt, two years after the previous structure crumbled in a heavy storm in 1984.

Great Point Lighthouse, Massachusetts. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

Historical Commission members are planning to nominate the lighthouse for the island’s list of historic structures with the Massachusetts Historical Commission and National Park Service.

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Learn about Grosse Point Lighthouse (IL) and the “keeper” who maintains it

Built by way of a congressional order 1873, the Grosse Point Lighthouse has a long history of lighting the way to Chicago from the Evanston shoreline. The lighthouse is a national historical landmark, named for French explorers who thought they were the first to chart the area. After a passenger steamer was wrecked off of the shore in 1860, Evanston residents petitioned Congress for a lighthouse to prevent future accidents.

Grosse Point Light Station, Illinois. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

The Daily Northwestern talked with Donald Terras, the lighthouse’s modern-day keeper and director of the Lighthouse Park District, about his role in maintaining the lighthouse’s significance on the North Shore.

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Input needed on two Cape Hatteras Lighthouse projects (NC)

National Park Service officials are asking for input on two proposed projects at Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The projects are to rehabilitate the interior and restore the exterior of the lighthouse, and to develop plans for a multi-use path in the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse District. A public meeting to discuss both projects is scheduled for 5:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 2, at the Fessenden Center Annex in Buxton.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, North Carolina. USLHS photo.

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Climb the tower at Wind Point Lighthouse , WI, on June 5

Wind Point Lighthouse tower is open for climbing from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, June 5. Tours are open to ages 6 and above. People should wear sturdy walking shoes; no flip-flops or high heels. A person must be physically fit to climb 11 stories (144 steps). Visitors will have an opportunity to view the memorial brick garden on the shore of Lake Michigan and visit the Fog Horn Building Museum. 

Wind Point Lighthouse, Wisconsin. USLHS photo by Tom Tag.

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Wind Point Lighthouse website

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Want to tour a ‘haunted’ Maine lighthouse?

The Maine coastline is famous for the lighthouses that dot the rugged shore, but keeping them in ship-shape condition is no small task.  On any given Tuesday, if the seas are obliging, volunteers from The Friends of Wood Island Lighthouse take a 20-minute boat ride from Biddeford Pool to Wood Island, where they’ve been working since 2003 to restore the lighthouse and keeper’s home. 

Wood Island Light Station, Maine. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

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Weekly tours of Alki Point Lighthouse (WA) resume Sunday

Weekly tours of Alki Point Lighthouse are returning, as just announced by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary! Last year, two tours were given, in September, after a tour-less 2020, so this is the first full season since 2019.

Alki Point Lighthouse, Washington. USLHS photo.

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Vandals strike Neds Point Lighthouse (MA), prompt calls for increased security

Recent vandalism at the iconic Neds Point Lighthouse has prompted calls for better security at the location. “When is the Town of Mattapoisett going to do something about surveillance?’’ asked Sal Giglia, United States Coast Guard flotilla staff officer and lighthouse keeper for the structure.

Neds Point Lighthouse, Massachusetts. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

The vandalism apparently occurred sometime Saturday, May 21 or Sunday, May 22, Gaglia said.  Graffiti was painted on railings at the catwalk of the lighthouse, Gaglia said. Stored seasonal decorations were destroyed, he noted, as were pamphlets and other information provided to lighthouse visitors. American flags were also taken, he said.

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Tour Pigeon Point Light Station (CA) on June 11

Pigeon Point is one of more than 75 unique and fascinating historic places in all corners of the state being highlighted during the first–ever Doors Open California weekend, sponsored by the California Preservation Foundation. Special one–hour tours will include a 30–minute guided history walk and a behind–the–scenes visit to the base of the lighthouse which is closed to the public until restoration can be completed.

Pigeon Point Lighthouse, California. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

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Surprisingly, One Man Connects Oregon Coast Lighthouses at Heceta Head, Terrible Tilly

Two lighthouses along the Oregon coast are known to be among the most photographed in the world: Tillamook Rock between Seaside and Cannon Beach, and Heceta Head near Florence. Yet there’s another rather poignant connection between them. One man, named Oswald Allik, served on both lighthouses as a head lightkeeper until their end, closing out both of them as they shut down in one way or another.

Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, Oregon. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

Allik, a native of Estonia, was there for two very historic moments in the long tales of Oregon coast lighthouses – and those tales are not over yet.

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‘Movies at the Lighthouse’ returns to Port Isabel (TX)

Visitors to the lighthouse in Port Isabel can now also enjoy a movie! The tradition that started in 2004 will be returning this summer. Thursday in June and July, community members can watch movies projected on the side of the historic structure. Movies will begin at 9 p.m.

Port Isabel Lighthouse, Texas. USLHS photo.

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Alcona Historical Society, lighthouse keepers for Sturgeon Point (MI)

Fifty years ago, the crumbling, vandalized shell of Sturgeon Point Lighthouse stood as a monument to myopia, to a short-sighted society too willing to forget its history, and to a government unable to grasp the value of historic preservation.

Sturgeon Point Light Station, Michigan. USLHS photo by Chad Kaiser.

Opening day at Sturgeon Point Lighthouse Park is Saturday. It will be open each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through Labor Day.

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France’s oldest active lighthouse reopens to public – tides allowing

France’s oldest active lighthouse, Cordouan in the mouth of the Gironde estuary, is once again open to visitors after nine years of restoration work – but only when tides allow. The Unesco heritage working monument is 7km offshore and has been undergoing works since 2013, interrupted each winter by bad weather and, more recently, by the pandemic.

Cordouan Lighthouse, France. 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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