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Lighthouse News of the Week – June 3, 2022

Old is new again at Whaleback Lighthouse (ME): Why beloved rotating light is back

Our cultural image of the classic New England lighthouse typically includes the rotating beam which guided mariners to safety for generations. This traditional system was restored back to historic Whaleback Lighthouse over the past week. A new beacon was put in place on Kittery’s Whaleback Ledge by the Coast Guard, following a request by local lighthouse organizations.

Whaleback Lighthouse, Maine. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

“This evening the citizens and mariners of the New Hampshire Seacoast and southern Maine coast will be able to enjoy the rotating beam of light from Whaleback Light,” Senior Chief Petty Officer Clayton Franklin said upon the mission’s completion. Jeremy D’Entremont, president and historian of the American Lighthouse Foundation, proclaimed it “an important day in the history of an iconic lighthouse.”

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Summer art contests to focus on Presque Isle lighthouses (MI)

To celebrate the history and beauty of the lighthouses of Presque Isle, the Presque Isle Township Museum Society is hosting three creative contests this summer. The community is invited to participate in two photography contests, open to photographers of all ages, and a Youth Art Contest, open to young artists from kindergarten through 8th grade.

Old Presque Isle Light Station, Michigan. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

For detailed contest information, submission instructions and contest rules, please click here.

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Government of Canada announces three new heritage lighthouse designations in the Maritimes

Yesterday, Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, announced the designation of Margaretsville Lighthouse in Nova Scotia, as well as the designation of Pointe à Jérôme Front Range Lighthouse and Caissie Point Lighthouse, both in New Brunswick, as heritage lighthouses under Canada’s Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act.

Margaretsville Lighthouse, Nova Scotia. USLHS photo.

The Government of Canada continues to work in close collaboration with community groups and other levels of government to facilitate the designation of heritage lighthouses and ensure their protection for the benefit and enjoyment of generations to come. 

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Fairport Harbor Marine Museum and Lighthouse (OH) opens for 2022 season

Although the cost of gasoline is rising to exorbitant levels all over the United States, that situation actually could help in attracting more regional visitors to the Fairport Harbor Marine Museum and Lighthouse. That’s the assessment of Mary Alyce Gladding, president of the Fairport Harbor Historical Society.

Fairport Harbor Light Station, Ohio. USLHS photo by Mike and Carol McKinney.

The all-volunteer organization operates the marine museum and lighthouse, which kicked off its 2022 season on May 28. “With the high price of gas, I was thinking we might be getting a lot more people from the Cleveland metropolitan area because they probably don’t want to travel too far,” she said.

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Auctions close for three iconic Florida Keys lighthouses

In bidding wars that quickly narrowed to contests between two bidders, auctions for the Sombrero Key Lighthouse, Carysfort Reef Lighthouse, and American Shoal Lighthouse all ended within one week of one another. Carysfort Reef Light off Key Largo was the first to close, settling on a final price of $415,000 on May 16. Sombrero Key Light off Marathon followed a day later, closing at $575,000. Six days later, American Shoal Light off Sugarloaf Key capped a record auction week with a final price tag of $860,000. 

American Shoal Lighthouse, Florida. USLHS photo by Mike and Carol McKinney.

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Tours at Pensacola Lighthouse (FL) tomorrow

The general mood for curators at NAS Pensacola’s on-base museums this week has been one of excitement. Staff at the National Naval Aviation Museum and Pensacola Lighthouse & Maritime Museum have spent their days busily preparing, prepping exhibits and eagerly awaiting Saturday. “Everybody is pretty amped up,” Jon Hill, executive director of the Pensacola Lighthouse & Maritime Museum, said about his curators and staff.

Pensacola Light Station, Florida. USLHS photo by Jeff Gales.

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“June Jamboree” for lighthouse preservation tomorrow in Kittery, ME

On Saturday, June 4, from 1 to 5 p.m., Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, a chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation, is holding a public event at the Kittery Lions Club, on Route 1 in Kittery, Maine. The event will feature live music, free pizza and other refreshments, and a silent auction. The entertainment will include the band Honey Badgers and a performance by McDonough–Grimes Irish Dance.

Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse, New Hampshire. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

This event is a fundraiser for a much needed new walkway at Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse, which is in New Castle, New Hampshire, near the border with Maine. The existing 84-foot walkway that enables visitors to walk from the shore to the lighthouse was built in 2006, and it’s taken a beating in storms and high tides. In order to keep providing safe access for visitors and volunteers, it needs to be rebuilt for about $35,000.

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Unofficial start to summer draws crowds to Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse (ME)

Hundreds of people were out on the Rockland Breakwater on Sunday. The iconic Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse is the number one tourist attraction in Rockland. The Rockland City Council created a Rockland Breakwater Advisory Committee which plans on holding open houses this summer so people can tour the inside of the lighthouse. The tentative plan is for open houses from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays July 10, July 24, Aug. 7, Aug. 21, and Sept. 4.

Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, Maine. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

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Celebration event for the 150th anniversary of Cape Blanco Lighthouse (OR) rescheduled

Due to poor weather expected this Saturday, the event celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Cape Blanco Lighthouse has been rescheduled to next Saturday, June 11th at Cape Blanco State Park.

Cape Blanco Lighthouse, Oregon. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

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New Jersey Governor Murphy kicks off Memorial Day weekend at Absecon Lighthouse

Gov. Phil Murphy climbed Absecon Lighthouse’s 228 steps to kick off Memorial Day weekend at the Jersey Shore, where he found the view fogged in and the wind somewhat fierce. “I’m not great with heights,” he said as he stepped out on the viewing platform briefly, got buffeted by gusts, and quickly came back inside. Murphy chose to open the summer season here because he had heard of 94-year-old lighthouse volunteer Buddy Grover, and wanted to meet him.

Absecon Light Station, New Jersey. USLHS photo by J. Candace Clifford

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“Doors Open California Lighthouse Tours” at Pigeon Point

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. The 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 until restoration can be completed.

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

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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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