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Lighthouse News of the Week

News of the week July 15, 2022

$2M in repairs, 7 floors, new appliances: Norwalk’s Greens Ledge (CT) lighthouse is open for business

NORWALK — Brendan McGee believed he could one day own a lighthouse. Tim Pettee didn’t even know lighthouses went up for sale.

In 2016, McGee had his dream fulfilled when Pettee bought the Greens Ledge Light and the two men partnered to restore the beacon leading into Norwalk Harbor.

Green’s Ledge lighthouse, photo by Mike & Carol McKinney

“We were out in our boat, doing our typical circle around Greens Ledge when my 16-year-old daughter said, ‘The lighthouse is for sale,’” Pettee said. “I told her, ‘No, no, they don’t sell lighthouses.’”

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Drone footage shows decaying Muskegon (MI) lighthouse before restoration project

MUSKEGON, MI – Muskegon’s south breakwater lighthouse is so deteriorated, it is in danger of collapsing.

Muskegon Breakwater lighthouse, photo courtesy USLHS archives

Click here to see drone footage

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Ledge Lighthouse (CT) reopens to guests after COVID-19 pause

GROTON, Conn. — After more than two years, guests can take a 20-minute boat trip and set foot on a piece of history in the Long Island Sound once again. 

New London Ledge lighthouse, photo courtesy USLHS archives

The New London Maritime Society is resuming trips to the legendary Ledge Lighthouse after COVID-19 restrictions kept it off-limits to visitors.

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Day at the Beach: Presque Isle Lighthouse (PA)

It’s been a dream years in the making, to go back in time to restore the historical accuracy of the Presque Isle Lighthouse.

Presque Isle lighthouse, courtesy USLHS archives

While it’s taken research and fundraising, the end may be near. The final steps may be a Pennsylvania Keystone Grant that will restore the lighthouse kitchen.

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Oak Island Lighthouse (NC) a welcoming light at Caswell Beach

It may not be North Carolina’s tallest lighthouse at 153 high, or even the prettiest, but the Oak Island Lighthouse has many distinct and unusual features. The light system itself, for example, unlike any other in the country.

Oak Island lighthouse, photo by Julie Lake

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Island History: Mr. Winstanley’s Lighthouse

About 40 years ago I had the very rare opportunity to interview 93-year-old Vernon Gaskill at his home in Wanchese. He was then the last living principal lighthouse keeper in North Carolina, having served at Bodie Island Lighthouse between 1920 and 1940. He told me many stories, many of which I’ve shared in my books.

Bodie Island (NC) lighthouse, photo by Ralph Krugler

One tale that I will always remember is the time that a hurricane hit the Outer Banks and Gaskill decided that he had to go up to the top of his lighthouse to make sure that it was functioning properly. He stepped out on the porch of the keeper’s quarters in his foul weather gear. “I nearly lifted off the ground like a seagull,” he told me. “The wind got up under my oil skins and threw me back against the wall.”

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Florida Lighthouse auctions ends, but deals not done

Bidding has closed on the three historic iron-work lighthouses up for grabs in the Florida Keys after a special public auction put on by the General Services Administration closed in May.

Sombrero Key lighthouse, photo courtesy United States Coast Guard Historian’s Office

The GSA, an independent agency of the United States government, was established in 1949 to help manage federally owned properties, among other responsibilities. The 19th century offshore lighthouses built along some of the Keys’ most dangerous reefs are no longer needed given technological advances in navigation.

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Michigan Lighthouse Festival sets its sights on Marquette

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) – The Michigan Lighthouse Festival is traveling to Marquette to shine its light on the Marquette Harbor Lighthouse from Aug. 5 – 7.

Marquette Harbor lighthouse, photo by Thomas A. Tag

Marquette’s iconic red building is one of 129 lighthouses in the state of Michigan. Each year the Michigan Lighthouse Festival travels to a new city in Michigan to promote their lighthouses and their history on the Great Lakes. Attendees can expect a collection of activities and speakers throughout the weekend at various venues throughout Downtown Marquette.

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County heritage meets government wrecking ball – call out to save Pt. Petre (PEI) lighthouse

The call is out to halt further demolition of buildings at the Point Petre lighthouse site – now under way without due process.

Point Petre lighthouse, photo courtesy lighthousefriends.com

Prince Edward County’s new Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (PEC ACO) branch is alarmed that without public consultation, or knowledge of the plan, demolition has begun of heritage buildings associated with the Point Petre lighthouse.

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Sleepy Hollow (NY) Lighthouse To Close For Renovations

SLEEPY HOLLOW, NY — A major renovation of the Sleepy Hollow (Tarrytown) Lighthouse will mean the facility will have to close to visitors

Tarrytown (Sleepy Hollow) lighthouse, photo by Robert Bachand

Village of Sleepy Hollow officials said the renovation will start after the July 4 weekend, and the facility is expected to be closed for at least 10 months.

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Holland’s (MI) iconic Big Red lighthouse inspiration for 2022 Hallmark ornament series

HOLLAND — A major landmark in Holland can now be a fixture in your holiday decorations.

Holland Harbor lighthouse, photo by Mike & Carol McKinney

“Yes, ‘Big Red’ in Holland, Michigan served as the inspiration for this year’s lighthouse,” Larsen stated. “The color treatment is slightly different than the actual lighthouse, in that I used a couple of different hues of red, instead of just one. The structural details are based on the Holland lighthouse.”

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Isle of Man lighthouse repair work begins; England

A remote lighthouse which has safely guided mariners through Isle of Man waters since 1875 is being repaired.

Chicken Rock/ Isle of Man lighthouse, photo by Andy Stephenson

The 44 m (144 ft) Chicken Rock Lighthouse was designed by Scottish engineers David and Robert Stevenson and built off the Calf of Man.

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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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