Lighthouse News of the Week

News of the week August 19, 2022

Penfield (CT) lighthouse off Fairfield coast has a new owner…maybe

It has been more than a year since the auction closed for the Penfield Reef Ligthhouse straddling the Bridgeport and Fairfield line, and while a highest bidder was selected, the paperwork has not yet been finalized.

Penfield Reef Lighthouse, photo by Mike & Carol McKinney

According to the U.S. General Services Administration, someone bought the Penfield Reef Lighthouse for $360,000. The federal auction for Penfield Reef Lighthouse opened June 21, 2021 with the price starting at $100,000 and increasing in $10,000 increments.

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Cana Island (WI) Lighthouse tower, keeper’s house reopen to public after restoration project

BAILEYS HARBOR – Safe to say John and Madeline Holstrom are lighthouse buffs. They not only have visited lighthouses across the Midwest and the country, they got married in one, the Wind Point Lighthouse in Racine.

Cana Island Lighthouse, photo by Joyce Dixon

So it’s no surprise the couple from Naperville, Illinois, was excited to visit Cana Island Lighthouse when its light tower and keeper’s house reopened for public viewing Friday for the first time this year. They hadn’t been to the iconic Door County light in four or five years, they said, and this time they climbed the 97 steps of the tight, cast-iron spiral staircase to get to the outdoor lookout deck at the top of the 89-foot-tall tower overlooking Lake Michigan. The deck was open for the first time in eight years.

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Cape Lookout (NC) Lighthouse restoration needs exceed $8 million available

Cape Lookout National Seashore has about $8 million to go toward repairs of the 1859 lighthouse, but that’s not nearly enough to cover a total rehabilitation. 

Cape Lookout Lighthouse, photo by Ralph Eshelman

Seashore Superintendent Jeff West said recently that not only does he and the rest of the folks at the park want to repair and renovate the 163-foot lighthouse, they also want to get it back to the shape it was in when construction wrapped up in 1859. 

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Get educated and have fun in New Jersey Lighthouse Challenge!

Looking for a fun-filled, yet educational event you can do with the whole family and friends this fall in New Jersey?

Tinnicum Rear Range Lighthouse, photo by Mike & Carol McKinney

The challenge is to visit all 14 different stops which include 16 different sites of lighthouses, lifesaving stations, one virtual site, the Lighthouse Society of NJ, and one lighthouse-related museum along the Atlantic and Delaware Bay Coast within two days.

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Terns Call Historic Bird Island (MA) Lighthouse Home

The Bird Island Lighthouse is historic because long ago it guided shipping on a busy whaling and manufacturing seaport. It was built in 1819 with a revolving beacon and added a magnificent magnifying lens in 1856.

Bird Island Lighthouse, photo courtesy US Coast Guard Historians’ Office

The lighthouse remained in valuable service until the devastating hurricane of 1938 that destroyed all the other buildings except the lighthouse itself. However, by itself it was deactivated in the following year (1939) until 1997 and reverted to operation by the town of Marion to be maintained as a bird sanctuary and a private aid to navigation.

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Habitat for Humanity Volunteer Day at the Key West Lighthouse

Staff and volunteers from Habitat for Humanity of Key West and the Lower Keys recently painted public spaces at the Key West Lighthouse.

Key West Lighthouse, photo by Ralph Eshelman

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Lego’s new motorized lighthouse has a working fresnel lens

The popular French lens design was originally created for lighthouses.

Hillsboro Inlet, Second Order Fresnel Lens, photo by Ralph Krugler

In 1822, Augustin Fresnel invented a lens made of ringed prisms that could concentrate beams of light more effectively than reflectors or huge convex pieces of glass. These days, they’re used in spotlights and even most VR headsets. But originally, he designed them for lighthouses — it’s the invention that’s said to have saved a million ships — and today, Lego has announced a motorized lighthouse with its very own fresnel lens.

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14 Must-See Lighthouses Around the U.S.

Here at the National Trust, we “shore” love our lighthouses. They span from coast to coast and often pop up in the unlikeliest of placesincluding the most northwesterly point of the lower 48 United States, the bustling metropolis of Boston, and even one of the Great Lakes. Enjoy this handy guide featuring 14 of our favorite lighthouses in the U.S.

Bodie Island Lighthouse, photo by Ralph Krugler

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Leaning lighthouse tower of Bremen Germany tilts sideways, could collapse soon

Authorities have banned ships from entering the Geeste River at Bremerhaven because of the risk posed by the leaning lighthouse.

Geeste Lighthouse, photo courtesy US Lighthouse Society archives

BERLIN, Germany — An iconic lighthouse at the northern German port of Bremen has tilted sideways and could soon topple over entirely, officials said Thursday.

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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

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