Lighthouse News of the Week

News of the week November 18, 2022

Friends of Pomham Rocks (RI) Lighthouse receives $10,000 grant

United States Lighthouse Society award will be used for period accurate shutters

EAST PROVIDENCE — The Friends of Pomham Rocks Lighthouse is one of five lighthouse groups in the country to be selected as a recipient of a 2022 Preservation Grant from the United States Lighthouse Society.

Pomham Rocks, RI photo by Ralph Eshelman

The $10,000 grant will assist the volunteer group in installing historically accurate shutters on the 1871 light station. A matching grant has been pledged to complete the project.

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On the job: A day in the life of the Saugerties (NY) Lighthouse keepers

SAUGERTIES — In this Ulster County town, the lighthouse keeper is far from that lonely man standing on a deck with his face to the wind and waves in some romantic novel. Actually, the Saugerties Lighthouse is kept by a married couple, Patrick and Anna Landewe, along with their eight-year-old son who “firmly believes he is a lighthouse keeper in training.”

Saugerties NY, photo by Jeremy D’Entremont

Of the seven lighthouses still standing along the Hudson River, the Saugerties Lighthouse is unique. It’s the only lighthouse along the river accessible by land, a half-mile hike along a peninsula of sandy flats and boardwalks with panoramic views of the Hudson. And though it’s on the National Register of Historic Places, it’s more than a museum. This rustic building, constructed in 1869, now with an automated beacon light, is a year-round bed and breakfast and home to the Landewes.

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Palmer’s Island (MA) Lighthouse in New Bedford has a long history

Palmers Island, MA, photo by Jeremy D’Entremont

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Dunkirk (NY) Lighthouse wants grants for erosion control

The Dunkirk Lighthouse and Veterans Museum wants the city to find grant money for help with erosion problems.

Dunkirk, NY, photo by Thomas A Tag

City Clerk Edwin Ramos read a letter about the issue from the Lighthouse’s David Briska at Tuesday’s Common Council meeting.

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Allen’s Coffee Brandy Tastes Better Out of a Collectible Lighthouse Bottle

Lighthouses and Allen’s Coffee Flavored Brandy — a couple of Maine icons, with their rightful place in the pantheon alongside lobsters, pine cones, and whoopie pies. It’s a status backed up by stats: the 65 lighthouses standing sentinel up and down the coast are visited by millions of people every year, and Allen’s was the most popular spirit in the state for decades, presently trailing only nationwide top seller Tito’s vodka. So it was that execs at the Massachusetts company behind Allen’s thought to pour their coffee brandy into lighthouses, which, anyway, are a more natural bottle shape than lobsters are.

West Quoddy Head, ME, photo by Ralph Eshelman

Typically, Allen’s comes in clear plastic, in sizes ranging from hip flask to handle. The first ceramic bottle, a 750-milliliter model of Lubec’s candy-striped West Quoddy Head Light, hit shelves two years ago, followed by South Portland’s Greek Revival–style Bug Light and then, a few months ago, Steuben’s stoic, island-bound Petit Manan Light. The company plans to stop at six in the series, each run limited to no more than 5,600 bottles, only available at liquor retailers in Maine. The next one should come out in early 2023, although the marketing department is tight-lipped about which lighthouse it will be.

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Video: Edmund Fitzgerald Memorial Beacon (Split Rock, MN) Lighting

This annual event at Split Rock Lighthouse in Two Harbors commemorates the sinking of the freighter Edmund Fitzgerald and the total loss of the 29 crew members aboard 47 years ago on November 10, 1975.

Split Rock’s 3rd Order Fresnel lens, USLHS archives

Click here to watch videos and see still photos

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A Visit to Historic Portsmouth (NH) Lighthouse in New Castle

Still retaining the air of the prosperous little seafaring village that it was in the late 1600s, New Castle packs four centuries of history into less than a square mile. It’s New Hampshire’s smallest town, its easternmost and the only one completely on islands.

Portsmouth NH, photo by Jeremy D’Entremont

It’s also one of the most pleasant to explore, wandering along its narrow lanes and past houses dating from the 1600s and 1700s. Front doors often open directly onto the streets, as there is often no space for a dooryard.

[PLEASE NOTE: Weekly open houses are NOT being held at Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse, in spite of what is said in this article. For the past two seasons the tours have been by reservation, and the site (an active Coast Guard station) is off limits to the public otherwise. The status of tours in 2023 has yet to be decided.

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Block Island (RI) Ranks Amongst Top 50 Places to Travel in 2023

Online travel site Travel Leming calls the island a “hidden gem” with “some of the most brilliant sunsets on the East Coast.”

Block Island North RI, photo by J Candace Clifford

While we may have just sang the praises of six different fall escapes in our October issue, we also agree with Travel Lemming‘s assertion that another top travel destination lies in our very own backyard. The online travel guide recently posted its annual “50 Best Places to Travel” bucket list for 2023, and coming in at number forty-nine is the Ocean State’s “hidden gem” Block Island.

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The Outer Banks community celebrates a milestone at Bodie Island (NC) Lighthouse’s 150th anniversary event

A celebration of the Bodie Island Lighthouse’s 150th anniversary drew a huge crowd on Saturday, November 12, with an estimated 200 attendees heading to the Outer Banks landmark to mark the occasion.

Bodie Island NC, photo by Ralph Eshelman

Though the original event, (scheduled for October), was postponed due to inclement weather, the delay did not dwindle the enthusiasm, as evidenced by the number of lightkeeper descendants, state and local officials, U.S. Coast Guard representatives, and other stakeholders who were on site to join in the festivities.

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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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