Lighthouse News of the Week

News of the week January 20, 2023

Coast Guard flies out to Great Lakes’ Gray’s Reef & White Shoals (MI) lighthouses to make repairs after storm

NORTHERN LAKE MICHIGAN – When your lights aren’t working and you are having technical difficulties, you punch in the number of your trusty tech guide or repair person. But when it happens to a pair of remote lighthouses in northern Lake Michigan in the middle of winter, you call in the U.S. Coast Guard.

A helicopter crew from the Coast Guard’s Air Station Traverse City recently worked with an Aids to Navigation Team from Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste Marie to get things working again at two lighthouses in Northern Michigan: the Grays Reef Light and the White Shoal Light.

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Tawas Point (MI) Lighthouse remains closed in 2023 for tower restoration, repairs

EAST TAWAS, MICH. — Repair and restoration work beginning this spring at the historic Tawas Point Lighthouse will pause some of the lighthouse’s public programming through 2023.

Tawas Point – Chad Kaiser

The nearly 150-year-old lighthouse, an iconic sight at Tawas Point State Park, is receiving about $500,000 in federal and state funding for the repairs, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

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Fort Gratiot (MI) Lighthouse shining bright with latest renovations

Another piece of history has been restored in the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse.

The St. Clair County Parks and Recreation Commission has completed its project with the Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program that restored the lantern and watch rooms in the lighthouse.

Fort Gratiot -Dave Zapatka

The goal of the project was to bring the lighthouse, built in 1829, back to a historical appearance from the 1930’s. All non-historical materials were removed from the lantern and watch rooms, including plywood and plexiglass that was used to protect the room before repairs. Now the LED light is visible to visitors from inside the lighthouse.

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VIDEO: Humpback whales seen breaching in front of Cape Lookout (NC) Lighthouse

CARTERET COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) — Incredible video from off the North Carolina coast shows some boaters getting up close and personal with one of the largest animals on the planet.

Cape Lookout – Ralph Eshelman

Jan Tugwell recorded the video. She said it happened on January 11 in the water just in front of Cape Lookout Lighthouse in Carteret County.

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Sanibel parking permits available starting Thursday, Sanibel Island (FL) Lighthouse electric work completed

In other Sanibel news, the electric work on the Sanibel Lighthouse is complete. The update on the work was provided during a Sanibel city council meeting on Tuesday. The plans are to hold a ceremony to relight the tower.

Sanibel Island – James Hill

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Montauk (NY) Lighthouse Revetment Is Nearly Finished

The new 874-foot stone revetment at Montauk Point will be completed six months ahead of schedule but with many more boulders than originally budgeted for.

Montauk Point – Robert Bachand

The placement of stones for the revetment was “substantially completed at the end of December,” James D’Ambrosio, an Army Corps of Engineers public affairs specialist, said via email this week.

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Big dreams in a Navy danger zone: Why a painter decided to buy an aging Hooper Island (MD) lighthouse

To call it a fixer-upper would be generous. There’s no running water, no heat, no electricity.

Hooper Island – Ralph Eshelman

Once one gets past the romance of buying a historic Chesapeake Bay lighthouse, there’s lead paint, asbestos and toxic benzene. Vandals broke down the door and seabirds died inside. Crap is everywhere. Oh, it sits in about 18-feet of water within a U.S. Navy testing site called a “danger zone.”

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A Window on the Past – Life in a lighthouse

How many of us can say, “My father was born in a lighthouse?”

Portland Breakwater “Bug Light” – Jeremy D’Entremont

Longtime historical society volunteer, Judith Kelley, told me just that one recent afternoon as we sat chatting at the Cushing’s Point Museum. It happened to be Judy’s last day of volunteering as a docent after 11 years. I thought it would be fun to sit and chat with her for a bit. I’m sure glad I did!

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York in American History: The men who built the Nubble and Boon Island (ME) Lighthouses

Notes: In this essay, James Kences enriches our understanding of the men who designed the two well-known lighthouses off the coast of York, the Nubble and Boon Island Lighthouses. 

“Please detail a brigade at once to go to New Bridge to support Capt. Duane in throwing across his pontoon bridges…” 

The officer who received these instructions on May 31, 1862, was William Buel Franklin, who only seven years earlier 1853-1854, as an administrator of the First Lighthouse District, designed the Boon Island Lighthouse. Capt. Duane, who was mentioned, was James Chatham Duane, destined 17 years later in 1879, to design the Cape Neddick Lighthouse, familiarly known as Nubble Light.

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‘It’s older than the Eiffel Tower’: Historic King Island lighthouse (AU) to be reopened to the public

It will be a race to the finish line for King Island to get its historic lighthouse restored before wild winter weather hits in April. 

Currie – Bruce’s 60th wikimediacommons

The Currie Lighthouse is currently undergoing repairs before it can be opened as the island’s latest tourist attraction. 

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Ireland’s Blue Book lighthouse, Clare Island, with sweeping views of the Atlantic, for sale for €4.8m

Dramatically perched on an elevated precipice on the largest island in Clew Bay is Clare Island Lighthouse.

If you were to draw a line from the building set on the craggy cliffs across the Atlantic, you’d end up in Boston. But its remote location is causing a bit of a stir due to the hype created by Martin McDonagh’s Golden Globe-winning film The Banshees of Inisherin.

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Canada is hiring a lighthouse keeper in BC and it pays pretty well

If you’ve ever dreamed of being a lighthouse keeper, the Government of Canada is hiring for just the job for qualified BC and Canadian residents.

Cape Beal – USLHS archives

The job in question is assistant lightkeeper, and it is offered through Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard.

Requirements to apply to be a lighthouse keeper in BC are pretty standard, aside from needing a valid Restricted Operators certificate or higher. Applicants would also need experience in operating some mechanical and electrical equipment like generators and power tools.

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