Lighthouse News of the Week

News of the week March 10, 2023

Want to check out the Peninsula’s historic lighthouse grounds? Now you can visit Point Vicente, CA

The grounds around the Point Vicente Lighthouse, a guiding light on the Palos Verdes Peninsula since 1926, have reopened for monthly tours for the first time since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

Point Vicente, CA -Skip Sherwood

The United States Coast Guard, which manages the federally owned lighthouse, recently allowed the USCG Auxiliary to again offer tours of the grounds on the second Saturday of each month, though the tower itself remains off limits, said USCG spokesperson Richard Brahm.

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Historic Duluth (MN) lighthouse has a new owner and will soon offer tours

DULUTH — A historic 43-foot-tall lighthouse at the entrance to the Duluth Ship Canal has a new owner.

Rethos, a St. Paul-based historic preservation nonprofit, was awarded the Duluth Harbor North Pierhead Light by the National Park Service last month.

Duluth North Breakwater, MN -Mike & Carol McKinney

In 2021, the U.S. Coast Guard announced it no longer needed the lighthouse that was built in 1910 at the end of the north breakwater of Duluth’s shipping canal.

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Engineers looking at apparent storm damage to Fire Island (NY) Lighthouse

Engineers were assessing damage at the Fire Island Lighthouse on Monday that may have been caused by storms last week.  

The damage was discovered Saturday morning, said Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society executive director Tony Femminella. The iconic structure is structurally sound, but part of the northeast exterior’s shotcrete, or sprayed concrete, separated and slid down the tower after Friday night’s high winds and heavy rains, he said.  

Fire Island, NY – Robert Bachand

The lighthouse, which has been struck by lightning before, has never sustained such damage, the executive director said, and engineers were still looking at whether it was caused by the bad weather. 

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Great timing (and a bright idea) makes this photo of the West Point (WA) lighthouse shine

West Point, WA – USLHS archives

Photographer’s description: “I decided to go over to Discovery Park beach near the West Point Lighthouse as a storm was coming in. I was hoping that the sky would show off — and was not disappointed. When I saw that I would be able to frame up the lighthouse with the driftwood, it was an opportunity I could not pass up. Sony A7III, with Tamron 17-28 mm, f/2.8 lens.”

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Controversy brewing over operation of historic East Point, NJ, lighthouse

MAURICE RIVER TOWNSHIP – Nancy Patterson is an artist, a children’s book author and a woman on a mission to protect the East Point Lighthouse.

East Point, NJ – USLHS archives

She believes the state Department of Environmental Protection should be helping that mission, but on Friday, she said the department would be happier if she failed.

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Restoration work set to begin on McGulpin Point Lighthouse, MI

MACKINAW CITY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) — Two months of restoration work is scheduled to begin on Monday, March 13, at the McGulpin Point Lighthouse in Mackinaw City.

McGulpin Point, MI – Thomas A Tag

The lighthouse is operated and maintained by Emmet County Parks and Recreation, with guidance and support from the Emmet County Historical Commission and the Emmet County Parks and Recreation Board. 

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A labor of love: The chore of taking care of Charlevoix’s (MI) lighthouse

CHARLEVOIX — It’s not easy being in charge of a lighthouse.

Charlevoix South Pierhead, MI – Thomas A Tag

When Charlevoix’s iconic nautical mascot was returned to its original red in 2009, the Charlevoix Historical Society endured plenty of complaints about the color change, since it had been white since 1968 when it was painted by the Coast Guard for safety purposes. Little did most people know, but the current lighthouse was meant to be red. This was its color when it was built in 1948, after it replaced a wooden one that was constructed in 1885 and moved to the south pier in 1911. Both prior iterations were red from the start.

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An earthquake, a 130-foot wave and the destruction of Alaska’s Scotch Cap lighthouse

In spring 1946, five men stationed at the Scotch Cap lighthouse had reasons to be happy. World War II was over. They had survived. Their lonely Coast Guard assignment on Unimak Island would be over in a few months.

But the lighthouse tenders would never return to their homes in the Lower 48. In the early morning of April 1, the earth ruptured deep within the Aleutian Trench 90 miles south. An immense block of ocean floor rose, tipping saltwater across the North Pacific.

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Spurn Lightship: Floating lighthouse returns to Hull (England) Marina

An historical Hull ship which acted as a floating lighthouse has returned to the city’s marina after a 14-month restoration project. 

The Spurn Lightship, built in 1927, guided mariners in the Humber estuary for almost 50 years.

Following the recent works, the craft is due to reopen as a floating museum this summer.

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Helios Lighthouse – How did a lighthouse wind up in the middle of this landlocked German city? 

GLIDING INTO COLOGNE’S TRAIN STATION, you might be excited to see the city’s towering Gothic cathedral or the beautiful iron Hohenzollern Bridge. But seeing as Cologne is some 250 kilometers from the ocean, it might be surprising to see a lighthouse sticking up from the roofs of an urban neighborhood. The Helios lighthouse sits in the Ehrenfeld neighborhood northwest of the city center. The Rhine River, with its many freighters and cruise ships, does flow through Cologne, but that’s not why the lighthouse is here.

Helios – Joauth, wikimediacommons

The lighthouse and surrounding factory complex were owned by Helios AG, a German pioneer in the electrical business, founded in 1882. They manufactured electrical equipment for lighthouse beacons and other signaling technology and naturally needed a test model. The Helios lighthouse served this role well, and has never served as a navigation marker. It was built between 1894 and 1895, replacing a smaller version on the same site. The lighthouse itself measures 24 meters but uses a workhouse as a base, extending the total length by another 20 meters. It originally had a large inscription of the company name “Helios Elektricitäts Akt. Ges.”

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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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