Digest>Archives> June 2003

Keeper’s Korner

Tid-bits from the Tower

By Timothy Harrison


New Buffalo to be Rebuilt

It seems that public officials in New Buffalo New York, who apparently are loaded with money, want to rebuild the 1839 lighthouse that toppled from erosion in 1859. The old lighthouse once stood where Lighthouse Creek empties into Lake Michigan about a half-mile west of the New Buffalo Marina. Estimated cost, including the lakefront land they will have to build the lighthouse on, would be $3 to $5 million. I have a better idea, divide that money up and use it to save some of the lighthouses that are still standing and are in imminent danger of being lost forever.

Tender Personnel Photos

One of the greatest absences of lighthouse history is photographs of crewmembers of the lighthouse tenders under the U.S. Lighthouse Service. There must be hundreds of descendants that have photographs available that could be sent to us and published in an effort to save this lost part of lighthouse history. Or, if you are just a lighthouse person who’d like to be a detective, start searching and help us save lighthouse history with one central depository here at Lighthouse Digest. We’ll give you a name to start with, Capt. George Bartlett, commander of the lighthouse tender Lotus.

Erie Land Light to be Restored

Pennsylvania’s Erie Land Light will soon be restored. The Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority is seeking bids from contractors to restore the historic lighthouse.

Split Rock Film Now Available

A new fast-paced 25-minute film is now available that tells the story of the Minnesota’s Split Rock Lighthouse. The film is suitable for viewers of all ages and should be in every lighthouse buff’s home library. It is available in VHS for $24.95 or in DVD for $29.95 from Southport Video, 4609 74th Place, Kenosha. WI 53142 or by calling toll free at 1-800-642-9860 or by visiting their web site at www.edmundfitzgerald.com. Be sure to add $7.95 for shipping. Tell them you read about it in Lighthouse Digest.

Plum Beach to Shine Again

One of the worst looking lighthouses in all of New England will soon be restored to its former beauty. Proving once again what volunteers can do, the restoration is the result of a 14-year effort by the Friends of Plum Beach Lighthouse. The group overcame ownership questions, long legal battles and fund raising efforts to save the lighthouse. This phase of the restoration will cover mainly the exterior of the lighthouse only. This group is owed a big thank you for their amazing efforts.

Hillsboro Celebrations

Florida’s Hillsboro Lighthouse is having all kinds of events this summer, including a First Day of Issue Ceremony at on June 13, a Barefoot Mailman Celebration in conjunction with the Postal Birthday Party. For more info check their web site at www.HillsboroLighthouse.otrg or email info@HillsboroLighthouse.org

Oak Island to reopen

Ground has been broken to begin rebuilding the North Carolina’s new Oak Island Coast Guard Station that was destroyed by fire in February of last year. The station was destroyed within 90 minutes in the fast moving fire. The lighthouse by the station was undamaged.

Army Corp to help save New Point Comfort

The Army Corp of Engineers is doing a feasibility study to see what can be done to save Virginia’s New Point Comfort Lighthouse. The lighthouse once stood on a 250 acres island. The lighthouse is now surrounded by water after an early 1990’s hurricane washed most of the island away. Granite boulders now surround the lighthouse in an attempt to keep the water away and last year the Virginia General Assembly budgeted $56,000 to develop a master plan to save the lighthouse. A group called the New Point Lighthouse Preservation Task Force is assisting with the plans to save the lighthouse, which is still structurally sound, although it has suffered damage from vandalism and the elements.

Eyes and Ears

Lighthouse Digest is what is called in the magazine business, a “niche publication.” We cannot be compared to Good Housekeeping, Time, Newsweek or TV Guide. Our circulation is peanuts compared to them. We operate with a small staff of four people and on a very low budget. One of the ways that we can continue to be successful is through the help of our readers and subscribers. We don’t have reporters at every lighthouse or in every big city, so we need your help to keep us posted of lighthouse news and events. If you belong to a lighthouse group, preservation group, historical society, send us your lighthouse news and we’ll get it published. If you see a news story in a local newspaper, cut it out and mail it to us or email us the information and we’ll make sure the rest of the world knows about it. We need the thousands of subscribers that we have scattered in all 50 states and 17 nations to help us out. Please keep us posted at Editor, Lighthouse Digest, P.O. Box 250, East Machias, ME 04630. Call us at 207-259-2121 or email the editor, that’s me at Timh@lhdigest.com.

This story appeared in the June 2003 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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