Digest>Archives> July 2003

Long Island 4th Graders Learn Big from East End Lighthouses

By Timothy Harrison


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Shown here from left to right are: Jacob Schott, ...

It all started as a result of a recent Power Point presentation to 4th graders at Long Island’s Greenport School. That presentation by Merle Wiggin, founder of East End Lighthouses, led to the sponsorship of a lighthouse essay art contest that was fully sanctioned by school officials.

Each student wrote up a history of the lighthouses and along with their drawings turned in some pretty impressive work, making the decision to pick the winners quite difficult.

Although the winners definitely studied their lighthouse history, as was evident by their completed essays, there was also some family history and humor associated with them as was shown in the report of Alexander Conway, one of the winners, who wrote, “ I chose Horton Point (Lighthouse) because my great grandpa was one of the keepers there. He also lived there with my great grandmother. I chose the lighthouse because it is nice and my dad got his wedding pictures taken from his wedding taken by a beautiful part of the sound.”

Another winner, Jacob Schott wrote, “ I picked Little Gull Lighthouse because it is a terrific place to visit and the structure looks cool . . . Little Gull is awesome.” He then went on to explain in great detail the history and architecture of the lighthouse.

Kelly Bracken, who won an honorable mention, started her presentation off by complimenting Merle Wiggin on his efforts to save the lighthouses, then explained that she picked her lighthouse to study because it was hard to draw and kept her busy.

North Dumpling Light was subject of another honorable mention essay, which was done by Terencia Johnson. She wrote that she picked it because she had never been in a boat in that area before and she’d love to visit it some day.

Merle Wiggin, who is also an accredited Coast Guard Auxiliary Keeper at Boston Light, said, “Although all the kids had very different reasons for picking which lighthouse they wrote about, the main thing is that they got interested in lighthouses and why we need to save them. Hopefully this will continue forward as they get older.”

This story appeared in the July 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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