Digest>Archives> November 2003

Lighthouse built from willow tree

By Timothy Harrison


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Louis Ulrich, of Checkerville, Pa, next to the ...

Five years ago Loretta Palmer & John Long bought a summer home on Seneca Lake in Pa. They called it a “labor camp”, because instead of being a getaway place to relax, all they did is work there. As the place changed over the years, one thing didn’t, and that was the big old ugly willow tree, which over the years became more and more unstable as it rotten and became hollow inside.

That’s when a friend Louis Ulrich said, “Cut that willow tree down and I’ll build you a lighthouse.” So, Loretta and John cut down the tree, not really knowing what to expect from their friend.

For the next three months, Louis, a man in his 70’s who has worked with wood all his life, went to work in his garage making what was soon to develop into a 14 foot tall lighthouse that was erected near the water’s edge.

The lighthouse became an attraction practically form the day it was first up. The dinner cruise oat toots its horn as it passes and boaters are stopping to take photos. But they needed a name for the lighthouse, after all, every lighthouse has a name. The most appropriate name they could come with was one to honor that old willow tree that had stood there for so many years . . Willow Point Lighthouse.

The Palmers are quite satisfied, saying the lighthouse is missing one thing . . . a foghorn. Now, if they could only find one . . . . .

This story appeared in the November 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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