Digest>Archives> December 2010

Keepers Korner

By Timothy Harrison

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New York Group Honors Volunteer

The Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse Historical Society has honored Tom Clayton as its 2010 Volunteer of the Year. He is part of the 150 member group that cares for the famous Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse in Rochester, New York. Congratulations, Tom. It’s people like you who are helping to make a difference at lighthouses everywhere. (Photo by Fran Davanzo.)

Chatham Light Goes Dark

Cape Cod Massachusetts’ Chatham Lighthouse recently went dark after a malfunction in the lighting mechanism. The light remained out until a repair crew could be dispatched to the scene to fix the problem. Apparently we have not made any progress throughout the years. In the old days the keeper would have figured out a way to keep the light burning. (Photo by Steve Wright.)

Funds for Whitefish Point

The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society has announced that they have received a second Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Grant toward the restoration of Whitefish Point Lighthouse near Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. However, they must raise $65,000 in private funding through donations to qualify for the grant. Their address is 400 W. Portage Av. Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783. You can also visit their web-site at www.shipwreckmuseum.com. (Photo by Alan Culley.)

More Lighthouses Needed for Philippines

Admiral Wilfredo Tamayo of the Philippine Coast Guard has told that nation’s Congress that the Philippines needs 5,000 more lighthouses along its 22,548 miles of coastline. He stated that at the present time the country has 563 lighthouses and many of them are not functioning and many are actually endangered. The Admiral said that even with high tech aids to navigation, lighthouses continue to be relevant, especially with the nation’s many poor fisherman who simply cannot afford modern navigation equipment. He also said that existing lighthouses must be upgraded and preserved as tourist attractions, which could help offset the cost of maintaining them. (Photo by Enrico Jose.)

Michigan Travel Guide Issued

The Historical Society of Michigan has released its fully revised 5th edition of its popular "Historic Michigan Travel Guide." The book is available for $6.96 plus shipping from www.hsmichigan.org or by calling toll free to 800-692-1828.

Fairport Harbor Sale Flops - Again

Ohio’s Fairport Harbor Lighthouse was recently sold by the GSA at auction for $85,200 to Scott Monroe of Seabrook, Texas. However, the buyer, citing financial problems, backed out of the deal forfeiting his $12,000 deposit. The lighthouse had previously been sold to an Ohio businessman who defaulted on the purchase after a dispute over the breakwater. The real shame here is that the local community did not care enough about their own history to take the lighthouse for free for the good of the general public. The lighthouse could have been leased to a nonprofit that could have restored the lighthouse without any use of taxpayer money. Now it will go up for auction - again.

It Doesn’t Make Sense

Canada just spent nearly $2 million to restore the Petite Ile au Marteau Lighthouse and the grounds around the station including improvments to the visitor’s center. While this work and expenditure is commendable and most of it was probably needed, we have to wonder why some of that money was not diverted to other Canadian lighthouses that are in desperate need of funds, especially those with small communities that depend on their lighthouse for tourism dollars. Remember, in an effort to cut expenses, Canada recently declared nearly 1,000 lighthouses as excess property. (Photo courtesy Canadian Coast Guard.)

North Point Lighthouse Info Sought

Noted lighthouse authors Ken and Barb Wardius are searching for photographs and memories of Lighthouse Service and Coast Guard personnel who were once stationed at Wisconsin’s North Point Lighthouse in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for a book about the lighthouse that is being done with the support of the Friends of North Point Lighthouse. If you have anything to share or know of anyone that does please contact Ken or Barb at bkw@crestwoodcreek.com or call them at 414-228-8947. Remember, once the book is published, it’s too late to add photos to the book.

Wind Point Up Graded

As we wrote about in the August 2010 issue, officials wanted Wisconsin’s Wind Point Lighthouse to have a more powerful beacon. The Coast Guard acknowledged the requests and the lighthouse now shines a much brighter light, which can now be seen 13 miles out. (Photo by Alan Culley.)

Crossed the Bar

Garrett Elliott "Connie" Conover, Jr., who, along with his wide Dianne "Deedee," served as the caretaker of the Curtis Island Lighthouse in Maine since 1980, has passed away at the age of 81. Our condolences go out to his family and friends.

World’s Highest Lighthouse Dedicated

Switzerland has dedicated a new lighthouse high in the Oberalp Pass, an amazing 6,712 feet above sea level. The lighthouse, a replica of the Hook of Holland Lighthouse in the Netherlands was built to help promote tourism to the area.

Toledo Harbor Lighthouse Wins

Ohio’s Toledo Harbor Lighthouse has been voted to be the featured lighthouse of the 2011 Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival to be held in Alpena, Michigan in October of 2011. Congratulations to the folks of the Toledo Harbor Lighthouse Preservation Society in being voted by the lighthouse community for this recognition. (Photo by Morgan V. Curry.)

This story appeared in the December 2010 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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