Before the War at Nubble Light
This photo was taken in May of 1941 just prior to the outbreak of World War II in the parking lot across from the channel showing the island where Cape Neddick Lighthouse in York, Maine is located. After the outbreak of the war, a military lookout tower was built on the island to watch for enemy submarines. The lighthouse is more commonly known as Nubble Lighthouse and today it is a popular tourist destination - and one of the most photographed lighthouses in the United States.
One of Buffalo’s Lost Lights
Although Buffalo, New York is famous for its lighthouses, it also had some other lighthouses that are long gone and have been forgotten by most. One such lighthouse is the Black Rock Lighthouses that was built in 1853 at the entrance to the Niagara River. The rubblestone tower with its 5th order Fresnel lens that sat on a pier was supposed to be a temporary beacon and to be used only until the Horseshoe Reef Lighthouse was completed in 1856. However, it was still in use as late as 1870 when Miss Mary E. Lee served as its keeper from October of 1869 to September of 1870. It is unclear when the tower was demolished, but its memory has now been saved through the pages of Lighthouse Digest.
Unusual Backyard Beacon
This unusual, but very sturdy, backyard faux lighthouse was in the backyard of the home of Mr. and Mrs. Glen Durbin of Bement, Illinois. This United Press photo, the original now in the archives of Lighthouse Digest, and published in newspapers nationwide on July 24, 1954, shows their son Ronald Durbin pointing to the top of the 16-foot tall structure which served a four-fold purpose. Besides guiding friends for outdoor steak and fries, with four bulbs that would shine out in every direction, the light illuminated a picnic area and served as birdhouse for wrens. In a recent interview with Ronald Durbin, he said that his father built the lighthouse from aluminum that sat on top of a hollow concrete base that opened up for storage for bonfire wood. He built it mainly as a conversation piece. Glen Durbin was a manager of the local Bement grain company and later wrote a local book about it and one time, he was the community’s Man of the Year. Little could he have imagined that 64 years later the story of his backyard lighthouse would appear in an international magazine such as Lighthouse Digest.
The Natural Gas Lighthouse
The 1829 Barcelona Lighthouse in Barcelona, New York was the first lighthouse in the United States to use natural gas. Discontinued in 1859, it was sold and remained in private ownership until 2008 when it was acquired by the State of New York. The keeper’s house is now open in the summer months as the Westfield Visitors Center, and the grounds are open to the public year ‘round. Plans call for the tower to be eventually opened to the public.
At Cove Point Light
This photo was taken in 1958 in the water just off Maryland’s Cove Point Lighthouse. We don’t know who the man in the boat is, but perhaps someone out there knows who he is. If so, we’d love to hear from you.
Music at the Lighthouse
The Atlantic Brass Quintet, a group founded in 1985 and still performing today, is shown here at Maine’s Nubble Lighthouse in this 1989 promotional photo taken by Ralph Montgomery. According to Wikipedia the group’s touring repertoire is known for its diverse stylistic influences, including baroque and classical/romantic transcriptions, jazz arrangements and traditional Balkin brass music. The official name of Nubble Lighthouse, located in York, Maine is the Cape Neddick Light Station.
The Wisconsin Point Lighthouse in Superior, Wisconsin was near completion and close to being ready to be lighted for the first time when this 1913 photo was taken. Also known as the Superior Harbor Entry Light, it is located at the entrance to the Port of Superior on Lake Superior.
Laundry Day at West Quoddy
For more most of its existence, West Quoddy Head Lighthouse, in Lubec, Maine was a family light station when hanging the laundry out to dry on a clothes line was a common occurrence. But you won’t see laundry on the line, as is shown in this undated photo, when you visit the lighthouse now; instead, you’ll find a visitor’s center and museum operated by the West Quoddy Head Light Keepers Association.
“Dog” the Dog
1st assistant keeper Charlie Eaton III (r) at Maine’s Boon Island Lighthouse with the lighthouse dog appropriately named “Dog.” The man on the right is identified only as Jim. Charlie Eaton III was stationed with the Coast Guard at Boon Island Lighthouse from 1962 to 1965.
Famous Newsman Visits West Quoddy
David Brinkley, one of the most famous newsmen of his time, is shown here on May 27, 1976 climbing the circular stairway inside Maine’s West Quoddy Head Lighthouse, the easternmost lighthouse on the mainland of the Atlantic coast of the United States. At the time of Brinkley’s visit, Clifton Scofield was the Coast Guard Officer in Charge (OIC) (head keeper) at West Quoddy Head Lighthouse, where he was stationed from 1975 to 1978. The older generation will remember the Huntley-Brinkley Report that aired on television from 1956 to 1970 when it became the NBC Evening News. Chet Huntley anchored the news desk in New York City and David Brinkley anchored the news desk in Washington, D.C. Each broadcast ended with the catchphrase as David said, “Good night Chet,” and Chet would reply with “Good night David.”Brinkley visited West Quoddy Head Lighthouse has part of his Bicentennial trilogy, “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Brinkley discovered that “happy people may not be happy about everything, or the same things . . . and definitions of happiness vary,” He concluded by reporting that the consensus is that we are a happy people.
This story appeared in the
Jul/Aug 2018 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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