Straitsmouth Island Lighthouse Ownership Transfer

Photo Source: © Debbie Dolphin

Straitsmouth Island Lighthouse, Lighthouse Cruise, Aug 13, 2006

On July 16, 2009, Ken Salazar, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, approved the National Park Service’s recommendation to transfer the ownership of Straitsmouth Island Lighthouse to the town of Rockport and Thacher Island Association, a nonprofit preservation association who currently preserves and maintains the Twin lighthouses on Thacher Island off the coast of Rockport, Massachusetts.

The 37-foot high brick Lighthouse actively guards the entrance to Rockport Harbor. The historic Lighthouse structure will be restored and preserved by the Thacher Island Association. If Thacher Island Association is unable to raise money for lighthouse maintenance then the ownership of the Lighthouse will be returned to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Photo Source: © Debbie Dolphin

Cape Ann (Twin) Lights in the background of Straitsmouth Island Lighthouse, Lighthouse Cruise, Aug 13, 2006

Since the Massachusetts Audubon Society owns and protects Straitsmouth Island as a seabird and wildlife sanctuary, access is restricted to the Thacher Island Town Committee.

With no boat docking to the 1.8-acre Lighthouse property, the public has no access to the Lighthouse and island. The North Tower of the Twin Lights on nearby Thacher Island is open to the public and Camping on Thacher Island is available from June through October by calling the keeper at (617) 599-2590 for reservations.

Straitsmouth Island Light and the Twin Lights are best viewed by boat or a Lighthouse Cruise.

*Lighthouse Background:
For historic, Lighthouse Cruises, and travel information about Straitsmouth Island Lighthouse and the Twin Lights, please click on the photos in this post.

*Map Location:

Related Past Posts:

Related News Source:
Rockport takes stewardship of historic lighthouse, July 17, 2009

In other New England Lighthouse news, America’s third oldest light station, Beavertail Lighthouse, is currently under restoration. For more information about the restoration of Beavertail Lighthouse, please visit these links:

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Posted by Debbie Dolphin on July 25, 2009

Lighthouse Keeper Job Resources

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Photo credit: Debbie Dolphin ©2008..
Graves Lighthouse, Boston Harbor

Since the beginning of 2009, many people have been searching for Lighthouse Keeper Jobs. Unfortunately, Lighthouse Keeper Jobs are scarce and many jobs are part-time seasonal jobs or volunteer vacation experiences. This post is a resource for locating the Lighthouse Keeper Jobs in New England and the United States that are currently known to exist.

Please note that Lighthouse Keeper Jobs may be subject to change by the organizations who offer the Lighthouse Caretaker programs(1). For more information about their programs, please visit their Contact links or contact them directly.

The Lighthouse Links contain information about the Lighthouse and the Lighthouse Keeper or Caretaker jobs.

blue_starNew England Lighthouses with Caretaker jobs:

01. Boston Harbor Lighthouse – Massachusetts
The official government Lighthouse Keeper job requires the most qualifications. Contact the U.S. Coast Guard Office, First District

02. Cape Ann Light Station on Thacher Island, Massachusetts
Summer job positions. Contact the Thacher Island Association

03. Scituate Lighthouse – Massachusetts
Full time position. Contact The Scituate Historical Society

News Update, March 22, 2009:

According to a recent Boston Globe report, Scituate Lighthouse has a new Lightkeeper. Bob Gallagher has accepted the position of maintaining the historic lighthouse property and keeping the Beacon lit at night.

Emily Sweeney of the Boston Globe has written three excellent articles about the old historic lighthouse. To watch a video and read her stories, please click the following links:

Old Scituate Light has a new lightkeeper, March 19, 2009
Lighthouse living: Benefits and drawbacks of lighthouse living
Old Scituate’s Light’s first 198 years

04. Seguin Island Lighthouse – Maine
Two volunteer Caretakers live and work on the island from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Caretaker Job Description

05. Rose Island Lighthouse – Rhode Island
Volunteer to be a Lighthouse Keeper during a working vacation. For more information, please visit the Volunteer Vacations web page.

blue_starUnited States Lighthouses with Caretaker jobs:

01. Wind Point Lighthouse – Wisconsin
Full-time Lighthouse Caretaker. Contact the Wind Point Village Board in Racine, Wisconsin

02. Port Isabel Lighthouse – Texas
Lighthouse Keeper/Museum Aid, Job Salary Information Post and Lighthouse Information Post
Contact The City of Port Isabel

03. New Dungeness Light Station – Washington
Volunteer Light-keepers pay a fee to work one week. Members can Contact the New Dungeness Light Station Association

04. Tawas Point Lighthouse – Michigan
Vacationing volunteers work as guest Light-keepers. Contact the Tawas Point Lighthouse Museum Store at (989) 362-5658 or the Tawas Point State Park at (989) 362-5041.

For more information on Lighthouse Keeper Programs, please visit the United States Lighthouse Society‘s Where Can I Be A Light Keeper? web page.

Footnotes:
(1) The latest news about the termination of the other two New England Lighthouse Caretaker jobs:

In late 2007, the Beavertail Lighthouse Caretaker license agreement with the U.S. Coast Guard was not renewed by the town of Jamestown. In 2008, the Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association was seeking permission to “hire” security volunteers to watch over the historic Lighthouse and buildings.

In 2003, the Caretaker of the island living in the Keeper’s quarters of Great Captain Island Lighthouse left the island when the structure became unsafe. The town of Greenwich was hoping to restore the interior of the lighthouse in 2008 and the exterior in 2009.

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Borden Flats Lighthouse Preservation

bordens.jpg Michael Gabriel, a legal eagle practicing law in Carson City, Nevada, is excited about restoring Borden Flats Lighthouse after his sales agreement is completed next month. He hopes to renovate the gutted offshore Lighthouse sometime next year after he receives the required permits from the Massachusetts Historic Preservation Office for his renovation plans.

Ironically, the Coast Guard gutted many Lighthouses when they became automated or deactivated. Currently, Lighthouse owners are required to maintain and preserve the property in compliance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Treatment of Historic Properties. Gabriel must also provide access to the U.S. Coast Guard and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to operate and maintain the active Aid to Navigation and the NOAA antennae equipment.

Gabriel purchased Borden Flats Lighthouse after winning the online auction with a bid of $55,000 last year. Borden Flats Lighthouse is the third offshore Lighthouse that Gabriel has purchased over the past three years. In 2007, Michael Gabriel bought Fourteen Foot Bank Lighthouse, located in the Delaware River 12 miles off Bowers Beach for $200,000. He is currently renovating Fourteen Foot Bank Lighthouse. Gabriel also purchased Bloody Point Bar Lighthouse, located in the Chesapeake Bay offshore from the southern end of Kent Island, Maryland., for $100,000 in 2006.

Despite the renovation costs and the inconvenience of providing federal access, the 50-foot high white conical cast iron Tower is located close to shore (1,500-feet offshore in the mouth of the Taunton River, Massachusetts), has a 360 degree waterfront view, and includes no property tax. Gabriel has plans for bedrooms on the second and third floors, a living room and dining room area, and a lift platform to allow guests or visitors to be lifted from their boat to the lighthouse.

In closing, Gabriel also bid $75,000 on the Leaning Lighthouse at Sharp’s Island the day after his high bid for Borden Flats Light on September 22, 2008. The online auction for Sharp’s Island Lighthouse, a unusual 37-foot high brown cast-iron Lighthouse which tilts about 15 degrees, closed on Sep 23, 2008 when someone posted the winning bid of $80,000.

*Lighthouse Background:

In 1881, Borden Flats Light was built to replace a stone Daymark that marked a dangerous shoal and reef known as Borden Flats in the mouth of the Taunton River to protect the increased shipping traffic to one of the textile capitals in the nation.

Borden Flats was named after the Borden family, a prominent Fall River family who founded the city with Col. Church in 1803. Fall River is renowned as the home town of Lizzie Borden, who was acquitted of the notorious ax murders of her father, Andrew and stepmother, Abby Borden on August 4, 1892. The Victorian Greek Revival home of Lizzie Borden is currently a Bed & Breakfast with a Museum.

Borden Flats Light was automated in 1963. The Fourth-order Fresnel Lens was replaced by a modern 250 mm plastic lens in 1977 and the Fog Bell was replaced by a modern electronic fog horn in 1983.

The Lighthouse, located near the Braga Bridge (I-195) over the Taunton River, is an active Coast Guard aid to navigation. A distant view of Borden Flats Light can be seen from Battleship Cove, the home port of Battleship Massachusetts and The Marine Museum at Fall River.

In September 2006, the Lighthouse became available for adoption by any local group able to preserve the Borden Flats Light according to the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000.

For more information about the Lighthouse, directions, and travel links, please click on the photo of this post.

*Map Location:
Google Map of Borden Flats Lighthouse.

Related Blog Post:
Borden Flats Lighthouse Online Auction

Related News Story:
Buyer has big plans for lighthouse

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Whaleback Ledge Lighthouse Thanksgiving

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Recently, Dirk Kempthorne, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, approved the National Park Service’s recommendation to transfer ownership of Whaleback Lighthouse to the American Lighthouse Foundation, the key New England volunteer organization responsible for saving and preserving twenty Lighthouse Treasures.

The 50-foot high granite Lighthouse actively guards the entrance to the Piscataqua River and marks the approach to Portsmouth Harbor. Both the Beacon and Fog Signal will be maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard. The historic Lighthouse structure will be restored and preserved by the teamwork of the American Lighthouse Foundation and their local chapter, the Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse.

We are thankful that another New England Treasure has been saved and this distinctive coastal icon will be preserved for everyone to visit someday in the near future.

*Lighthouse Background:
For historic, Lighthouse Cruises, and travel information about Whaleback Ledge Lighthouse, please click on the photo of this post.

*Map Location:
For Map Directions, please visit the Google Map of Whaleback Ledge Light

Related Past Posts:

Related News Source:
Whaleback Lighthouse Receives New Keepers, November 18, 2008

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Time Tunnel to Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse

blogponce Visiting Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse in 2003 was like a Time Tunnel trip to the Light Station in the 1890′s! Every building has been perfectly preserved to the era of sailing age when Coastal Castles were the primary guardians of safety for mariners seeking their home port!

Climbing the 194 spiral steps of this 175-foot high handsome red Lighthouse offers panoramic views of the spectacular scenic Florida coastline from Daytona Beach to Smyrna Dunes Park!

The Light Station includes the Ayres Davies Lens Exhibit Building which houses the restored original First-order Fresnel lens of Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse and the rotating First-order Fresnel lens of Cape Canaveral lighthouse.

This Historical Treasure of Florida, located 12 miles south of Daytona Beach, is open to the public year round. After visiting Daytona Beach and Dale Earnhardt, Sr., the spirit of the Daytona 500 at the Daytona International Speedway on your next vacation, drive into the history of this beautifully preserved Light Station to see your vacation from a new perspective!

blue_starMap Location:
For a Map Location and aerial view of the Lighthouse, please visit the Google Map of Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse
____________________________

Lighthouse Background:

Winslow Lewis constructed the first Mosquito Inlet Lighthouse which was completed in February, 1835 to mark the entrance of the inlet to the Mosquito River from the north and Indian River from the south. The First Light Keeper, Williams H. Williams had little work to do since the government failed to deliver the oil for his 11 Lewis Lamps!

After a storm in October 1835, the Keeper’s house was washed into the inlet and the Tower’s foundation was undercut. The Lighthouse could not be repaired due to the wars with the Seminole Indians and the Tower collapsed in April 1836.

On Feb 8, 1847, the Florida legislation requested a new Lighthouse which Congress never approved and a new Lighthouse was delayed again by the Civil War. After the Lighthouse Board noted the importance of a Lighthouse at the inlet to serve as both a coastal and a harbor light for four years (1870-1873), Congress did not approve the Board’s request. In 1882, the Lighthouse Board requested the Lighthouse again and Congress finally acted in 1882.

In 1883, construction of the present Lighthouse near the Mosquito Inlet was supervised by Orville E. Babcock, chief engineer of the sixth lighthouse district, using Light-House Board standard plans with modifications. Jared Smith became the Lighthouse construction supervisor after Orville Babcock drowned when his boat capsized while entering Mosquito Inlet on June 2, 1884.

On November 1, 1887, the Lighthouse was First Lit by Principal Keeper William Rowlinski exhibiting a Fixed White Light illuminated by a First-order Fresnel lens 159-feet above sea level visible for 20-miles out to sea.

After the Lighthouse was automated in 1953, the abandoned Light Station was unoccupied until one of the assistant Keeper’s House was used a Town Hall after the Town of Ponce Inlet was incorporated in 1963.

In 1970, the Coast Guard deactivated the Lighthouse after erecting a new skeletal tower Light at their Coast Guard Station on the south side of the Inlet. After vandals severely damaged the Light Station, the abandoned property was deeded to the Town of Ponce Inlet and Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association, Inc was established in 1972 to restore and manage the Light Station.

In restoring this Lighthouse Treasure, the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Society has done a remarkable job reversing the damage done by the vandalism and neglect. In 1982, the Beacon in the Lantern Room was restored to active service as a Private Aid to Navigation.

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