Monthly Archives: August 2007
From June 17 to Aug 17, 2007, the federal government announced the Whaleback Ledge Light was available to eligible non-profit organizations expressing interest in owning the Lighthouse. Several news stories and blog posts reported the sensational headline campaign of PETAs War on Fish after PETA submitted a letter of interest to acquire the historic granite Lighthouse marking the entrance to Portsmouth Harbor.
Yet, the equally astonishing news of the missing local support from the coastal communities of Portsmouth, NH and Kittery, ME to save their symbol of Portsmouth Harbor has not been reported.
Ironically, both Maine and New Hampshire disputed whether the historic Tower was a Maine Lighthouse or New Hampshire Lighthouse for years until the Supreme Court decision established the Lighthouse was built on a ledge located on the Maine side of the Piscataqua River channel near Kittery Point, Maine in 1976.
The lack of local support is surprising in a time when New England communities are saving their Lighthouses. Perhaps, both sea towns were hoping the American Lighthouse Foundation (ALF), who has a license to preserve the historical landmark, would apply for ownership.
And, according to the news story published last week by Seacoast online, the ALF is one of five non-profit agencies interested in ownership yet, Tim Harrison, president of the American Lighthouse Foundation, has said “his organization would like to become its new steward, they simply don’t have the money to maintain such a structure, partly because of its island location.” Unfortunately, the story does not explain why the American Lighthouse Foundation submitted their letter of interest after they determined their organization does not have the financial resources to maintain the stone Beacon because of the remote offshore location last year.
Furthermore, Kittery’s town manager, Jon Carter stated Whaleback is a “historic icon to the Portsmouth/ Kittery port entrance, but he is not sure his town wants to take charge and become its owner or co-owner.” Kittery may be the first New England community to leave the fate of their quintessential Lighthouse to a outside organization!
Seacoast online lists the following “eligible” non-profit organizations as:
1. the American Lighthouse Foundation of Rockland, Maine,
2. the American Light Foundation of Bedminster, New Jersey,
3. Beacon Preservation Inc. of Ansonia, Connecticut,
4. Lifewise Community Projects of Hampton, New Hampshire,
5. PETA of Norfolk, Va.
And, I doubt the local residents will appreciate a PETA War on Seafood Lighthouse cafe on their waterfront!
For more information about Whaleback Ledge Lighthouse, please click on the photo of this post.
For Map Directions, please visit the Google Map of Whaleback Light
Related News Story:
Local group to join PETA lighthouse bid
Please note: Timothy Harrison has added a comment explaining why the American Lighthouse Foundation submitted their letter of interest as the only opportunity in the process to find resources or partners who will “work together to restore and maintain the structure.” For everyone who appreciates the picturesque scenic coast, I hope Tim is successful! The quaint seacoast villages of Kittery would not be the same without their popular rugged stone Lighthouse!
Local Boy Scouts from Troop 23 in South Portland, Maine have been helping with the ongoing restoration of Little River Lighthouse for the past two years. A innovative idea to learn camping survival skills and community service on a remote island where the boys are helping to repair the historic Lighthouse.
On this 5-day trip, the boys donated a new stove, repaired the hot water heater, and the bathroom of the Lighthouse Keeper’s home. The troop also marked the rediscovered graves of shipwrecked sailors buried on the island in the late 1800’s and voted favorably to camp at the island Lighthouse every year.
Due to the efforts of two troops from southern Maine rebuilding the walls of the collapsed cistern last year, Hal Biering, a volunteer from Alabama, constructed a custom-made liner over the winter which he installed into the cistern this summer for collecting rain water from the roof. For the first time in over thirty years, the Lighthouse on the small island in the harbor of Cutler, Maine has clean water.
The present 41-feet high cast-iron Lighthouse was built in 1876 to replace the first Little River Lighthouse constructed in 1847 to guide the fishing fleet into Cutler Harbor. In 1980, the Fifth-order Fresnel lens was removed and the Lighthouse was replaced by an automated light located on a skeleton tower.
After 21 years of darkness, Little River Lighthouse was re-lighted on Oct 2, 2001 as an Active Aid to Navigation once again guiding the active fishing fleet home. On July 27, 2002, ownership of the Lighthouse was transferred to the American Lighthouse Foundation for restoration and preservation. Currently, the Lighthouse exhibits a Flashing White Light every 6 seconds 56-feet above sea level to a visible range of 13 nautical miles.
Little River Lighthouse is best viewed by boat. Bold Coast Charters provides coastal sightseeing and Machias Seal Island Puffin cruises that pass by the Lighthouse.
Google Map of Little River Lighthouse
Related News Sources:
Little River Lighthouse Gets Clean Water For First Time In Decades, Aug 28, 2007
Scout Troop 23 Returns To Little River Lighthouse, Aug 28, 2007
During the summer after the sun sets and a full moon rises, romantic moon lovers can climb 257 steps to the top of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse to gaze at the moonlight.
Due to safety concerns within the dark Tower and space limitations in the Lantern Room, only 30 moon lovers will experience the Blinking Beam of light sweeping out to sea and the radiant reflection of the newly risen full moon on the ocean.
The National Park Service has scheduled two Full Moon tours at 7:30 and 8:30 pm for this evening. The next Full Moon Lighthouse Tour may be September 26, 2007 if scheduled. Tickets go on sale two days before the event and checking the News Releases of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore is recommended when visiting the Outer Banks!
Cape Hatteras Light was built to mark the hazardous Diamond Shoals, the “Graveyard of the Atlantic” and guide mariners away from the treacherous low-lying Outer Banks. Due to coastal and storm erosion, the endangered “Barber Pole” Tower was moved 2,900-feet inland placing the Lighthouse 1,600-feet from the shoreline at the colossal cost of $9.8 million in 1999.
Four years later, Hurricane Isabel cut a new 2,000-feet long inlet about 9-miles Southwest of Cape Hatteras Light severing the towns of Hatteras and Frisco for two months. The Category 2 hurricane also carved away 770-feet of land protecting the Lighthouse when the storm swept ashore on September 18, 2003.
Currently, Cape Hatteras Lighthouse exhibits a Flashing White Light every 7.5 seconds illuminated by a DCB-24 Aerobeacon 191-feet above sea level to a visible range of 24 nautical miles. For more information about America’s tallest Lighthouse, please click on the photo of this post.
Interesting side note: The Lighthouse Keeper climbed 268 steps to light his lamp whereas visitors need to climb 257 steps to the balcony of the Lantern Room to see the moonlight!
For Map Directions, please visit the Google Map of Cape Hatteras Light
Go west young men, there’s gold in ‘them’ Lighthouses!
The California State Parks Foundation needs $5 million to renovate Pigeon Point Lighthouse.
Perhaps, the Lighthouse will be restored using golden bricks.
On a serious note, the historic icon of the West Coast is endangered by a lack of funds and the San Mateo Journal reports the State Parks has slowly raised only $500,000. In addition, budget cuts will delay the engineering study to determine the necessary level of restoration for another year. In the meantime, the second-tallest Californian Lighthouse will be exposed to winter storms which may cause additional damage.
As noted in a previous post, Pigeon Point Lighthouse has been closed to the public for the past six years due to major structural damage.
For Map Directions, please visit Pigeon Point Lighthouse
Scheduled upcoming events:
September 8: Outdoor Festival celebrating the 25-year anniversary of the Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel. The Hostel provides economical private and shared accommodations in the restored lighthouse keeper’s homes.
November 17: The annual re-lighting ceremony of the First-order Fresnel lens from 6 to 8 pm.
Pigeon Point Lighthouse
Related News Story:
Pigeon Point fundraising slow moving