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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

Borden Flats Lighthouse Online Auction

bordens.jpgOn July 7th, the federal real estate agents aka the General Services Administration (GSA) opened a online auction for Lighthouse Dreamers with deep pockets able to bid on Borden Flats Lighthouse, 50-foot high white conical cast iron Tower located in the mouth of the Taunton River, Massachusetts.

Any Lighthouse Dreamer can place a $10,000 opening online bid at the GSA auction of Borden Flats Lighthouse web site. The Notice of Online Auction for Borden Flats Lighthouse outlines the terms of sale, bid instructions, and a Bid Registration Form. Bidders must allow access to the Coast Guard to maintain their Light and Fog Signal and to the National Oceanic and Atmosperic Administration (NOAA) for monitoring and maintaining their antennae.

For legal occupancy of the submerged land beneath the Lighthouse, the winning Bidder needs to obtain a Chapter 91 license from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. The Lighthouse must be restored and maintained in accordance to federal and state regulations

*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.

*Map Location:
Google Map of Borden Flats Lighthouse.

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Penfield Reef Lighthouse Sand Sculpture

Photo credit: Ned Gerard
Sean Fitzpatrick, Fairfield Beach Sand Sculpting Festival, June 26-29, 2008.

To celebrate summer fun and nourish Fairfield Beach, Sean Fitzpatrick of Fitzy Snowman Sculpting in Massachusetts sculpted a 9-foot high sand replica of Penfield Reef Lighthouse using 9 tons of pure masonry sand.

Sean completed the sand sculpture of Penfield Reef Lighthouse in 23 hours and he claims the rain “really won’t bother it. The sand is porous and will absorb a lot of moisture.” Sean stated, “Also, I built rooflines and slopes into it, so a lot of the water will run off.” Eventually, the sands of time will slowly wash his Lighthouse Sand Castle into the beach.

The Fairfield Beach Residents Association hired Sean Fitzpatrick to recreate the Lighthouse for their Fairfield Beach Sand Sculpting Festival this past weekend. Proceeds from the event will improve the beauty, ecology, and quality of Penfield Beach.

*Lighthouse Background:

blogpenfield.jpgPenfield Reef Lighthouse is a two-story granite house with a 35-feet high Light tower extending above the roof built at the end of a submerged ledge in Long Island Sound located 1.1 miles offshore from Fairfield Beach, Connecticut.

After last summer’s PETA Principle of serving fake fish in their proposed Lighthouse Fish Empathy Cafe, the town of Fairfield submitted their application for lighthouse ownership in January, 2008. If the National Parks Service accepts the town’s proposal than the town will spend a estimated $352,000 to restore their Lighthouse Treasure.

The town will seek state and federal grants of $435,000 to cover the cost of restoration, maintenance, and insurance. The lighthouse was built in 1874 to mark a dangerous peninsula, now a submerged peninsula, in Long Island Sound. Due to the dangerous location, the town seeks to prevent public access.

The automated beacon is an Active Coast Guard Aid to Navigation exhibiting a Flashing Red Light every 6-seconds illuminated by a solar powered VRB-25 optic 51-feet above sea level to a visible range of 15 nautical miles.

For more information about the Lighthouse and ghostly folklore, please visit these past posts:
PETA Fishing for a Lighthouse, July 27, 2007
Haunted Lighthouse for a dollar?, July 10, 2007

*Map Location:
Google Map of Penfield Reef Lighthouse

Related News Source:
Sculptor creates lighthouse replica in sand and the Connecticut Post has a video of the Lighthouse Sand Sculpture

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Old Saybrook’s Outer Lighthouse Available for Preservation

blogoldsay.jpg After a year of controversy and discussion, the General Services Administration (GSA) officially excessed the Outer Lighthouse at the end of Old Saybrook Breakwater on June 27, 2008. Connecticut’s iconic Beacon, displayed on the popular “Save the Sound” license plate, is now available to eligible organizations able to comply with the guidelines of the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000.

Brad McCracken, the CEO and co-founder of Oak View Preservation Incorporated (OVPI), has filed a letter of interest in acquiring the Outer Light. In 2007, Oak View Preservation Incorporated was established to raise funds to purchase, preserve, and open a public museum called Oak View mansion, a 21-room historic home located in Norwood, Massachusetts.

Brad hopes his organization will be awarded ownership as caretaker and guardian of the light and he plans to create a Blog for Old Saybrook’s Outer Lighthouse during the application process with the federal real estate agents (GSA).

Since 2007, the town of Old Saybrook has expressed numerous concerns about the Lighthouse ownership as noted in the previous posts,

Saybrook Breakwater Lighthouse is On Hold, June 4th, 2008
Old Saybrook Lighthouse Politics of Preservation, January 25th, 2008
Old Saybrook Lighthouse Quagmire?, September 20th, 2007
Old Saybrook Lighthouse Privacy, August 24th, 2007
Saybrook Breakwater Light Privacy Problems, July 18th, 2007

Hopefully, a historical Preservation organization will be able to overcome the local concerns and raise the funds to preserve and maintain the quintessential symbol of Connecticut.

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Arte y Pico Award Ceremony at Faulkner’s Island Lighthouse

artey.jpg My friend, Linda who is the very creative Blogger and talented writer of Are We There Yet, received the Arte y pico Award of Blogging creativity. Congratulations on receiving this treasured award in recognition of your talented Blogging skills, Linda!

Linda secretly set sail to Faulkner’s Island Lighthouse, the “Eiffel Tower of Long Island Sound” to illuminate my peaceful harbor and award me with her prestigious Arte y Pico Award! Gracias, Linda!

I have the honor to “Pay this Award Forward” to another talented and creative Blogger, Bobby Revell of Revellian Reflections who is always available to help Bloggers and he also writes amazing fictional adventures!

faulkner.jpg Lighthouse Background:

After the Revolutionary War, shipping in Long Island Sound increased during the early 1800’s and numerous ships were wrecked on the reefs surrounding the three-acre crescent shaped island located about 3.5-miles offshore from Guilford, Connecticut. In 1802, a 42-foot high octagonal sandstone Lighthouse was built and exhibited a Fixed White Light illuminated by 12 oil lamps to mark the dangerous island.

The second oldest Lighthouse in Connecticut was the reason a federal law was passed prohibiting the sale of liquor at American light stations. Lighthouse Keeper Eli Kimberley (1818-1851) built a bowling alley with a bar which was visited by up to a hundred patrons every day during the summer. Drinking at American Lighthouses ended soon after 20 men from New Haven became drunk at the Lighthouse Keeper’s Bar and destroyed the Keepers boat, lighthouse equipment, and the Kimberlys’ vegetable garden on the Fourth of July in 1829.

In 1856, the whale oil lamps were replaced by a Fourth-order Fresnel lens and currently, the active U.S. Coast Guard aid to navigation exhibits a Flashing White Light every 10-seconds illuminated by a modern solar powered VRB-25 optic 94-feet above sea level to a visible range of 13 nautical miles.

In 1978, the Lighthouse was automated after a fire destroyed the 1871 Keeper’s House on March 15, 1976. After Congress established the Connecticut Coastal McKinney National Wildlife Refuge in 1984, Faulkner’s Island and the Lighthouse was transferred to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1985 to research and protect the endangered Roseate Tern. The Coast Guard has an access easement to maintain the beacon.

After years of neglect, vandalism, and erosion slowly destroying the foundation of the Lighthouse, Joel Helander, a Lighthouse Preservationist, founded the Faulkner’s Light Brigade in 1991 to save the historic Lighthouse treasure.

In 1999, the International Chimney Corporation of Buffalo, New York, a renown Lighthouse moving company, restored the lighthouse for $250,000 to its 1871 appearance. In a effort to control erosion, a massive 20-foot high and 50-feet wide stone wall was erected along the east embankment in 2000.

During the summer, the island is closed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the nesting area of the Roseate Terns. Faulkner’s Light Brigade, who maintain the Lighthouse, opens the Lighthouse for tours in September. Their 2008 Open House has been scheduled for September 6-7 and September 13-14, weather permitting.

blue_starMap Location:
For a Map Location of the Lighthouse, please visit the Google Map of the Faulkner’s Island Lighthouse

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