Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Whaleback Lighthouse website

There's a new website for Whaleback Lighthouse in Kittery, Maine. The 1872 lighthouse is owned by the American Lighthouse Foundation and managed by Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse.

Check out the downloadable Historic Structure Report on Whaleback. This detailed document lays the foundation for the restoration of the lighthouse. The eventual goal is to restore the lighthouse and to provide public access via boat. The short term goal for this year is to stabilize the structure by sealing the lantern deck, preventing further water entry.

Beginning this Friday, there will be an exhibit at the Discover Portsmouth Center in downtown Portsmouth, NH, called "Rescuing Whaleback Lighthouse: A Wave-Swept Sentinel." The exhibit will continue through September 11, 2010.

www.whalebacklighthouse.org

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Break-in at Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse


A sad story from my friends in Rockland, Maine. The Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse was broken into yesterday, and merchandise was stolen.

You can read the story here.

This crime is a very hurtful blow to a small, hard working band of volunteers, who take care of the lighthouse simply because they love it and want to share it with others.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

More on Borden Flats

There's a story in today's Boston Globe about Borden Flats Lighthouse going up for sale again, as I mentioned here yesterday. The Globe article quotes me and used one of my photos.

Click here to read the story.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Borden Flats Light for sale again



In September 2008, attorney Michael Gabriel of Nevada was the high bidder, at $55,000, in an auction for Borden Flats Lighthouse in Fall River, Massachusetts, under the guidelines of the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act. Mr. Gabriel announced that he was going to establish a microbrewery at the offshore lighthouse, according to this article.

Now, according to General Services Administration spokeswoman Paula Santangelo, Mr. Gabriel has defaulted on the closing of the property, and the lighthouse will once again be put up for auction. I'll post details here when they're available.

Too bad no nonprofit organization or community in SE Mass. came forward to apply for ownership of this lighthouse before it was put up for auction.

Race Point Lighthouse open houses


Race Point Light Station in Provincetown, Mass., on Cape Cod, will be open to the public for tours on the first and third Saturdays of each month from June until October. The lighthouse will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The dates for the rest of this season: July 3 and 17, August 7 and 21, September 4 and 18, October 2.

The touring season will be suspended if the federally-protected piping plovers nest and block access to the lighthouse. Once the plover chicks fledge, tours will resume.

Click here for more information.

New Hampshire Lighthouse Week celebrated

EJ Hersom/Foster's Daily Democrat staff photographer

State Sen. Martha Fuller Clark, D-Portsmouth, center, reads a proclamation from Gov. John Lynch at Portmouth Lighthouse on Sunday in New Castle. At left is Joel Sherburne, director of New Hampshire Lighthouse Week, and at right is State Rep. Janet Wall, D&R-Madbury.

At a gathering before a public open house at Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse in New Castle, NH, yesterday, the start of the 8th annual New Hampshire Lighthouse Week was observed. State Senator Martha Fuller Clark read a proclamation from NH Governor Lynch and spoke of the "magnificent job" done by Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse. The lighthouse has been repainted, with the project wrapping up last Friday.

You can read more about this event on the website of Foster's Daily Democrat: click here.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Basking shark seen on sunset cruise




















During last night's sunset cruise for Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse, Capt. Pete Reynolds slowed the M/V Granite State down when he spotted an approximately 15-foot (or so) basking shark off the mouth of the Piscataqua River. We watched for a few minutes as the shark swam slowly around the bow of the boat.

There have been a number of shark sightings in the area lately -- click here.

Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse painting project completed

Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse in New Castle, New Hampshire, has just been painted thanks to Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse -- see www.portsmouthharborlighthouse.org. The work was carried out by the J.B. Leslie Masonry Company and Johnson Interiors.

This photo was taken just a few hours after the job was completed and the scaffolding was removed. The project also included the placement of netting under the lantern gallery to prevent cliff swallows from nesting there. The swallows are now happily nesting in nearby Fort Constitution.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sunset Lighthouse Cruise from Rye, NH, this Friday

Join Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse for a Sunset Lighthouse Cruise Friday, June 18, at 7:00 p.m., aboard the M/V Granite State, departing from Rye Harbor on Route 1A in Rye, N.H.

The cruise will pass close to Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse, Whaleback Lighthouse, and White Island Lighthouse in the Isles of Shoals. There is a snack bar on board and there will be raffles and narration (by me) on the history of the lighthouses.

Tickets are $20 each. The boat will return to the dock at about 9:00 p.m. Call Granite State Whale Watch at 603-964-5545 for reservations. I hope to see you on board!

Photo by Ross Tracy

Friday, June 11, 2010

Rescuing Whaleback Lighthouse: A Wave-Swept Sentinel

Beginning July 2 and continuing through September 3, the Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse and the Portsmouth Historical Society are presenting "Rescuing Whaleback Lighthouse: A Wave-Swept Sentinel."

The exhibit highlights historical, architectural and engineering details of the lighthouse, as well as drawings and photographs from Whaleback's 180-year history.


Whaleback Lighthouse stands on an offshore ledge near Kittery, Maine. It is owned by the American Lighthouse Foundation and managed by its local chapter,
Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse.


Click here for the schedule of events related to the exhibit

Owls Head Light Restoration Perseveres Through the Blasts of the Fog Horn

By Bob Trapani Jr.

Fog and misty sea conditions are no strangers along the coast of Midcoast Maine. Their shrouding presence often shows up at the doorstep of Owls Head Lighthouse, prompting the light station’s fog horn to spring into action to help warn mariners of nearby navigational dangers.

When this time-honored “battle” between fog and the sound signal occurs at Owls Head Light, visitors usually “run for cover” to avoid the horn’s mighty blasts. This is not the case for the work crews of J.B. Leslie Company, Inc., who have been contracted by the American Lighthouse Foundation to facilitate historic restoration work at the site.

In photo: Crew of J.B. Leslie Company, Inc. (L to R) Jake Johnson, Jim Leslie, Dave Eastman, and Alan Spier. Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE STORY

NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY: Romer Shoal Light Station, NJ

Another historic light station has been made available under the provisions of the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000. Here are the details from the General Servcies Administration:

June 1, 2010

The light station (the “Property”) described on the attached sheet has been determined to be excess to the needs of the United States Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security. Pursuant to the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000 (NHLPA)16 U.S.C. 470, this Property is being made available at no cost to eligible entities defined as Federal agencies, state and local agencies, non-profit corporations, educational agencies, or community development organizations for educational, park, recreational, cultural or historic preservation purposes.

Any eligible entity with an interest in acquiring the described property for a use consistent with the purposes stated above should submit a letter of interest to the address listed below by 60 (sixty) days from the date of this Notice (June 1).

Letters of interest should include:

  • Name of property
  • Name of eligible entity
  • Point of contact, title, address, phone and email
  • Non-profit agencies must provide a copy of their state-certified articles of incorporation

Eligible entities which submit a written letter of interest will be sent an application from the United States Department of the Interior and given an opportunity to inspect the property. Building inspectors and/or contractors may accompany the applicant on the site visit. The completed application must be submitted to the National Park Service within 90 days after the site inspection. The National Park Service will review applications and may select a steward. The General Services Administration (GSA) will deed the Property to the selected steward.

In order to complete the conveyance, the selected steward must obtain a lease to occupy the submerged lands from the New Jersey Bureau of Tidelands Management (contact: jason.engelman@dep.state.nj.us). GSA will deed the historic light structure once it receives a copy of the State’s agreement from the new steward.

Letters of interest should be sent to:

U.S. General Services Administration, Public Buildings Service, Real Property Utilization and Disposal Division, 10 Causeway Street, Room 925, Boston, MA 02222 Attention: Meta Cushing or meta.cushing@gsa.gov

A copy of your letter of interest should be sent to:

State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection Historic Preservation Office, P.O. Box 404, Trenton, NJ 08625-0404 Attention: Dan Saunders, Deputy SHPO

For more information on lighthouses, please visit the NHLPA website: http: //www.nps.gov/history/maritime/nhlpa

GSA Control No. 1-U-NJ-0660

Property Identification: Romer Shoal Light Station (“the Property”) - offshore

Address: Located 3.8 miles north of Sandy Hook, Monmouth County, New Jersey in Lower New York Bay, on the north edge of Swash Channel at the entrance to New York Harbor. The closest city is Highlands Borough, NJ 07748.

The Property is situated about 500 feet south of the New York-New Jersey state boundary, seven miles south of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. Approx. location: 40º 30’46.823” N 74º 0’48.672” W

Description: Romer Shoal Light Station, first lit in 1898, is a 54-foot “sparkplug” type lighthouse structure with a cast iron tower and a cylindrical, concrete caisson foundation which rises to 10 feet above sea level. It sits in approximately 14 feet of water and marks dangerous, shallow water for vessels using the Port of New York. Romer Shoal was first named after Colonel Wolfgang William Romer, who sounded the waters of New York Bay in 1700 by order of the governor of New York.

There are four stories in the tower with a watch room (5th story), a circular gallery and decagonal lantern. The tower’s interior is lined in brick up to the 3rd story. The 1st story is circular, 19 feet in diameter with a 7.5 foot ceiling. There are tall segmental-arch window openings (now covered with metal sheets). 2nd story is 18 feet in diameter; interior original wooden floor boards (some rotting). A metal stairway winds inside the tower’s perimeter wall up the 4th story. Metal ship’s ladders provide access to the watch room and lantern.

The Property is an active aid to navigation (ATON) owned by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). Tower is marked with a white band and the caisson is painted black, surrounded by protective riprap. Access is by boat only.

Condition of Property: The Property is offered “AS IS’ and “WHERE IS” without representation, warranty, or guarantee as to quality, quantity, title, character, condition, size or kind.

Range of Possible Uses: Under the NHLPA, Property may be obtained for educational, park, recreational, cultural, or historic preservation purposes. Commercial activities are prohibited unless approved by the Secretary of the Interior.

Historical Information: Listed on the National Register of Historic Places (#06001304) and must be maintained according to the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. Historic covenants will be incorporated into the deed.

Aid to Navigation (ATON): ATON will remain the personal property of USCG. Solar powered, (automated in 1966), with two flashing white signals every 15 seconds and a modern fog signal horn, which has a two-second blast every 15 seconds. Easements to be retained by the U.S. Coast Guard

1) The unrestricted right of the USCG to keep, locate, service, maintain, operate, repair and replace aids to navigation and any and all associated equipment, on the Property.

2) The unrestricted right of the USCG to relocate or add any aids to navigation and any and all associated equipment, or make changes on any portion of the Property as may be necessary for navigational purposes

3) A right of access in favor of the USCG for the purpose of servicing, maintaining, locating, operating, repairing and replacing navigational aids and any and all associated equipment on the Property. The USCG shall have the right to enter the Property at any time, with reasonable notice, for the purpose of maintaining the navigational aids and performing the other functions contemplated herein. Access shall be across any portion of the Property as necessary. Upon completion of the servicing, maintaining, operating, replacing of navigational aids and any associated equipment, the Property shall, at the sole cost of the USCG, subject to the availability of appropriated funds, be left as nearly as reasonably possible in the same condition before any such work began.

4) A reservation to the USCG for the purposes of preserving an Arc of Visibility from the Property to the shoreline within the radial arc of 360 degrees true and the stipulation that nothing will be constructed maintained or permitted of a height sufficient to interfere with or obstruct the Arc of Visibility of the Property.

5) An easement to the USCG for the purpose of sounding, in certain weather conditions, a fog signal horn.

Environmental Information: Due to the age of the structure, asbestos containing building materials and lead-based paint may be present.

Access/Inspection: Not open to the public. Inspection for eligible applicants only will be arranged by GSA after the 60-day screening period is completed. A Waiver of Liability must be signed in advance of the onsite inspection. Contact Meta Cushing @ (617) 565-5823 or meta.cushing@gsa.gov in Boston with any questions.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cleveland Ledge Light Station, Massachusetts, available to a suitable new owner


Under the provisions of the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act, the 1941 Cleveland Ledge Lighthouse in Buzzards Bay is being made available at no cost to eligible entities defined as federal agencies, state and local agencies, non-profit corporations, educational agencies, or community development organizations for educational, park, recreational, cultural or historic preservation purposes.

Any eligible entity with an interest in acquiring the described property for a use consistent with the purposes stated above should submit a letter of interest to the address listed below by 60 (sixty) days from the date of this Notice (June 1, 2010).

Letters of interest should include:

· Name of property

· Name of eligible entity

· Point of contact, title, address, phone and email

· Non-profit agencies must provide a copy of their state-certified articles of incorporation

Eligible entities which submit a written letter of interest will be sent an application from the United States Department of the Interior and given an opportunity to inspect the property. Building inspectors and/or contractors may accompany the applicant on the site visit. The completed application must be submitted to the National Park Service within 90 days after the site inspection. The National Park Service will review applications and may select a steward. The General Services Administration (GSA) will deed the Property to the selected steward.

"The successful grantee may need to obtain a Chapter 91 license from The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection ("MassDEP"). To determine whether a Chapter 91 license is necessary, Grantee is required to file with Mass DEP a Request for Determination pursuant to M.G.H.91, the Public Waterfront Act, and the regulations promulgated pursuant thereto at 310 CMR 9.00."

Point of contact at MassDEP is Ben Lynch at (617) 292- 5615 http://www.mass.gov/dep/water/resources/about01.htm


Letters of interest should be sent to:

U.S. General Services Administration, Public Buildings Service

Real Property Utilization and Disposal Division

10 Causeway Street, Room 925

Boston, MA 02222

Attention: Barbara J. Salfity or barbara.salfity@gsa.gov

A copy of your letter of interest should be sent to: Ms. Brona Simon, SHPO & Executive Director, Massachusetts Historical Commission, 220 Morrissey Boulevard, Boston, MA 02125


Here's more from the announcement from the General Services Administration:

GSA Control No.

1-X-MA-0873-1-A

Property Identification

Cleveland East Ledge Light Station (the “Property”) – offshore.

Address

Buzzards Bay, Cleveland Ledge Channel


Nearest town is Pocasset (Bourne) Massachusetts. Located on the Western entrance to the Cape Cod Canal. Approximate location Lat/long 41º 37’ 85” N 70 º 41’ 65” W


Description


Classified as Art Moderne. Cleveland Ledge is an approximately 70 steel and concrete tower over a square dwelling that is constructed on top of a cylindrical caisson foundation. (Photo courtesy of: lighthousefriends.com)

Condition of Property

The property is offered “AS IS’ and “WHERE IS” without representation, warranty, or guarantee as to quality, quantity, title, character, condition, size or kind.


Range of Possible Uses

Under the NHLPA, Property may be obtained for educational, park, recreational, cultural, or historic preservation purposes.


Commercial Activities

Commercial activities are prohibited unless approved by the Secretary of the Interior.


Historical Information

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places (#87001462) and must be maintained according to the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. Historic covenants will be incorporated into the deed.


Utilities

None

Tenant

None


Aids to Navigation (ATON)

ATON will remain the personal property of USCG. The United States reserves an unrestricted right for ingress and egress to maintain, operate, repair, replace or relocate the aid to navigation and any associated equipment, and an arc of visibility for said aid. Flashing white light every 10 seconds and a fog signal horn, which has a 2 second blast every 15 seconds.


Easements to be retained by the U.S. Coast Guard

1) The unrestricted right of the USCG to keep, locate, service, maintain, operate, repair and replace aids to navigation and any and all associated equipment, on the Property.

2) The unrestricted right of the USCG to relocate or add any aids to navigation and any and all associated equipment, or make changes on any portion of the Property as may be necessary for navigational purposes

3) A right of access in favor of the USCG for the purpose of servicing, maintaining, locating, operating, repairing and replacing navigational aids and any and all associated equipment on the Property. The USCG shall have the right to enter the Property at any time, with reasonable notice, for the purpose of maintaining the navigational aids and performing the other functions contemplated herein. Access shall be across any portion of the Property as necessary. Upon completion of the servicing, maintaining, operating, replacing of navigational aids and any associated equipment, the Property shall, at the sole cost of the USCG, subject to the availability of appropriated funds, be left as nearly as reasonably possible in the same condition before any such work began.

4) A reservation to the USCG for the purposes of preserving an Arc of Visibility from the Property to the shoreline within the radial arc of 360 degrees true and the stipulation that nothing will be constructed maintained or permitted of a height sufficient to interfere with or obstruct the Arc of Visibility of the Property.

5) An easement to the USCG for the purpose of sounding, in certain weather conditions, a fog signal horn.


Environmental Information

Due to the age of the structure, asbestos containing building materials and lead-based paint may be present.. One dry type transformer is located in the basement (electrical cage) [Currently 10 NiCad and 6 lead-acid batteries are located in the battery. All batteries will remain in place and are the owned by the USCG]


Access/Inspection

Water access only. Inspection for eligible applicants only will be arranged by GSA after the 60-day screening period is completed. A Waiver of Liability must be signed in advance of the onsite inspection. Contact: Barbara J. Salfity @ 617-565-5696 or barbara.salfity@gsa.gov in Boston with any questions.

Dark days for Canadian lighthouses


The Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans wants to abandon ownership of nearly all of Nova Scotia’s lighthouses, including the famed icon at Peggys Cove.

The sudden move "is a real change from previous federal policy,” said Dan Conlin, marine curator with the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax. “It’s very ominous."

CLICK HERE TO READ THE STORY IN THE HALIFAX CHRONICLE HERALD

Above: Peggys Cove Lighthouse, Nova Scotia, photo by Jeremy D'Entremont

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Calef's and Hampshire Pewter lend a hand to Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse


Hampshire Pewter has just released a beautiful new pewter ornament depicting Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse, NH. And from now through August 2010, when you buy this keepsake at Calef's Country Store in Barrington, NH, 20% of the proceeds will be donated to Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse. This also applies to the lighthouse cheese board depicting Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse, as well as a letter opener.






Below is a video of Hampshire Pewter President Harold Guptill with Joel Sherburne of Calef's Country Store.

video

Lighthouse of Love

Thanks to Caroline Nudelman for sending me the story of Irving Silverman of Bernard, Maine. This may not be a lighthouse in the traditional sense, but it stands for the same positive things as "true" lighthouses: security, safety, and guidance among them. "This is a place of love," says Silverman.

Click here to read this wonderful story.

At left: Nancy Silverman built the octagonal lighthouse for her husband, Irving, who loves being near the sea. His poor eyesight prevented him from having his own boat to operate on the water.—MOUNT DESERT ISLANDER STAFF PHOTO BY HEATHER STEEVES

Rockland Breakwater’s “Keepers” Return and Ready the Lighthouse for YOUR Visit


The heart and soul of Maine's Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse — its modern day keepers — have returned for the season with a lot to share with the general public in 2010.

As of Memorial Day weekend, Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse is once again open every weekend, holiday and during other special events through Columbus Day.

CLICK HERE FOR THE REST OF THE STORY

Monday, June 7, 2010

Finishing touches being applied to Pemaquid Point Lighthouse


By Bob Trapani, Jr.

The history-making journey of Maine's Pemaquid Point Lighthouse during Phase II restoration is coming down the home stretch, with just a few interior finishing touches remaining.


For ten weeks leading up to Memorial Day, the crews of J.B. Leslie Company, Inc., have been busy performing the “heavy lifting” work associated with the 2010 restoration project, which has included phases such as masonry coatings removal and repointing, ironwork rehabilitation and the recoating of masonry, wood and iron components.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE STORY

New website for Nubble Light

Cape Neddick Lighthouse in York, Maine, better known as the Nubble Light, is one of the most photographed lighthouses on the planet.

The lighthouse is owned and managed by the Town of York's Parks and Recreation Department. They've just established a beautiful new website: www.nubblelight.org. Check it out, and please consider a donation to Friends of Nubble Light.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Light spirits


They say the keeper's house at Wood Island Lighthouse in Biddeford Pool, Maine, is haunted. At left is an unretouched photo I took inside the keeper's house yesterday.

I'd say this is proof that the place is haunted. Or maybe proof that the Friends of Wood Island Lighthouse are good at decorating the place.

For more on hauntings at Wood Island, click here.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Bob Trapani at Wood Island Lighthouse, Maine

Bob Trapani, executive director of the American Lighthouse Foundation, at the Wood Island Lighthouse in Biddeford Pool, Maine, on June 5, 2010.

The lighthouse is managed by the Friends of Wood Island Lighthouse, a chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation. For more, see www.woodislandlighthouse.org.

A Visit to Wood Island Lighthouse, Maine



In the video above, Friends of Wood Island Lighthouse chairman Brad Coupe invites everyone to come and visit the lighthouse.

Following an American Lighthouse Foundation board of directors meeting today in Biddeford Pool, Maine, a group board members and a few others took a boat ride out to Wood Island Lighthouse, courtesy of the Friends of Wood Island Lighthouse.



The lighthouse, a 47-foot stone tower built in 1839, is currently under restoration. When that's done, there are plans to restore the keeper's house.






The Friends of Wood Island Lighthouse run boat tours to the island three days a week in July and August. If you're in the area and you love lighthouses, you need to put this at the top of your list.

Click here for more on the Friends of Wood Island Lighthouse.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Repainting of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse almost done!


At left: Loyd Dussault of Johnson Interiors puts a new coat of paint on the bottom section of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse, NH.

The $30,000 repainting project, paid for by Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse, is almost complete.

Early next week, the J.B. Leslie Masonry Company will attach protective netting beneath the ironwork on the lighthouse's lantern deck, which will prevent cliff swallows from nesting there.

Over the years, the nesting birds had caused much corrosion of the ironwork.

The swallows have easily adapted by building nests in the walls of nearby Fort Constitution.

See www.portsmouthharborlighthouse.org for more information.



Bagpiper on the Rocks


Bagpiper John Daggett entertained visitors to last Sunday's open house at Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse. Here he is on the rocks near the lighthouse in a photo taken by Sharon Mills, secretary of Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Preservation Award for Monhegan Lighthouse


The Monhegan Historical and Cultural Museum Association, which cares for the historic lighthouse on Monhegan Island, Maine, has been awarded an Historic Preservation Honor Award from Maine Preservation for their recent restoration of the lighthouse. The restoration work was carried out by the J.B. Leslie Masonry Company, the same company that has performed work on Cape Elizabeth and Pemaquid Point lights in Maine, and is just completing work on Portsmouth Harbor Light, NH.

Congratulations to the Monhegan Historical and Cultural Museum Association and the J.B. Leslie Masonry Company for a job beautifully done!

You can read more about the award by following this link.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse in the fog

Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse in New Castle, NH, was covered with scaffolding and enshrouded in fog today.

The paint job on the lighthouse should be finished within a few days. See www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20100529-NEWS-5290313