SHORE VILLAGE MUSEUM NEWSLETTER SUMMER 2001 July 22, 2001 - page 2
FROM HIGHLAND TO HAMMERHEAD, THE COAST GUARD AND CAPE COD: The name of this outstanding work comes from the oldest Coast Guard Installation on Cape Cod which is Highland Light, established in 1797. Two hundred years later, in October 1998 the new USCGC HAMMERHEAD arrived at its home port of Woods Hole. The book is the story of those 201 years. In this book the author, Captain Charles B. Hathaway, USCG (retired) brings forth a fascinating history of Coast Guard activities for that period. Most of the major maritime accidents in the Cape Cod area are covered in detail in this 256 page soft cover book. Included are details of the U. S. Lighthouse Service with emphasis on activities in the Cape Cod area and history of the service in general. To sum up, the book is one of the best I have personally owned and strongly recommend the work. There is an extensive index, bibliography, references to newspaper clippings, information from individual sources. The book is available from Kenrick A. Claflin & Son, 30 Hudson Street, Northborough, MA 01532. Cost $13.95 plus $3.50 priority mail. Be sure to mention Shore Village Museum when you order the book as Jim Claflin will make a donation to the Shore Village Museum.
POINT ABINO LIGHTHOUSE SAVED: An outstanding example of Greek Revival style expressed in concrete, the 1917 lighthouse is both a FHBRO recognized structure and a National Historical Site. It is currently out of bounds to Canadians because of wealthy American neighbors who have cut off road access. On May 14, 2001 the Point Abino Lighthouse preservation society asked for support. The Fort Erie Town Council was meeting that night to decide whether to accept the lighthouse. They were worried about the issue of access. Of course the Pt. Abino Society forwarded their acceptance of the light. The council voted unanimously to accept the light. Access to the light is being solved as part of the hand over. The offer to purchase is conditional for a year so that the town can assess costs of repair, accessibility, management arrangements and the like. POINT ABINO LIGHTHOUSE IS ON THE NSLPS DOOMS DAY LIST, IT NOW CAN BE REMOVED. From the Lightkeeper of the Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society.
MORE INFORMATION ON THE 1-4-3 CHARACTERISTIC OF MINOTS LEDGE LIGHT: Bob Fraser of Cohasset came up with more information on the "I Love You" light. It was Lt. Frederick Mahan, U.S.N., a member of the Lighthouse Board who, in 1890, suggested that all American lighthouses have a numerical flash. That way, light lists would only be a list of numbers with a certain lighthouse beside each. It would be extremely easy just to count the flashes then look up the number in the light list to find out which lighthouse it was. Bob reported that he did find evidence that this idea had been proposed at least twice before but this time it was accepted. However, it was the high cost of the special lenses that put an end to the idea. Only two lenses were made, a first order for Cape Charles (4-5) and a second order for Minots (1-4-3). The numbers were chosen only by chance, it could have been any combination. Both lenses were displayed at the Chicago Worlds Fair of 1893 and installed in their respective lighthouses the following year. Cape Charles light is exhibited today at the Mariners Museum at Newport News, VA. Minots Light lens was destroyed by Vandals sometime between 1947 and 1959 as it was stored inside the now automated beacon.
KENNEBEC RIVER RANGE LIGHTS WEBSITE: The Website is www.rlk.org. The Kennebec Range Lights and fog signal were built in 1898 to aid mariners negotiating the sharp left-hand turn in the river at Fiddlers Reach. The next landmark, a mile away, is the Doubling Point Light. Turning north vessels emerge into Broad Reach turning north to the Bath Iron Works and the City of Bath. The website provides an extensive body of information about the lights, their use, history and preservation. The Maine Maritime Museum at Bath has special cruises along the Kennebec from the busy BIW shipyard to the beautiful and tranquil stretches of river and marshland.
DOUBLING POINT FOG BELL: The original fog bell for Doubling Point Fog Signal is missing and must be found. Help is needed. If it can be found it would be possible to get it back to Doubling Point. It is a "self polishing" nickel colored ) bell 36" in diameter and 26 1/2" high made by the E. W. Van Duzen Company, Cincinnati, Ohio for the U. S. Lighthouse Establishment and cast by the Buckeye Bell Foundry in 1897. Contact the Shore Village Museum with any information.
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