********NANTUCKET LV-112 By CHERYL SPENCER COLLIN: An excellent production of my favorite lightship. She certainly looks as she is in her element with the rough seas that the ship is mounted on. Cheryl has carefully researched the ship to the point of getting builders plans from Coast Guard Headquarters. Lightships of the United States are the most neglected ships of our national maritime heritage. Interest has increased markedly and several books about the U.S. Lightships are on the horizon to be published soon. Now available from the Shore Village Museum. Cost of NANTUCKET is $120.00 plus $5.00 p & h.

 

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SOUTH CAROLINA WILDLlFE MAGAZINE: The March/April 1997 edition of the South Carolina wildlife Magazine has an outstanding 10 page feature entitled Carolina Lights. The author, William Baldwin, starts the article off with the comment, "Lighthouses are beloved landmarks in a double sense, guides for both our inner and outer landscapes." The photography by Philip Jones is superb. The private aid Harbor Town Light which just happens to be located near the 18th hole of the Harbor Town golf course on Hilton Head Island is probably the most well known of the South Carolina Lights. Copies of the magazine are available from South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, 1000 Assembly Street, Rembert C. Dennis Building, Columbia, South Carolina 29201. Cost $3.00 which included postage and handling.

 

UNUSUAL SUICIDE AT HILLSBORO LIGHT: The remains of a body were found near the base of the Hillsboro Lighthouse north of the Hillsboro Inlet recently. Investigators could not tell whether the person was a man or a woman because the body was so badly decomposed. It appeared that the person had been dead for a week or two. Several days later the police were able to identify the body as that of a Lighthouse Point woman who had been missing. The death was ruled a suicide. The identification had been made through dental records. The police reported that the woman was an avid rock and mountain climber, scaled at least 50 feet up the lighthouse tower and jumped. A note was found near the scene accounting for the suicide judgement. Thanks to Paul Bradley for the information.

 

RECOGNITION SOUGHT FOR KEEPERS OF MINOTS LEDGE LIGHT: Herbert Jason of Cohasset has written to the Cohasset Mariner recommending a memorial be established in recognition of the two heroic lighthouse keepers who lost their lives when the first Minots Ledge Light fell into the sea during a raging storm. The letter written by Jason describes in great detail the story of the loss of the lighthouse. He also recommends that a granite monument be placed on Lighthouse Island. An account called the Antoine and Wilson Memorial Fund has been established at the Hingham Institution for Savings, Ship Cove Lane, Cohasset, MA 02245 if anyone cares to make a donation. Please mention the Shore Village Museum if you do assist.

 

ABANDONED CHARLESTON, SC (MORRIS ISLAND) LIGHT: Lorraine Taylor of Charles South Carolina sent a nice feature story from the Post and Courier newspaper of Oct. 27, 1996 on the problems of the abandoned light. The first light was built in 1767 and the present 161 foot tower was built in 1837. It was severely damaged by the ravages of the Civil War around Charleston. It was later rebuilt as a first order light but in 1962 was replaced by the new Charleston Light on Sullivans Island. The reason for the replacement was simply that erosion which commenced in 1881 after construction of some jetties destroyed the keepers dwellings and left the light in 8 feet of water. In 1965 the Coast Guard prepared to raze the light tower but reversed itself after enormous opposition from Charleston area preservationists and residents. Preston Richardson bought the light in an attempt to save it. His effort to save money failed and he sold it in 1967. S. E. Speedy Felkel bought the light and kept it until 1996 when he lost it in a foreclosure proceeding. The new owner, Paul Gunter, has offered the tower to the local Park Commission. A group of residents promised to set up a foundation to raise funds to preserve the structure. The present status of the foundation is unknown. It is requested that anyone with further details of the preservation forward them for inclusion in the next newsletter.

 

LOS ANGELES TIMES TRAVEL FEATURE MAY 25, 1997: This is an excellent travel feature that covers travel to two different lighthouse areas, namely the Great Lakes and the British Isles. Geofrey O'Gara is author of the Great Lakes section and describes his travels to the various lights. His comments include information on bed and breakfasts, histories of the lights he visits. In short it is a nice readable article. Alan Jabez is a London based free lance writer and describes his travels in England, Wales and Scotland. He includes information on how to get there and where to stay in vicinity of the lights. He adds the general costs of food and accommodations. The address of L.A. Times Travel is Travel Section , The Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053. Include your phone number if you make an inquiry.

 

WICKS, WRECKS. AND THE WILDERNESS ISLAND: An overview of the Historic Lighthouses and Shipwrecks of Isle Royale. Lake Superior: This is by Thom Holden and published in two parts, the first in Spring 1997 issue of Inland Seas, Quarterly Journal of the Great Lakes Historical Society. The second is in the Summer 1997 issue. Lighthouses described in considerable detail are: Rock Harbor Lighthouse (1855); Passage Island Lighthouse; Lake Point Light (1917); Isle Royale Lighthouse (1875) and Rock of Ages Lighthouse (1908). All of the lights are in the Isle of Royale area of Lake Superior. The stories of the various shipwrecks are truly fascinating. There are 7 types of membership in the Great Lakes Historical Society: Life, $1,000; Patron $500; Benefactor $200; Contributing $100; Sustaining $54 or more; Family $39; and Senior Citizen $25. All are for Annual Dues. Please make checks payable to the Great Lakes Historical Society, 480 Vermillion St., Vermillion, OH 44089, payable in U.S. funds. phone 216-967-3567. The Inland Seas Journal which is issued quarterly and always has items of interest to me and I strongly recommend it to all who have interest in maritime happenings.

 

RESTORING THE LIGHT IN ATLANTIC CITY NJ: Jack Chance of Maplewood NJ sent a copy of New Jersey s Historic Preservation Planning Bulletin which has an outstanding report on the restoration of Absecon Inlet Light. The report covers the history of the light with a lot of interesting detail. One item covered is that in 1912 George Putnam of the USLHS asked, "Why are more than two keepers needed at this station which is a fixed light with no fog signal?" "Mostly acct..visitors," was the brief reply he received. Mr. Putnam further pursued his inquiry, "Do you think it would be good administration to discontinue visiting hours, cut down the complement to two keepers and have these keepers take care of the lawn?" The reply was firm and straight to the point: "By no means. 13 hundred people visit this station annually, it is a great nuisance to the service in one way but of some value in another, chiefly educational." No further communications were recorded. Zerox copy is available.

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