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Here’s a calendar fundraiser you might consider.

It’s a fundraiser to benefit efforts to save Urger as a boat afloat:  “Update on our Urger campaign – we are talking to the New York Power Authority and waiting on a response from them on a few things. Everything is in a holding pattern right now for the winter, while the Urger is in Waterford. NYPA is commissioning an update to the 2014 Urger condition report. We asked for but have not seen (nor do I anticipate seeing) the scope of services for that report. I know they have taken metal samples, which is to be expected.

We’re working with Assemblyman John McDonald, who will introduce legislation to make the Urger the NYS Tug once session begins. We’re waiting for the final 2019 committee lists to come out before approaching someone in the Senate.

We’ve already spent several thousand dollars on the Urger campaign. Any funds raised (THANK YOU!) would go towards making us whole for those costs, as well as future expenses. It’s somewhat of a waiting game right now, but we may want to push NYPA to allow for a second opinion on the condition report, which would be pretty expensive and require its own fundraising effort. ”

Click here to see the interior pages and make your order.

Thanks to Jeff and the Preservation League.


Today’s post goes up at the theoretical sunrise on the shortest day of the year in the sixth boro;  the solstice is here, and I’m grateful the days can’t get any shorter this year.  It’s 58 degrees (!!) but blustery, rainy right now, so there won’t be an observable sunrise.  Now we start moving back to those long evenings, which can’t come soon enough for me.  Maybe 2019 will bring the summer midnight sun for me, if I commit to going where that happens.

And what captures the spirit of the winter solstice better than lighthouses.   Obviously I didn’t take the shot below.  The last lightship named Ambrose was retired in August 1967, and a tower stood from 1967 until 2008.  This photo was likely taken in 1967.  The first tower was hit by a tanker and seriously damaged in 1996.  Three years later, a new tower was built nearby, but in the next decade that tower was struck TWICE by ships, and it was razed;  technology, one assumed, had rendered those sorts of markers at the entrance to the sixth boro obsolete.  If you have more of this history, and especially photos showing the damaged structures and the demolition process,I’d love to hear, read, and see.

The entrance to the Buffalo River once had this odd 1903 “bottle light,” which some call the Jules Verne light.   Again, I’d love to read more about decisions that led to this design.  It’s no longer active but still visible.

I took all the photos in this post except the first one and the last two.  Behold the end here!!   At the east end of Long Island stands Montauk Light, along with the shorter WW2 lookout tower.   Montauk is the site of NYS’s first lighthouse.

Chicago Harbor Southeast Guiding Wall light is just outside the USACE lock at the “source” of the Chicago River; previously, the source we’d call the mouth.  Click here for more info on Centennial Wheel over on Navy Pier.

Ship John Shoal is named for  . . .  a vessel named John that came to its end there in 1797.  Somewhere–and I wish I could locate where–I read last summer that many of the lighthouses on shoals of Upper Lake Michigan came to be sited because of wrecks, and therefore can be thought of as memorials and cautionary tales.

Some day I hope to take a closeup tour of Waugoshance Light, west of Mackinac City.  Supposedly no keepers wanted serve there after frequent reports of hauntings.  She was made obsolete by a stronger beam, taller light and abandoned.  In WW2, the tower and crib were used for bombing practice, detailed here.  Given that, I’m surprised how intact it seems in 2018.

This is White Shoals light, the one that replaced Waugoshance.  In the distance, that’s the 1000′ Indiana Harbor, eastbound and heading for the Soo. A few months ago, the Detroit News ran a story about the light’s new owner, with lots of closeup and interior photos;  to read it, click here.

Big Sable Point Light . . .  stands in front of the dunes north of Ludington MI.  Some miles to the south is Little Sable Point Light.

Two Rivers Point Light (Rawley Point) is located near the town made famous by the marine products of Kahlenberg.

Poverty Island Light, on an island in the chain between the Door and the Garden Peninsulas,  is hard to get to and seriously endangered.  Better pics here.

Round Island Passage Light stands on a shoal between Mackinac Island and Round Island.  In the distance, that’s Paul R. Tregurtha arriving from the east, the entrance to the Soo. Round Island Passage, despite being quite narrow, is very heavily trafficked by vessels large and small.

The Erie Canal –and I know this number will be challenged–has three full size lighthouses, the most prominent of which–especially as seen from the west–is Verona Beach Light.

Toro Point is the skeletal light located on the Caribbean side of the Panamian isthmus in what is referred to as Fuerte Sherman, a place to see to appreciate the speed with which the jungle overtakes a clearing.

This photo comes from my daughter, taken near Salvador, Brasil.  I love the photo but can’t tell you more.

.And finally, to close out this solstice post, which I hope has brought you some light and cheer, Muanda Light in the DRC, taken by a friend who has spent most of his life there. I never got to see it while I was working there in the mid 1970s.

Happy solstice!!   Build a bonfire!  Light some candles!!  Click on some bright bright lights!!  Click here for my previous summer and winter solstice posts.

Thanks to Steve and Myriam for their photos;  all others by Will Van Dorp, who alone is responsible for any errors.

Also, if there are readers out there with photos to share of lighthouses from Europe, Asia, Oceania, and Australia, please send them along.



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December 2018