About Me

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I worked as a tour guide for two summers at the Umpqua River Lighthouse in Oregon. This opportunity enabled me to learn more about this lighthouse than any of the others I've seen. Although I have personally visited 302 lighthouses in the United States and three Provinces in Canada, the Umpqua River Lighthouse has special meaning for me. This is where I was inspired to write my book titled, "The Wickie."

Book Info.

Check out my book, "THE WICKIE." See the book cover and watch the trailer below.

This 1860's story about the lighthouse keepers and their families at the Umpqua River Lighthouse will warm your heart. Discover the challenges they met but never expected, and their determination to maintain navigational aid to mariners on the Oregon coast.

To order your signed copy of "The Wickie", send me an e-mail: awbates1955@gmail.com. The Book is $15 plus tax and shipping.

My book is also available on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. At their website, click on books - In the Search area enter The Wickie.
Use the Tabs below for links to these websites.

25 September 2014

A Maine Beauty - The Cape Neddick Lighthouse

The Cape Neddick Lighthouse is located a few hundred feet offshore from the eastern end of Cape Neddick at York, Maine. After several requests were ignored or denied to have a lighthouse built here, this 41-foot cast-iron tower was authorized by President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1874. The light station was finally placed in operation in 1879.

Nubble Light, as the lighthouse is popularly called, is a cast-iron structure lined inside with brick. When it was completed in 1879 it was painted red, but in 1902 the color was changed to white and has remained so since then. The distinctive red oil house was built in 1902, and the covered walkway connecting the keeper's house and tower was added in 1911. The station originally had a fog bell and bell tower, until it was raised in 1961. An 1891 fourth-order Fresnel lens, although not the original, is still in use. A bucket, suspended on a line across the channel, was used to transport supplies to the station. The conical tower measures 39-feet from ground level to the center of the lantern, which shows a red light 88-feet above the ocean. The last keeper left in 1987 when the light was automated.

At the time of my visit here in 1997, the light was still active and the station was maintained by the town of York. The town had received more than 300 offers from people wanting to be live-in caretakers. Some restoration work had been done with a 1989 grant from the Maine Historic Preservation Committee.

This lighthouse and grounds are among the most appealing and photographed in the world. It has an estimated 250,000 visitors annually.

18 September 2014

Maine Beauty - The Portland Head Lighthouse

The Portland Head Lighthouse is located in the Fort Williams State Park at Cape Elizabeth, ME. This is Maine's oldest lighthouse. Construction began in 1787, but was abandoned for lack of funds before much could be accomplished. In 1789, the nation's first Congress appropriated $1,500 to complete the project. It was finished in November 1790. President George Washington appointed Captain Joseph Greenleaf as the first light keeper for this lighthouse.

The 72-foot high field-stone tower was shortened by more than one-third in 1813. It was restored in 1865 following public outcry over the loss of 42 lives in the unfortunate shipwreck of the transatlantic steamer Bohemian along the Cape Elizabeth shore. Local residents loudly protested a second lowering of the tower in 1883. Their protest succeeded in having the cropped portion built back on the tower, and this time builders utilized brick.

The overall structure of the tower rises 80-feet above the rocky headland, and its light cast a white beam from 101-feet above sea level. At the time of my visit here in 1997, this light was active.

11 September 2014

Illinois Beauty - The Gross Point Lighthouse

The Gross Point Lighthouse is located in Evanston, IL. This lighthouse is almost hidden among the other houses and trees in the neighborhood. The lighthouse tower built in 1873 stands 90-feet tall and is made of brick. The lantern room houses a second-order Fresnel lens, and the focal plane of its light was 121-feet above the lake.The adjoining duplex keeper's dwelling and brick fog signal building were added in 1880. In 1935 the light was converted to electricity and then automated.

At the time of my visit here in 2002, the lantern room still housed the Fresnel lens.

                                            Rear view of the tower

04 September 2014

Georgia Beauty - Tybee Island Lighthouse

The Tybee Island Lighthouse is located at the entrance to the Savannah River on Tybee Island, GA. It is the fourth lighthouse to be built on the island. Construction started on this lighthouse in 1866 using the lower sixty-feet of the former 1773 lighthouse as the foundation. Ninety-four feet were added and a first-order Fresnel lens installed in the lantern room. This new lighthouse is one-hundred and fifty-four feet tall and constructed of brick and cast iron. This lighthouse was completed in 1867 and the light could be seen for 18 miles out to sea. Three keepers were required to man the light station. In 1933 the lighthouse was converted to electricity. The U.S. Coast Guard took over operation in 1939 and occupied Tybee Light Station until 1987 when they relocated to Cockspur Island.

At the time of my visit here in 2000, the Tybee Island Light Station was one of America's most intact Light Stations. All of its historic support buildings were still on its five acre site. A unique style of architecture known as "stick style" was originally used to construct the head keeper's and first assistant keeper's houses.