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 below and watch the trailer.

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.

"The Wickie" 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.

21 August 2014

Florida Beauty - St. Augustine Lighthouse

The St. Augustine Lighthouse is located on Anastasia Island, FL. The first lighthouse was built nearby using the Spanish-built tower of 1824. It was converted to a harbor light by making alterations to the structure and removing about twenty-feet of the old tower. The local contractor, Elias Wallen, created thicker walls strong enough to support a soapstone deck and iron lantern.

By the 1840's, mariners began complaining the harbor light was to weak, and it was decided to elevate it. Ten feet was added to the tower, and in 1852 another twelve feet added. However, even the extra height wasn't enough for the mariners to differentiate between the lighthouse beacon and the lights of the nearby city. In 1854 a larger lantern and a fourth-order Fresnel lens were added. By the 1860's, erosion around the base of the lighthouse was of great concern. So, in 1872 the Lighthouse Board funded a new station 600 yards to the southwest, pictured above. The 165-foot brick tower is painted with spiraling black and white bands, and is the only spiral banded lighthouse in FL. It also retains its original first-order Fresnel lens. Six flights of stairs with frequent landings make the tower climb an easier one, and well worth the sweeping view it affords of "America's Oldest City."

After the lighthouse was automated in 1955, the federal government sold the station grounds to St. Johns County. The Junior Service League of St. Augustine later leased the property. In 1980 they began a sweeping restoration of the entire site, which has been returned to an exceptional condition.

At the time of my visit here in 2001, the lighthouse was open to the public, and the light was an active light.

14 August 2014

Florida Beauty - Ponce deLeon Inlet Lighthouse

The Ponce deLeon Lighthouse is located approximately 10-miles south of Daytona Beach at Ponce Inlet, FL. It was built in 1887 and is the tallest lighthouse in FL standing at 175-feet. The lighthouse is made of brick and its foundation extends 12-feet below ground level. The lantern room was originally fitted with a first-order Fresnel lens until it was replaced in 1933 by a third-order (smaller) Fresnel lens. Years later that lens was replaced by a modern day beacon. In 1970 the lighthouse was decommissioned, and then re-activated in 1982.

At the time of my visit here in 2001, the light remained active and the lighthouse was open to the public.

07 August 2014

Connecticut Beauty - Saybrook Breakwater Lighthouse

The Saybrook Breakwater Lighthouse is located at the mouth of the Connecticut River at Old Saybrook, CT. It sits on the south end of the west jetty. The lighthouse was built in 1886. People have said it reminds them of a spark-plug .

The tower is made of cast-iron and lined with brick to help with insulation, but mainly to prevent condensation from forming on the inside of the iron walls. The tower contains four floors for the keepers dwelling. The lighthouse was originally fitted with a fifth-order Fresnel lens. In 1890, that lens was replaced by a fourth-order (larger) Fresnel lens. The U.S. Coast Guard automated the light in 1959 .

At the time of my visit here in 2001, this light was still an active light.

31 July 2014

California Beauty - East Brother Lighthouse

The East Brother Lighthouse is located on East Brother Island, offshore of San Francisco, CA. The lighthouse was built in 1874 to mark safe passage for mariners and their ships through the straits that separate San Francisco and San Pablo Bays. The lantern room was originally fitted with a fourth-order Fresnel lens. That lens was replaced by a fixed fifth-order Fresnel lens after1922 when the lighthouse was electrified.

The U.S. Coast Guard took over operation of the lighthouse in 1939 and automated the light in 1969. After the lighthouse was automated, it received less attention and several years later it needed extensive repair. The Coast Guard decided to shut down the lighthouse, but reversed their decision in 1971 when the lighthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. A non-profit group, East Brother Light Station, Inc.was formed in 1979. They began leasing the property and eventually restored the lighthouse.

At the time of my visit here in 1999, the aforementioned non-profit group maintained this historic site, and the light station was open to the public. The keeper's dwelling served as a bed-and-breakfast inn.