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 that lighthouse than any of the others I've seen. Although I have personally visited and photographed 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.


Enjoy reading my book, "THE WICKIE." See the book cover and watch the trailer below.
(Wickie was a nickname used by the early lighthouse keepers at the Umpqua River Lighthouse in OR.)


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.
Use the Tabs below for links to these websites. At their website, click on books - In the Search area enter The Wickie.





22 January 2015

A New Jersey Beauty - Absecon Lighthouse

The Absecon Lighthouse is located on the south side of Absecon Inlet, at Atlantic City, NJ. Constructed of brick, the lighthouse stands 171-feet tall and its light was first lit in 1857. The tower has 228 steps leading up to the lantern room where a first-order Fresnel lens was installed. Under the control of the lighthouse board, this lighthouse operated until 1933 when it was deactivated due to installation of a light atop a taller steel tower nearby.

Atlantic City owned and managed the Absecon Lighthouse from 1946 to 1966 at which time the State of NJ purchased the lighthouse. Then in 1979, the Atlantic City Coastal Museum opened the lighthouse to visitors.

At the time of my visit here in 2001, the lighthouse was open to the public, and restoration work on the keeper's dwelling was in progress to return its appearance to that after 1903. The building at the left side of the above picture is the dwelling.
Although the light is lit nightly, it is not considered an active aid to navigation.

(Note: Most of the information presented above, I gathered at the time of my visit to this lighthouse in 2001. I have since supplemented some of that information by use of Lighthousefriends.com. Thank you Lighthouse Friends. At their site you can also see a picture of the completed keeper's dwelling.)

15 January 2015

A New Jersey Beauty - Barnegat Lighthouse

This lighthouse is located in the Barnegat Lighthouse State Park, at the northern tip of Long Beach Island, NJ. The lighthouse is the third to be built on the tip of the island. The first lighthouse was a 40-foot masonry tower constructed in 1834. It had a miserable reputation as a lighthouse, and only stood until 1856 when it became inundated by the sea and toppled into the water Fortunately, the authorities foresaw the oncoming circumstances and they had the lamps removed. The lamps were installed in a temporary wooden tower which was constructed a little further inland.

Construction on the above pictured Barnegat Lighthouse began in 1857 and was completed in 1859. Because of the similarity in size to the Absecon Lighthouse, located to the south, Barnegat was given a different characteristic to help mariners distinguish it from its southerly comrade. A flashing first-order Fresnel lens was installed in Barnegat Light. In 1927 the lens was removed from the lighthouse when the Barnegat Lightship took up station off Barnegat Inlet. The lens was sent to Tompkinsville Lighthouse Depot on Staten Island, New York. Then in 1954, the lens was returned to the town of Barnegat Light and is on exhibit in the Barnegat Light Historical Museum.

At the time of my visit here in May 2001, the lighthouse was owned by the State of New Jersey and normally only open during the summer season.

08 January 2015

A Michigan Beauty - Sand Point Lighthouse

Sand Point Lighthouse is located at Escanaba, MI in the upper Peninsula of Lake Michigan. The lighthouse was built in 1867 by the National Lighthouse Service at a cost of $11,000. The structure was a one and a half story rectangular brick building, which was standard at the time, with an attached brick tower topped by a cast-iron lantern room. It housed a fourth-order Fresnel lens which was first lit on the night of 13 May 1868. The focal plane of its fixed white signal was forty-four feet above the water level.

The Sand Point Lighthouse served mariners continuously from 1868 until 1939, except for a short time in 1886 when it was out of commission because of a fire which severely damaged the building. This fire also cost the life of Mary Terry, who was one of the first women light keepers on the Great Lakes.

By 1939, contours of the Escanaba Harbor had been changed by dredging and filling, thereby leaving the lighthouse some distance from the hazard for which it had been providing warnings. So, upon taking responsibility for navigational lights that year, the U.S. Coast Guard constructed a crib light several hundred feet offshore. The lighthouse no longer was needed for navigational aid, so, after major alterations, it became the residence for the Officer-in-Charge of the station.

In 1985, the Coast Guard discontinued use of the building and a lease was negotiated with the Delta County Historical Society. Restoration was done to the exterior to bring it back to the appearance of the original lighthouse. The interior spaces were decorated as they would have appeared a hundred years ago, following the 1886 fire.

At the time of my visit here in 1998, the Delta County Historical Society operated the lighthouse as a museum.

01 January 2015

A Michigan Beauty - Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse

The Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse is located on the Straits of Mackinac near Mackinaw City, MI. It was built of Cream City Brick in 1892. The tower is 13-feet in diameter and stands 49-feet tall. The lantern room was fitted with a fourth-order Fresnel lens which its light was visible for 16-miles. Originally the light flashed red but in 1913 was changed to flash a white light. The tower is attached to a two-story rectangular keeper's dwelling which has two separate dwellings under one roof. The lighthouse remained in service providing navigational aid to mariners until 1957. After the opening of the Mackinac Bridge, mariners used the lights on the bridge instead of the lighthouse to guide them, thus making the lighthouse non-essential for navigation.

At the time of my visit here in 1998, the lighthouse served as a museum under the Mackinac Island State Park Commission.