About Me

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For two summers I worked as a tour guide 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.


I invite you to read my book, "THE WICKIE." Preview the book's 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.





24 June 2015

A Washington Beauty - New Dungeness Lighthouse

This lighthouse was built in 1857 and is uniquely located at the end of the 5-mile long Dungeness Spit along the northern coast of Washington. This spit is the largest natural sand hook in the nation. The lighthouse is the oldest beacon north of the Columbia River. In 1927 the Fresnel lens from the Admiralty Lighthouse was given to New Dungeness.

At the time of my visit here in 1999, the light was automated and volunteers operated the lighthouse daily to include giving tours to visitors. Volunteers worked for a month at a time and were transported to and from the lighthouse via four wheeled drive vehicles. Visitors to this lighthouse truly have to want to see it because of its location. The morning that my first wife and I visited here, there was a heavy fog so visibility was maximum of 200-feet. It was a hard walk and fatigue set in before we arrived at the lighthouse due to sand of the spit being deep and soft. After the 5-mile walk in the fog and mist, our hair and clothing were wet like we had been out in the rain. Although the fog lifted a little by the time we arrived at the lighthouse, it was still very visible as shown in the above picture. That same 5-mile walk back to the truck seemed like 10-miles, but I have never regretted my visit to the New Dungeness Lighthouse.

18 June 2015

A Washington Beauty - North Head Lighthouse

Located at Ilwaco, WA in the Fort Canby State Park, the North Head Lighthouse was built in 1898. It is situated on the edge of a cliff which is known to be one of the windiest spots in the country. Tower of the lighthouse is 65-feet high and has a spiral stairway. This lighthouse was built to warn ships approaching the Columbia River from the north.

At the time of my visit here in 1999, this lighthouse was active, and the buildings were owned by the state. The property was accessible to the public to enjoy the lighthouse and surrounding view.

11 June 2015

A Virginia Beauty - New Point Comfort Lighthouse

Located at the southernmost tip of Mathews County, VA, the New Point Comfort Lighthouse serves as a boundary between the Chesapeake and Mobjack Bays. This lighthouse is the third oldest surviving lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay, surpassed only by those at Cape Henry and Old Point Comfort.

Built in 1806, this lighthouse is made of sandstone with a stone spiral stairway. Overall height of the lighthouse is 58-feet and its top rises 63-feet above the sea. The original light was provided by nine lamps and reflectors. The lamps were replaced by a fourth-order Fresnel lens in 1855.

The original keepers house was built in 1802 at a cost of $8750. However, during the war of 1812, the British Navy occupied the lighthouse and keepers house. They burned down the keepers house before they left. After the war, a new two story keepers house was built. It was torn down in 1919 after the light was automated.


In 1963, the need for this lighthouse's light was replaced by an offshore beacon. The lighthouse was then decommissioned and became a day marker. The Coast Guard was responsible for operation of the lighthouse from 1939 to 1968.

The channel that separates the lighthouse from the main land was created by hurricanes in 1933.

Local citizens succeeded in having the lighthouse placed on the Virginia Historic Register in 1972, and it was designated as a state and national landmark. I visited this stately old lighthouse in the year 2000.

04 June 2015

A Virginia Beauty - Old Point Comfort Lighthouse

Located on Fort Monroe, VA, the Old Point Comfort Lighthouse overlooks Hampton Roads Harbor and the Chesapeake Bay. Built in 1802 of sandstone, the octagonal shaped tower stands 54-feet high. Its spiral staircase is made of hand-cut stone. Originally, several oil lanterns provided the light which could be seen for approximately 14-miles. Years later, the oil lanterns were replaced with a fourth-order Fresnel lens. This lighthouse is the oldest standing structure on Fort Monroe.

The tower was used as a lookout by British invasion forces while they attacked Washington during the War of 1812.

The adjacent house was the light-keepers quarters. It was built in 1891 to replace the original keeper's dwelling. After the lighthouse was automated in 1975, keepers were no longer needed and they discontinued occupation of the house. It became property of the Army.

At the time of my visit here in 2000, the lighthouse was still an active navigational aid and remained property of the U.S. Coast Guard.