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.

24 July 2014

California Beauty - Point Bonita Lighthouse

The Point Bonita Lighthouse is located North of San Francisco, CA. The original tower was built in 1855. It and the keeper's dwelling were perched on a ledge to the left of this lighthouse, about 300-feet above the ocean. The light could be seen from up to 20-miles out to sea, except when heavy fog obscured the beam and it occurred often . Almost daily, the keepers had to sound the fog signal by firing a cannon which was mounted outside the tower. Later a 1,500-pound bell replaced the cannon, but the fog and low clouds around the tower remained a problem.

A new light station, pictured above, was built at this lower elevation about 100-feet above the ocean. The 33-foot tower, as well as the building that housed two steam-driven fog signals, the keeper's dwelling and the storage buildings were built. The second-order Fresnel lens from the original lighthouse was moved to the new tower, and the new Point Bonita Lighthouse lamp was lit in February 1877.

The new tower survived the April 1906 earthquake that devastated nearby San Francisco, but the keeper's dwelling collapsed moments after the family escaped.

The U.S. Coast Guard automated the light in the early 1980's, and they were still maintaining it at the time of my visit here in 1999. The National Park Service maintained the grounds and the lighthouse was open three days a week to the public.

17 July 2014

California Beauty - Point Reyes Lighthouse

The Point Reyes Lighthouse is located in the Point Reyes National Seashore Park, Point Reyes, CA. Workman constructed this 40-foot, sixteen-sided iron-plated tower in 1870. The lantern room is fitted with a first-order Fresnel lens. There are 300 steps leading down to the lighthouse. In the mid 1970's, the U.S. Coast Guard automated the light and later transferred the property to the National Park Service. At the time of my visit here in 1999, this was an inactive light. The keeper's dwelling no longer stood but a maintenance building continued to stand with the lighthouse. The light station was open to the public except during times of high wind. I've added this lighthouse to my list of beauties.

10 July 2014

Beauty Is In The Eye of The Beholder

Most people have heard or said the brief statement: "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." The statement appropriately defines how one person may view someone or something as beautiful, while another person may not see any beauty in the subject matter. For example, lighthouses have been around for hundreds of years. They were built to perform as  navigational aids to mariners and their ships, and not intentionally designed with beauty in mind.

Some lighthouses situated in the setting with other buildings and the local environment, make what this lighthouse enthusiast calls a beautiful scene or picture. In the next several weeks, I will feature lighthouses I've seen which I think fit the category of beautiful. My hope is your eye will also see them as beautiful, and they will add light to your day. The first beauty is posted below.

California Beauty - Point Arena Lighthouse

The original Point Arena Lighthouse was built in 1870. It stood 100-feet tall, constructed of masonry, and the lantern room held a first-order Fresnel lens. That lighthouse collapsed during the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and the keepers house destroyed.

This replacement tower was built in 1908 to a height of 115-feet and is made of reinforced concrete. This was the first time this "new material" was used for a lighthouse. The supporting buttresses at the base of the tower have helped the lighthouse survive earthquake tremors since its construction. Instead of rebuilding the original keepers' house which housed the keeper, his three assistants and their families, lighthouse officials had separate housing built for each of the keepers.

During World War II, several military actions were witnessed from this lighthouse. For one, the U.S. Navy defeated three Japanese destroyers on 12 August 1945, two days before the end of the war.

In 1977 the U.S. Coast Guard automated the lighthouse. At the time of my visit here in 1999, the Point Arena Lighthouse Keepers Association was leasing the property from the Coast Guard and the lighthouse was open to the public year-round. The keepers association maintained a museum and provided for tours. They also rented the keepers' houses to overnight visitors.