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 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.


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.




27 November 2014

A Michigan Beauty - The Grand Haven Lighthouses

The Grand Haven Lighthouses are located on the South Pier, which jets out into Lake Michigan, at Grand Haven, MI . The front range light (outer) and the rear range light (inner) mark the entrance to the Grand River at Grand Haven. The rear range light sets atop the 52-feet tall conical steel tower. This light was first lit in 1839. The front range light stands 36-feet tall. It was built in 1905 and remodeled in 1922. The lights were automated In 1969. Both lighthouses are connected by a catwalk built above the pier to enable the keepers to access the lighthouses during high tides and foul weather. The light can be seen from 15-miles out on the lake.

At the time of my visit here in 1998, the lights were active.

20 November 2014

A Michigan Beauty - Holland Harbor South Pierhead Lighthouse

The Holland Harbor South Pierhead Lighthouse is located at Holland, MI. The original lighthouse, built in 1872, was a wood structure. Its light was fixed red with a fifth-order Fresnel lens.

This new lighthouse replaced the old in 1907. Its lantern room was equipped with a fourth-order Fresnel lens. The tower stands 32-feet tall and sets atop one of the two dwellings. (Roof line of dwellings seen better in picture below.) Originally, the lighthouse was painted a buff color, but in 1956 it was painted red. "Big Red," as it is known by the local people, marks the entrance to Lake Michigan and the Holland Harbor. The light was automated in 1970.

In the summer of 1998, I visited this lighthouse and enjoyed it along with beautiful weather that day. However, if I were to try and visit the lighthouse on this November day that I'm posting this to my blog, I couldn't get there because of the deep snow in most parts of Michigan.

 I've classified this lighthouse as a Michigan Beauty. Would I have done so if the lighthouse was still painted a buff color?  Honestly, I would have to see the buff color to be sure, but the red is beautiful.



13 November 2014

A Massachusetts Beauty - Eastern Point Lighthouse

The Eastern Point Lighthouse is located at Gloucester, MA. The lighthouse at Eastern Point is the third to stand on this granite promontory. The first was a stone tower built in 1832 to aid the great growing fleet of Gloucester fishermen. Dampness quickly worked into the structure causing multiple problems. The keeper then, Samuel Wonson, complained in 1842 that the tower "leaks in every direction." He indicated it was "covered with ice in winter, and green mold in summer" and "the rain blows in under the deck of the lantern room and runs through the walls."

The original tower had to be replaced twice; first in 1848 and again in 1890. A fourth-order Fresnel lens was installed in 1857 to replace the previous fixed red light. In 1985 the light was automated.

The two-story keeper's dwelling was built n 1879, and a second dwelling added in 1908. One dwelling is connected to the  tower by a covered walkway, which can be better viewed by clicking on the above picture.


At the time of my visit here in 1997, a Coast Guard family lived in the keeper's dwelling, and the light was active. Today's light shines from the 36-foot high cylindrical white brick structure of 1890.

06 November 2014

A Massachusetts Beauty - The Chatham Lighthouse

The Chatham Lighthouse is located at 37 Main Street, Chatham, MA. Originally, twin 40-foot octagonal lighthouses, built nearby in 1808, marked the west side of Chatham Harbor, which was once a busy, open port. Within three decades, lingering moisture had significantly rotted the wooden structures, and they were replaced in 1841 by a pair of 30-foot brick towers with fourth-order Fresnel lenses. Concerned about the erosion of the nearby cliffs, the government relocated the towers to a newer site more than a quarter of a mile from sea. But the substantial change was not sufficient. By 1870, the edge of the receding embankment was only 230-feet from the interior location, and six years later it was within 100-feet.

In 1877 the Lighthouse Board recognized the station was in jeopardy and approved a second move. Two cast-iron towers, lined with brick, were erected even further inland, situated 100-feet apart, with a new keeper's house between them. In December 1879, the old south tower toppled off the cliff. Little more than a year later, the old north light and keeper's dwelling also toppled.

Early in the 20th Century, the government began phasing out twin-light stations in the interest of economy. In 1923, the newer north tower was moved to North Eastham to replace the sole surviving Three Sisters Light at Nauset Beach. In 1969, the remaining Chatham tower, pictured above, was refitted with an aerobeacon. The light was automated in 1982.

The Fresnel lenses from both lights are exhibited at the Chatham Historical Society's Old Atwood House.

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