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 over 300 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.

08 October 2015

A Wisconsin Beauty - Rockwell Lighthouse

Located on Lake Winnebago at Oshkosh, WI, the Rockwell (Brays Point) Lighthouse was built in 1911 with private funds. William Bray tried to convince the government to erect a lighthouse at the point where the Fox River empties into the lake, however, he was unsuccessful. He built the lighthouse with his own funds, and assumed the cost of upkeep and responsibility of keeping the light lit. The lighthouse was a part of Mr. Bray's private harbor improvements and his own pleasure boats. He transformed the entire point into a showplace where he entertained friends and colleagues. President William Howard Taft once visited here. The beacon was considered a government licensed light, however, after 1917 when commercial use became substantial; the government then realized the importance of the light and paid its expenses for a time.

This lighthouse is one of the most ornate of all Wisconsin lights, with white and cream colored stucco walls and delicate black ironwork. Numerous windows line the tower and a short staircase leads to a doorway at the light's base. During the late 1950's the light was turned off and the tower fell into disrepair for a number of years. The light was later restored and then re-lit in the summer of 1986 by the owners of the property.

This privately owned and operated lighthouse is in a residential area. The beacon operates year round and is controlled by a photo sensor that automatically turns the light on, day or night, when the sky darkens. The owners of the light are listed with the U.S. Coast Guard as the official lighthouse keepers. At the time of my visit here in 2002, this was an active lighthouse.

01 October 2015

A Wisconsin Beauty - Neenah Lighthouse

Located in Kimberly Point Park, Lake Winnebago, Neenah Point, WI, this lighthouse tower was built in 1945 at a height of 40-feet. The light marks entrance of Lake Winnebago to the lower Fox River. In 1954 the tower height was raised to 49-foot. Focal plane of the light is 50-feet above water, and the light was active at the time of my visit here in 2002. The lighthouse was privately maintained, and there were public restrooms at the base of the tower.

24 September 2015

A Wisconsin Beauty - Fond Du Lac Front Range Lighthouse

Located in the Fond Du Lac Yacht Harbor, Lake Winnebago, Fond Du Lac, WI, this decorative eight-sided light tower is a picturesque landmark will known to the local residents. Translated, Fond Du Lac means "end of the lake." The locals know the light as Lakeside Park Lighthouse. The structure replaced an ordinary red light that previously marked the harbor entrance.

The lighthouse is the brainchild of a Fond Du Lack lumberman, W.J. Nuss, and was built entirely with donated building materials and private funds. The cornerstone was laid in 1933 and the base is composed of stone. The white, Cape Cod style tower stands approximately 66-feet tall and measures 12 feet in diameter. Funds to purchase the light to top the tower were raised by the local yacht club. A stairway allows the public to climb to the open walkway atop the tower where the observation platform is 44-feet from the ground. In the early 1960's the tower was closed to the public when it was deemed unsafe. However, in 1967 the tower was saved through repairs, and then restored in 1993.

At the time of my visit here in 2002, the light was operational during the boating season, May-Oct. Boaters utilize the red light atop the white tower by lining it up with another light behind the boathouses, similar to a range light system.

17 September 2015

A Wisconsin Beauty - Rawley Point Lighthouse

The Rawley Point Lighthouse, also known as the Twin River Point, is located at Two Rivers, WI. It's not clear exactly when a lighthouse was first constructed here. Records indicate the first lighthouse in this area was built in 1853 at Twin Rivers Point. The original lighthouse had a brick tower that stood 100-feet tall and was attached to the keeper's dwelling by a hallway. The remains of the original circular tower can be seen at the right side of the big house, behind the tree and in front of the iron tower. In 1894 the top portion of that tower was demolished and the remaining shorter tower, with cone shaped roof, became part of the keeper's quarters in 1895. One result is a curious and unique round living room which remains inside the dwelling. A fire damaged the keeper's quarters in 1962.

The current eight sided pyramidal erector style lighthouse is the only one of this type on the Great Lakes. It stands 111-feet high and is the second tallest lighthouse in WI. It is an alteration and expansion of a lighthouse relocated from the Chicago River Light-station in 1893 after the World's fair. The light tower has a central iron stairway containing 132-steps with support supplied by a maze of exterior steel frames. There's a double-decked set of watch rooms with ornate fencing, placed one atop the other, below the lantern room. These dual watch rooms are another unique feature among WI lights. The light tower was constructed next to the two and a half story keeper's dwelling. In 1920 the light was electrified. The original third-order lens continued in use until 1952 when a piece of the lens broke and it was replaced with the current twin-bull's eye rotating beacon, which can be seen for 28-miles.

At the time of my visit here in 2002, this was an active lighthouse, however, the tower and quarters were off limits to the public. The Coast Guard utilized the quarters for housing and as a military recreation cottage