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.

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.

11 September 2014

Illinois Beauty - The Gross Point Lighthouse

The Gross Point Lighthouse is located in Evanston, IL. This lighthouse is almost hidden among the other houses and trees in the neighborhood. The lighthouse tower built in 1873 stands 90-feet tall and is made of brick. The lantern room houses a second-order Fresnel lens, and the focal plane of its light was 121-feet above the lake.The adjoining duplex keeper's dwelling and brick fog signal building were added in 1880. In 1935 the light was converted to electricity and then automated.

At the time of my visit here in 2002, the lantern room still housed the Fresnel lens.

                                            Rear view of the tower

04 September 2014

Georgia Beauty - Tybee Island Lighthouse

The Tybee Island Lighthouse is located at the entrance to the Savannah River on Tybee Island, GA. It is the fourth lighthouse to be built on the island. Construction started on this lighthouse in 1866 using the lower sixty-feet of the former 1773 lighthouse as the foundation. Ninety-four feet were added and a first-order Fresnel lens installed in the lantern room. This new lighthouse is one-hundred and fifty-four feet tall and constructed of brick and cast iron. This lighthouse was completed in 1867 and the light could be seen for 18 miles out to sea. Three keepers were required to man the light station. In 1933 the lighthouse was converted to electricity. The U.S. Coast Guard took over operation in 1939 and occupied Tybee Light Station until 1987 when they relocated to Cockspur Island.

At the time of my visit here in 2000, the Tybee Island Light Station was one of America's most intact Light Stations. All of its historic support buildings were still on its five acre site. A unique style of architecture known as "stick style" was originally used to construct the head keeper's and first assistant keeper's houses.

28 August 2014

Georgia Beauty - St. Simons Island Lighthouse

Plans for a lighthouse on St. Simons Island started in 1804 with the purchase of four acres of land by the Federal government at a cost of $1. The land was the site for building the first lighthouse and a one-story residence. Originally, that 1810 lighthouse was to be built of hard brick; however, for economic purposes, most of the material used in the construction was "tabby," a mixture of oyster shell, lime, sand, and water. The tower was built to a height of 75-feet, exclusive of the lantern. An iron lantern, 10-feet high and 8-feet in diameter, was installed on top of the tower making that tower a total height of 85-feet. During the Civil War, the lighthouse was blown up by Confederate forces in 1862 to prevent its use by Federal troops.

In 1872 a second lighthouse was constructed. Pictured above. The lantern room houses the original third-order Fresnel lens from the first lighthouse. Its light shines 18 miles out to sea. This 104-foot tower has a cast-iron spiral staircase consisting of 129-steps. The adjacent keeper's dwelling was constructed in a unique Victorian design. This lighthouse is located at 101 12th Street on the Island of St. Simons, GA.

The lighthouse was placed under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Coast Guard in 1939. The light was automated in 1953 and shortly thereafter the last lighthouse keeper retired.

At the time of my visit here in 2000, the keeper's dwelling was owned by Glynn County, and all structures were maintained and operated by the Coastal GA Historical Society. The lighthouse continued under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Coast Guard. It was open to the public and a fee charged for entry.

21 August 2014

Florida Beauty - St. Augustine Lighthouse

The St. Augustine Lighthouse is located on Anastasia Island, FL. The first lighthouse was built nearby using the Spanish-built tower of 1824. It was converted to a harbor light by making alterations to the structure and removing about twenty-feet of the old tower. The local contractor, Elias Wallen, created thicker walls strong enough to support a soapstone deck and iron lantern.

By the 1840's, mariners began complaining the harbor light was to weak, and it was decided to elevate it. Ten feet was added to the tower, and in 1852 another twelve feet added. However, even the extra height wasn't enough for the mariners to differentiate between the lighthouse beacon and the lights of the nearby city. In 1854 a larger lantern and a fourth-order Fresnel lens were added. By the 1860's, erosion around the base of the lighthouse was of great concern. So, in 1872 the Lighthouse Board funded a new station 600 yards to the southwest, pictured above. The 165-foot brick tower is painted with spiraling black and white bands, and is the only spiral banded lighthouse in FL. It also retains its original first-order Fresnel lens. Six flights of stairs with frequent landings make the tower climb an easier one, and well worth the sweeping view it affords of "America's Oldest City."

After the lighthouse was automated in 1955, the federal government sold the station grounds to St. Johns County. The Junior Service League of St. Augustine later leased the property. In 1980 they began a sweeping restoration of the entire site, which has been returned to an exceptional condition.

At the time of my visit here in 2001, the lighthouse was open to the public, and the light was an active light.