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.

16 October 2014

A Maine Beauty - Pumpkin Island Lighthouse

Pumpkin Island Lighthouse is located on an island of the same name, near Little Deer Isle, ME. The lighthouse stands on the northwestern side of its namesake, which lies along the south side of the entrance to Eggemoggin Reach. The light station was established in 1854 with construction of a 22-foot conical brick tower plus lantern room. It was fitted with a fifth-order Fresnel lens which showed a fixed white light.The station also included an attached 1 1/2 story wooden keeper's dwelling and a barn. In 1930, the light was automated and continued to operate until 1933 when the station closed. 

 After the lighthouse closed, it was first purchased in 1934 by George Harmon of Bar Harbor for $552. He also bought and sold at least two other area lights during the same period. Five years later, Harmon was offering the Pumpkin Island property for sale at $2,000.

At the time of my visit here in 2001, the Pumpkin Island Lighthouse continued an inactive light and privately owned.

09 October 2014

A Maine Beauty - West Quoddy Head Lighthouse

The West Quoddy Head Lighthouse is located at Lubec, ME. This candy-striped lighthouse stands on the easternmost mainland point in the U.S. West Quoddy Head forms the western entrance to Cobscook Bay and the St. Croix River.

A rubble masonry tower was originally constructed here in 1808. At 49-feet high, it was as tall as any tower built in Maine  prior to 1850 (except the one at Portland Head). West Quoddy Head Light received one of the nation's first fog bells in 1820. By then, the lighthouse had fallen into such a state of disrepair it was rebuilt in 1853. Unfortunately, improper mortar was used in the job. This was not an uncommon occurrence in early lighthouse construction, and the tower was soon in as bad a shape as ever. This second tower was torn down.

In 1858 this present tower replaced the old and the structure was constructed of cast-iron and overlaid with brick. The West Quoddy Head Lighthouse was automated in 1988. A computerized mechanism operates the flashing white light which beams from 83-feet above the water.

This lighthouse sits atop a 90-foot cliff and from this promontory you can see the islands of Grand Manan and Campobello, NB, Canada when it's not foggy. The Grand Manan Island is 16-miles long and had a population of 3,000 when it was swapped for Moose Island on which the Eastport Lighthouse was built. Daniel Webster and Lord Ashburton were credited for that swap.

At the time of my visit here in 2001, the light station at Quoddy Head was part of Quoddy Head State Park. The park was open to the public.

02 October 2014

A Maine Beauty - Marshall Point Lighthouse

The Marshall Point Lighthouse is located at Port Clyde, ME. The light stands at the southern tip of the St. George Peninsula and marks the east side of the entrance to Port Clyde Harbor. This light station was established in 1832 following the construction of a 19-foot rubble tower and attached keeper's dwelling. In 1857, the original lighthouse had to be taken down before it collapsed. Due to using the wrong kind of mortar, field-stones used in construction of the tower could not be held in place. In 1858,this replacement tower was built 24-feet high and located at the water's edge. The tower's base was fashioned of granite blocks and the upper half made of brick. A fifth-order Fresnel lens was installed in the lantern room. A wooden walkway, supported by granite footings, was built to connect the tower to the shore . At the time of my visit here in 1997, this light was active and the fixed white light in the lantern room shined from 29 1/2 feet above the sea.

The Marshall Point station was automated in 1971, and in 1980 the old keeper's quarters were boarded up and abandoned. The building fell into disrepair. Later in 1987, the St. George Historical Society assumed responsibility for overseeing the building's restoration. This group opened the lower portion of the old quarters in 1990 as the Marshall Point Lighthouse Museum.

25 September 2014

A Maine Beauty - The Cape Neddick Lighthouse

The Cape Neddick Lighthouse is located a few hundred feet offshore from the eastern end of Cape Neddick at York, Maine. After several requests were ignored or denied to have a lighthouse built here, this 41-foot cast-iron tower was authorized by President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1874. The light station was finally placed in operation in 1879.

Nubble Light, as the lighthouse is popularly called, is a cast-iron structure lined inside with brick. When it was completed in 1879 it was painted red, but in 1902 the color was changed to white and has remained so since then. The distinctive red oil house was built in 1902, and the covered walkway connecting the keeper's house and tower was added in 1911. The station originally had a fog bell and bell tower, until it was raised in 1961. An 1891 fourth-order Fresnel lens, although not the original, is still in use. A bucket, suspended on a line across the channel, was used to transport supplies to the station. The conical tower measures 39-feet from ground level to the center of the lantern, which shows a red light 88-feet above the ocean. The last keeper left in 1987 when the light was automated.

At the time of my visit here in 1997, the light was still active and the station was maintained by the town of York. The town had received more than 300 offers from people wanting to be live-in caretakers. Some restoration work had been done with a 1989 grant from the Maine Historic Preservation Committee.

This lighthouse and grounds are among the most appealing and photographed in the world. It has an estimated 250,000 visitors annually.