About Me

My photo
I worked as a tour guide for two summers 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. All pictures posted in this blog were taken by me, unless noted otherwise. The Umpqua River Lighthouse 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.





21 July 2016

Southeastern Beauties Honored on Stamps




This lighthouse is located on Morris Island at Charleston, SC. The first lighthouse built near here in 1767 was crude and the first to be erected in Southern U.S. Acting upon a decree from King George III, a tower was built at the southern entrance to Charleston Harbor. During the Civil War it was destroyed and this new tower built in 1876. The Morris Island Lighthouse stands 161-feet high and has 201 steps leading to the top. It survived a major hurricane in 1885, and the great Charleston earthquake in 1886. At one time a keepers dwelling was located nearby.

In 1938 the light was automated and shined until the beacon was extinguished in 1962. Until recent years, the tower could be reached by foot at low tide from Folly Beach on James Island, SC. However, because of heavy erosion, this is no longer possible.

At the time of my visit here in 2000, the Morris Island Lighthouse was believed to still be structurally sound, despite the beating from Hurricane Hugo in 1989. 

The Morris Island Lighthouse is also one of five lighthouses selected to represent the southeastern lighthouses of the U.S. on postage stamps. In 2003, the Post Office sold the stamps for 37 cents as printed on the stamps. The other four lighthouses chosen were: The Tybee Island Lighthouse, GA; The Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse, FL; The Cape Lookout Lighthouse, NC; and The Old Cape Henry Lighthouse, VA.

I'm fortunate to have seen all five of the aforementioned lighthouses, but was unaware at the time of my visit that these lighthouses would later be honored on stamps. The picture below is similar to that on the postage stamp, except for a fishing boat left of the tower and two sailboats right of the tower.


14 July 2016

Five Lighthouses Chosen To Honor The Five Great Lakes



The St. Joseph Lighthouse is located along the shores of Lake Michigan at the mouth of the St. Joseph River and Benton Harbor. The catwalk leading to this lighthouse is one of only four left in MI. This lighthouse is one of the five lighthouses chosen to honor the five Great Lakes on postage stamps. The stamps were introduced in 1995 by the U.S. Postal Service and sold for thirty-two cents as printed on the stamps. (The picture below of the St. Joseph Lighthouse is similar to that on the postage stamp.) 

The other four lighthouses chosen were: The Spectacle Reef Lighthouse near Lake Huron, the Marblehead Lighthouse near Lake Erie, the Split Rock Lighthouse near Lake Superior, and the Thirty Mile Lighthouse near Lake Ontario.

I visited the St. Joseph Lighthouse and the Marblehead Lighthouse in 1998, but at the time, I was unaware of the distinction and honor placed on these two lighthouses nor the other three mentioned above. 

07 July 2016

Lighthouse Beauties On Stamps




The West Quoddy Head Lighthouse, Lubec, ME, stands on the easternmost mainland point in the U.S. At certain times of the year, it is also the first spot in the country to see the morning sun. West Quoddy Head forms the western entrance to Cobscook Bay and the St. Croix River.  In 1808 a 49-foot rubble masonry tower was constructed. It was as tall as any tower built in Maine prior to 1850, except for the one at Portland Head. Fifty years later, 1858, the original tower was torn down and replaced by this cast-iron structure, overlaid with brick, pictured above. Its white flashing automated light beams from 83-feet above the water, as the lighthouse sets on a cliff. At the time of my visit here in 2001, this was an active light.

This lighthouse is one of five lighthouses chosen in 1990 for image on a postage stamp to honor the U.S. Coast Guard and the Lighthouse Service. The other four lighthouses are: The well known Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, NC; American Shoals Lighthouse, FL; Sandy Hook Lighthouse, NJ; and the Admiralty Head Lighthouse, WA.  Each of these lighthouses represented a main region of the coast line of the U.S. The United States Post Office sold the stamps for 25 cents as was printed on the stamp.

I feel fortunate to have visited all of these lighthouses, except one, the American Shoals Lighthouse. Although I've photographed all those I visited, I'm using The West Quoddy Head Lighthouse as an example for this post. Each of the lighthouses mentioned above has its own unique design and history, but since 1990, these share a like history of being selected to pay honor to the U.S. Coast Guard and Lighthouse Service on a postage stamp. (Below picture similar to that on postage stamp.)

30 June 2016

The Ghost of New London Ledge



New London Ledge Lighthouse is located between New London and Groton, CT where the Thames River meets the waters of Fishers Island Sound. Rather than the typical spark-plug design lighthouse of the early 1900s for this area, Ledge Light turned into more of a mansion on the water. Styled in French Second Empire, this very ornate structure was built in 1909. It features five floors, eleven rooms, and a roof with two slopes on all sides. The lower slope is nearly vertical and the upper is almost horizontal. Its corners face the four cardinal compass points. This lighthouse has stood sentinel and guided early century tall ships and modern submarines between the shores of New London and Groton. Ledge Light Lighthouse was the last manned light in Long Island Sound until its automation in 1989.

At the time of my visit here in 2001, tours to the lighthouse run from mid-June to Labor Day and were two and a half hours long. As part of the tour, folks learned about Ernie the Ghost. The story was his wife ran away with a tugboat captain. Her unfaithfulness left Ernie so distraught that he stuck himself with a knife and jumped off the top of the lighthouse. Legend has it, Ernie’s been ambling around for quite some time and his domain is the New London Ledge Lighthouse.

This lighthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is like no other lighthouse.