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.

30 October 2014

A Massachusetts Beauty - Nobska Point Lighthouse

The Nobska Point Lighthouse is located at Falmouth, MA. Originally the name was spelled "Nobsque." The first lighthouse, built near here in 1829, was a three-room rubble-stone dwelling with an eight-sided lantern mounted on the roof. It perched on the rocky headland at Wood's Hole Harbor. That crude structure was rebuilt in 1849, and then in 1876 it was entirely replaced with the current cylindrical, 40-foot cast-iron tower lined with brick, and lantern room. It stands 87-feet above the water. Initially, the light was painted brown, but later changed to white and has been so for much of the twentieth century.

When the Bureau of Lighthouses came under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Coast Guard in 1939, those civilian keepers still active were allowed to finish their current tour of service, until 1975, before being replaced by Coast Guard personnel. Nobska Point Light was automated in 1985. Its light flashes every six seconds and is visible about 17-miles out at sea.

At the time of my visit here in 2001, the two-story wood frame keepers dwelling was used for the family residence of the Commander of Coast Guard Group Woods Hole, which oversees the agency's operations between Plymouth, MA and the Rhode Island, Connecticut borders.

This lighthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.

23 October 2014

A Massachusetts Beauty - Highland Light (Cape Cod)

The Highland Lighthouse is located at Truro, MA. -- It is the third Highlands Lighthouse built in or near this location. The oldest of this Cape Cod lighthouse was built near here in 1797. It was called Clay Pounds Light because it was built on the side of the Truro Clay Pound. Its tower was constructed of wood and stood 45-feet tall with lantern room atop added an additional 8-feet. The structure sat on a stone foundation. In 1831 that first structure had to be rebuilt due to deterioration.

In 1857, the Lighthouse Service constructed a new 66-foot brick tower and lantern room containing a first-order Fresnel lens. It was built atop the 125-foot bluff known as the "High Land" at North Truro. It was an attempt to eliminate the frequent shipwrecks occurring along the busy shipping lane past the Outer Cape. Although officially it was then called Cape Cod Light, local residents have always regarded the structure as Highland Light during most of its existence, and the later is now the proper designation. The Fresnel lens was replaced in 1946 with a rotating beacon, and the light automated in 1987.

Erosion of the nearby bluff initially presented no imminent problem, but ultimately a more forbidding dilemma. The ever encroaching sea gradually undercut the cliff below the tower and threatened to tumble the station into the sea. By the 1990's the sea was only about 100-feet from the edge of the steep bank. So, in June 1996, the 400-plus ton structure was moved 450-feet inland onto Cape Cod National Seashore property where it now stands. The move cost well over one million dollars.

At the time of my visit here in 2001, Highland Light was active and owned by the Park Service. It was operated as a private aide to navigation.

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.