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 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.


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.





28 May 2015

A Virginia Beauty - Cape Henry Lighthouse

This lighthouse is located inside the Coast Guard Compound at Fort Story, VA Military Reservation. It sits 357-feet south east of the Old Cape Henry Lighthouse. The New Cape Henry Lighthouse was built in 1881, made of cast-iron plates, and stands 165-feet tall. A second-order Fresnel lens from the Old Cape Henry Lighthouse was removed and installed in this one. Its light had a focal plane of 157-feet above the sea and could be seen for approximately 19-miles. In 1984 that light was replaced with a newer beacon and then automated.

Day-markings of this lighthouse are the most distinctive in the world. The checkerboard markings on the octagonal tower alternate between white and black. Half way up the tower the pattern changes from white to black, making it appear as though the top half of the tower is slightly turned and misaligned with the bottom half.

At the time of my visit here in 2000, this light was active but not open to the public.

22 May 2015

A South Carolina Beauty - Hunting Island Lighthouse

Hunting Island Lighthouse is located 14-miles southeast of Beaufort, SC.

The island's first lighthouse was built in 1859 at a height of 95-feet, but it was short lived. By 1862 it was reported to have fallen into the sea. However, conflicting stories make it unclear whether it may have been destroyed by erosion or blown up by the Confederate Army during the Civil War.

A new tower was constructed of interchangeable cast-iron sections in 1875, which could be taken apart if necessary. Due to the aggressive high tides and erosion, the tower was disassembled in 1889 and reassembled at its current site, one and a quarter miles from where the original tower was located. It is built on an eight-foot thick concrete foundation. The lighthouse is 140-feet tall, including lantern room, and there are 181-steps to reach the top. The tower itself is 121-feet tall with its walls brick lined. A second-order Fresnel lens was used until its retirement in 1933.

At the time of my visit here in 2000, the light was inactive. This lighthouse, part of the Hunting Island State Park, was open daily to the public for viewing and climbing the stairs. Note the red brick in the foreground of my picture. That brick outlines the foundation where the keepers quarters were located prior to being destroyed by fire.

14 May 2015

A Rhode Island Beauty - Castle Hill Lighthouse

This lighthouse is located at the west side of Castle Hill, RI. It sets on a cliff face on the east side of the eastern passage into Narragansett Bay. Its tower was built in 1890 of granite and stands 34-feet tall. However, due to location from where I took this picture, the entire tower is not shown.The original light in the lantern room was a fifth-order Fresnel lens. It was replaced with a modern day plastic lens when the lighthouse was automated in 1957. At the time of my visit here in 2001, this lighthouse was still active but not open to the public.

07 May 2015

A Rhode Island Beauty - Newport Harbor (Goat Island) Lighthouse

The Newport Harbor Lighthouse is located on the breakwater at the north end of Goat Island, RI. The island acquired its name from the early residents of Newport, as they used the island to graze their goats. This is the second lighthouse built at Newport Harbor to aid ships entering the harbor.

 The first lighthouse was built in 1823 at the entrance of Newport Harbor. Its tower was made of stone and stood 20-feet tall, plus the lantern room, with a keepers house nearby. Due to several ship wrecks, officials later determined the lighthouse was in the wrong location.

A new lighthouse was constructed off the northern end of Goat Island. Its tower, pictured above, built of granite is 29-feet tall and with the lantern room it stands 35-feet. The light was first lit in 1842, and then in 1864 a new keepers house was built next to the tower on the breakwater. The old keepers house was torn down in 1868. The beacon was converted to electric power in 1922. After the keepers house was severely damaged by a submarine, eventually it had to be torn down. The lighthouse was automated in 1963. At the time of my visit here in 2001, this lighthouse continued to serve as a navigational aid with its light visible for 11 miles.