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.
(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. At their website, click on books - In the Search area enter The Wickie.
Use the Tabs below for links to these websites.




18 December 2014

A Michigan Beauty - Presque Isle Lighthouse

In French, Presque Isle means "almost an island." It is a small peninsula which has provided mariners with one of the best harbors of refuge between Port Huron and Michilimackinac. In 1840, the old Presque Isle Light was built about one mile to the north. Remains still existenced at the time of my visit here in 1998. This new Presque Isle Lighthouse was built in 1870 as a taller replacement for the old one. The new light has a conical tower that stands 113-feet high. The original third-order Fresnel lens produces a lens focal plane of 123-feet above the water level of Lake Huron. A covered walkway connects the tower to the first keepers dwelling. In 1905, a second keepers dwelling was added. In 1970, the lighthouse was automated by the U.S. Coast Guard, and the light was still active at the time of my visit here in 1998.

11 December 2014

A Michigan Beauty - Point Betsie Lighthouse

The Point Betsie Lighthouse is located at the southern end of Manitou Passage, MI. This lighthouse was built in 1858 at a cost of $3,000. Its original name was "Pointe Aux Becs Scies." This was such an important light that the original 37-foot tower was replaced with a new 100-foot structure. The cylindrical light tower is surmounted by a 10-sided cast-iron lantern and produces a lens focal plane 52-feet above the main water level of Lake Michigan. The lantern room contains a fourth-order Fresnel lens with flash panels. The crystal lamp originally burned coal oil, then kerosene, and now electric. In 1983, the US Coast Guard automated Point Betsie when it was the last staffed light station on the east shore of Lake Michigan.

At the time of my visit here in 1998, this lighthouse was owned by the US Coast Guard and used for Coast Guard family housing.

04 December 2014

A Michigan Beauty - Big Sable Point Lighthouse

The Big Sable Point Lighthouse is located in Ludington State Park, Ludington, MI. The 112-foot tower and original keepers dwelling were built in 1867, which includes a 14-foot enclosed walkway between the tower and dwelling. Eight circular windows were built into the tower for light and observation.The lantern room housed a third-order Fresnel lens. Brick was used to construct the tower but later erosion set in and the brick was covered with steel plates in 1900 to stop the erosion. In 1906 an addition was built onto the keepers dwelling, enabling it to house the families of the head keeper and two assistant keepers. A fog signal was installed in 1908. Due to shore erosion and encroachment of the water toward the lighthouse, a sea-wall was built in 1943. The lighthouse was electrified in 1949. After the lighthouse/light station was automated in 1968 it was no longer manned.

At the time of my visit here in 1998, this beautiful lighthouse was open to the public after a one and a half mile hike back to its location.

27 November 2014

A Michigan Beauty - The Grand Haven Lighthouses

The Grand Haven Lighthouses are located on the South Pier, which jets out into Lake Michigan, at Grand Haven, MI . The front range light (outer) and the rear range light (inner) mark the entrance to the Grand River at Grand Haven. The rear range light sets atop the 52-feet tall conical steel tower. This light was first lit in 1839. The front range light stands 36-feet tall. It was built in 1905 and remodeled in 1922. The lights were automated In 1969. Both lighthouses are connected by a catwalk built above the pier to enable the keepers to access the lighthouses during high tides and foul weather. The light can be seen from 15-miles out on the lake.

At the time of my visit here in 1998, the lights were active.