About Me

My photo
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 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 to: awbates1955@gmail.com. The Book is $15 plus tax and shipping.

My book is also available on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
Select the appropriate Tab below for a link to your favorite websites. At the website, click on books - In the Search area enter The Wickie.

22 June 2017

A Unique Twin Tower Light Station

The Navesink Lighthouse is a twin lighthouse located in Highlands, NJ. It overlooks the entrance to the New York Bay. In 1862, these two brownstone towers were built to replace the original octagonal towers built in 1828. The north tower, on right, is octagonal, and the south tower, left, is square. These similar towers are both 64-feet high and they set 320-feet apart. An 18-room dwelling for keeper's and crews connect the two towers. The towers are located approximately 246-feet above sea level. In 1898, the octagonal tower’s light was discontinued but the light was held in reserve as an emergency light.

The twin lights hold a prominent place in American maritime history as the first lighthouse to use the Fresnel lens. In 1841 a French "first order" fixed light was placed in the south tower (square), and a "second order" revolving light in the north tower. In 1898 an enormous electric-arc bivalve lens, measuring nine feet in diameter, replaced the south tower beehive-type light. To illuminate this new lens, the Lighthouse Service built an electric generator house on site. This made Navesink Light the only shore station having a plant for electric generation. It was estimated the candle power was 25,000,000, which made it the most powerful coastal light in the United States. The revolving light, due to the curvature of the earth, could be seen about 22 miles at sea. Its beam reported to have also been observed in the sky at a distance of 70 nautical miles.

With improvement in floating aids, such as Lightships, Radar, etc, the lighthouse lost some of its importance as in early years. The south tower continued to operate until 1949 when it was changed to "unwatched status" and then discontinued in 1952. It was used as a day beacon until 1963. The light in the north tower was taken out of service, but was re-lit in 1962 with a smaller commemorative light. At the time of my visit here, the lighthouse complex and grounds were owned and operated by the state of New Jersey. Part of this very unique light station contained a museum.

15 June 2017

My Granddaughter and I Both Disappointed

Recently, I received a text message and picture from one of my daughters and her family on vacation in North Carolina. Her picture below, tower only, is of a lighthouse they visited. She stated my 11-year old granddaughter wanted to climb to the top of the lighthouse, but all remaining tours for the day were booked, so she was very disappointed.

Likewise, I was disappointed in 2000 when I visited the Bodie Island Lighthouse because it was not open that day. The lighthouse is located just north of the Oregon Inlet Bridge, (Pea Island), NC and is the third lighthouse built on Bodie Island. (Photo below of lighthouse with dwelling, my picture.)
 In 1847, the first lighthouse constructed on the island was built at a height of 54-feet. A series of lanterns and reflectors provided light for that first lighthouse. After 11 years, its foundation failed. Therefore, the second lighthouse was built in 1859. Its tower rose 80-feet high and the lantern room was equipped with a third-order Fresnel lens. During the Civil War, the second lighthouse was damaged to the extent it was inoperable and not cost effective to restore.

Construction of this third lighthouse was completed in 1872. Height of the tower and lantern room is 164-feet. The lantern room houses a first-order Fresnel lens and is lighted from dusk to dawn daily. In 1940 the light was automated.