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 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 COVER 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 an e-mail to awbates1955@gmail.com. The Book is $15 plus tax and shipping.

24 April 2014

Mississippi - President Casino Broadwater Resort Lighthouse

This lighthouse is located in Biloxi, MS near the President Casino and Charter Boats. It was established in 1965 as a private aid to navigation and stands 66-feet high. The lighthouse is located at the marina for the Broadwater Resort Charter Boats, which is approximately 4 miles west of the popular Biloxi Lighthouse. At the time of my visit here in 2003, the lighthouse emitted a white flash of light every 5 seconds at night.

17 April 2014

Mississippi - Beau Rivage Breakwater Lighthouse

I visited the Beau Rivage Breakwater Lighthouse, Biloxi, MS in 2003. I have no information on its size or when it was constructed. Since my visit, the lighthouse was possibly destroyed by hurricane Katrina, along with other structures on shore around Biloxi.

10 April 2014

Mississippi - Biloxi Lighthouse

The Biloxi Lighthouse is located on Highway 90 at the foot of Porter Ave in Biloxi, MS. The lighthouse sits in the median strip between the lanes of Hwy 90.

This lighthouse is reportedly the first cast-iron tower in the south, and was fabricated by Murray & Hazelhurst Vulcan Works of Baltimore, MD. It was shipped south aboard the brig General North. Construction was completed in 1848 and included lining the 48-foot cast-iron tower with locally made brick. The light was provided by a series of 9 lamps and 14" reflectors. In 1856 the lamps were replaced by a fourth-order Fresnel lens.

Originally, the lighthouse was constructed on a sand bluff. Failure of a retaining wall, as a result of neglect during the Civil War, caused the tower to incline two feet from the perpendicular. In 1867, although a difficult feat, workers excavated just enough sand from beneath the opposite side of the tower to right and keep it from toppling into the Gulf. Also about this time, a coating of black tar was applied to the cast iron tower to halt rusting. Although it was soon repainted white, a local legend evolved that Biloxians painted the tower black to mourn the death of President Lincoln. Except for a brief period during the Civil War, the light has shown continuously since 1848 when its lens was hidden by the local home guard. After the war, the lighthouse was fitted with a fifth-order lens.

In 1926 the light was electrified, and in 1939 the U.S. Coast Guard assumed responsibility for the light's operation. After being declared surplus property in 1968, the Biloxi Lighthouse was deeded to the City of Biloxi.

This lighthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It also has the distinction of having more female keepers for more years than men.

At the time of my visit here in 2000, the light was active and daily tours were conducted Monday through Saturday, except for holidays. A fee was charged for the tours and they started at 10 AM.

03 April 2014

Alabama - Mobile Point Lighthouse

The Mobile Point Lighthouse is located at Fort Morgan, AL. The first lighthouse built here in 1822 was a 55-foot brick tower containing a fourth-order lens. Light was provided by twenty-one lamps and fourteen-inch reflectors. The light was visible from 12 to 14 miles out to sea. Because Mobile Point's light was equivalent in power to a common harbor light, the Lighthouse Board made a decision to erect a new seacoast light on Sand Island using a more powerful first-order lens.

In 1858 the Mobile Point Lighthouse received a new fourth-order Fresnel lens and its status was confirmed as a harbor light. In mid-1861 the lens was removed for safekeeping and shipped to Montgomery, AL. In 1864 the brick lighthouse tower became the target for Union artillery during the siege of Fort Morgan. When the Fort surrendered on Aug 23, 1864 the lighthouse had suffered irreparable damage and the old brick tower was demolished. At the end of the war a temporary wooden tower was built and housed the fourth-order Fresnel lens.

In 1873 a new iron lattice-work 30-foot tower, pictured above, was erected. The 1858 fourth-order Fresnel lens was placed in the lighthouse's lantern room. The light served as a guide to mariners until 1966 when it was extinguished and deactivated.

At the time of my visit here in 2000, the lighthouse remained inactive.