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 over 300 lighthouses in the United States and three Provinces in Canada, the Umpqua River Lighthouse has special meaning for me. That Lighthouse is where I was inspired to write my book titled, "The Wickie." All pictures posted in this blog were taken by me, unless noted otherwise.

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

My book is also available on Amazon.
Select the Tab below for a link to their website. At the website, click on books - In the Search area enter The Wickie.

14 June 2018

Tower Survived The 1906 Earthquake


Located on a unique, rugged point North of San Francisco, CA is the Point Bonita Lighthouse.

The original tower and keeper's dwelling, built in 1855, was perched on a ledge approximately 300 feet above the ocean. Its light could be seen from up to 20 miles out to sea, unless heavy fog obscured the beam, and it often did. Almost daily the keepers had to sound the fog signal by firing a cannon mounted outside the tower. Later a 1,500 pound bell replaced the cannon, but the fog and low clouds around the tower remained a problem.

A new light station, pictured, was built at a lower elevation, approximately 100 feet above the ocean. This station included a 33 foot tower, building that housed two steam driven fog signals, storage buildings, and keepers dwelling, The lens from the original lighthouse was moved to the new tower, and in February 1877 the new Point Bonita Lighthouse lamp was lit.


 The new tower survived the April 1906 earthquake that devastated nearby San Francisco, but the keeper's dwelling collapsed after the family escaped.

In the early 1980's, the U.S. Coast Guard automated the light and they continue to maintain it. However, the National Park Service maintains the grounds, and to my knowledge, the lighthouse is open to the public three days a week when weather permits.

08 June 2018

Keeper's Dwelling Survived Over One Hundred Forty Years


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 topped with the lantern room. The fifth-order lens, installed in the original lighthouse, was replaced with a fourth-order (larger) lens in 1887. The tower stands 87-feet above the water. Initially, the tower 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, and its light flashed every six seconds and visible about 17-miles out at sea.

 In 1988, the lighthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

For years after automation of the light, the two-story wood frame keepers dwelling sat vacant until it became the family residence of the Commander of Coast Guard Group Woods Hole. He oversaw the agency's operations between Plymouth, MA and the Rhode Island, Connecticut borders. This occupancy ended in 2001. The Coast Guard transferred responsibility for the lighthouse, keeper’s dwelling, and the stations four-acres to the Town of Falmouth in 2016. The town plans to transform the keeper’s dwelling into a maritime museum.