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#17014 - 08/16/02 01:31 AM My Favorite Lighthouse Memories
berriesncream Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/02/02
Posts: 15
Loc: Ocala,FL
HI! This is my first official post. I have several memories of lighthouses that I've seen and I would like to pass them along to you and maybe you can share your memories with me.

I would like to split this into three sections and they are: 1)First lighthouse that you can remember visiting, 2)First lighthouse that you visited that you won't forget, and 3)First lighthouse that you fell in love with and could have moved right in because you felt as if you were home.

1. The first lighthouse that I can remember visiting was Presque Isle Lighthouse in Erie, PA. in April 1967. Rich(flacoastie) was getting ready to re-enlist and he was joining the Coast Guard after 4 1/2 years in the Navy. The Coast Guard recruiter sent him to the Coast Guard Station on Presque Isle to talk to the people there. After talking to the station people we decided to visit Presque Isle Lighthouse and I think it was at that time that Rich and I started to love lighthouses. The water was the most beautiful blue-green color that I have ever seen.

2. My most memorable and unforgettable lighthouse experience was Old Cape Henry Lighthouse in May 1972. Rich was stationed on the USCGC Ingham out of Portsmouth, VA and each time he returned from a weather patrol the ship's crew would have a lighthouse pool on spotting New Cape Henry's light for the first time. One weekend we had family from New Jersey visiting us and we decided to take them to Fort Story for dinner at the Chief's Club. While there, we decided to visit Old Cape Henry Lighthouse and everyone started the climb to the top. Rich, his Aunt and Uncle, our son Scott(7 yrs), daughter Kellee(6 yrs) and myself. Halfway up I decided that the walls were coming in and that is all I could take. Everyone else made it to the top, had a great view and made it down. Not me, and I've never climbed another lighthouse since then!!

3. The lighthouse that I feel was built for me is Currituck Beach Lighthouse. Several years ago in April 1997, Rich and I took a drive to Nags Head to deliver some lighthouses and pick up a SPECIAL lighthouse that Bruce Roberts and Rich had worked a deal on. Rich did not want to have this lighthouse sent through the mail so we drove to pick it up. We toured Nags Head, Bodie and Currituck during the little remaining time we had over the weekend and I fell in love with Currituck. It was the most beautiful and peacefull setting. It was a spring day and the weather was sunny and warm. The leaves and flowers were just starting to bloom and the walk through the grounds and boardwalk to the pier was so peaceful. I can only imagine what it was like living and working on the lighthouse and grounds when the lighthouse was in it's prime and think it would be neat to be able live there now. I really do love that lighthouse and it's grounds.

So think back and let me know your memories of your first lighthouse, most memorable lighthouse experience and first lighthouse that you fell in love with.

Amy smile

#17015 - 08/16/02 03:04 PM Re: My Favorite Lighthouse Memories
Kent Babb Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/06/02
Posts: 28
Loc: Columbus, OH
Amy - GREAT topic! It really got me thinking, and the memories flowing.

The first lighthouse I ever 'visited' (if you want to call it that) was Key West back in the mid-1980's. (hey - I grew up in the landlocked midwest & our family never travelled far!) But I was so overwhelmed with the sights & sounds (and alcohol) of Key West itself that I didn't pay the lighthouse much attention. My loss... :rolleyes:

The lighthouse that sticks out most in my mind is the one at Bass Harbor, Maine. I was climbing around on the rocks, looked up, and had the most spectacular view of the light. It was like the movies - the clouds parted, a choir of angels sang, and I was hooked. (OK, maybe I'm exagerating about the angels...)

The lighthouse that I felt an attachment to is Little Sable, Michigan. Even though the light tower is the only structure left now, I felt I could live there. It was weird - I felt that I HAD to touch the cool bricks of the tower. There were very few people around on that afternoon, so the place seemed very peaceful and relaxing to me. I don't know - as I said in a previous post, I felt 'drawn' to it.

Again, this is a great topic. I'd like to hear others' stories!

#17016 - 08/16/02 03:11 PM Re: My Favorite Lighthouse Memories
Brent Offline

Registered: 08/14/99
Posts: 1129
Loc: Martinsville, Va. U.S.A
Thanks guys....enjoyed reading your stories!!
OBLHS Charter Member

#17017 - 08/17/02 07:54 PM Re: My Favorite Lighthouse Memories
flacoastie Offline

Registered: 10/02/01
Posts: 6115
Loc: Ocala, FL 34471
Well, I better get my two cents worth in here. It's probably one of the few times that I'm able to.

The first lighthouse that I ever remember seeing was Presque Isle in Pennsylvania. It was as berriesncream said above, we were checking out the Coast Guard before I enlisted and we just decided to stop at the lighthouse. I was raised 15 miles from Presque Isle and swam there during the summers but never paid the lighthouse a bit of attention.

My most memorable lighthouse would have to be Cape Canaveral Light. While stationed at the CG Station at Ponce Inlet I was the only electronic technician and the radion beacon and transmitters/receivers located inside the lighthouse were my responsibility. They NEVER broke down unless it was night, a weekend or a holiday. The long drive fron New Smyrna Beach to the lighthouse was even longer when you are tired or 1 AM in the morning. One time we were sitting down to Thanksgiving Dinner with berriesncream's family there and I had to leave because the radio beacon wasn't working and the tourists were out on their holliday trips in boats.

The lighthouse that I feel the strongest draw to is Cape Henry. I have a fondness for that one because of the times coming back from weather patrols and when you saw the lighthouse you knew it was only another hour and a half till you saw your family. The lighthouse I would like to have been stationed at would have been Ponce De Leon because of the fantastic grounds and fishing.

Rich cool

#17018 - 08/17/02 08:55 PM Re: My Favorite Lighthouse Memories

Probably my favorite lighthouse moment was a few years ago, going out to the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse with some members of the Brunner family who lived in the lighthouse when they were children. Just listening to their stories about living in the lighthouse and the things they did for amusement was an afternoon that no amount of money could ever buy. I wished that I had brought a tape player with me, but I have the fond memory of being transported, if just for one afternoon back to a time that has long been gone.

#17019 - 08/18/02 04:05 AM Re: My Favorite Lighthouse Memories
RRohweder Offline

Registered: 01/01/70
Posts: 764
Loc: Eureka, CA
Fort Gratiot Lighthouse, Port Huron, Michigan, 1972. You'd have to own one to know why.

#17020 - 08/18/02 05:51 AM Re: My Favorite Lighthouse Memories
Dave H Online

Registered: 01/01/70
Posts: 7844
Loc: Kokomo, IN
About a third or so of the way down this thread is the story as to why Rich has a special love for Fort Gratiot. There is a longer version of Rich's story, but it no longer shows up in the searches. A very personal tale of the importance of lighthouses.


#17021 - 08/19/02 06:06 AM Re: My Favorite Lighthouse Memories
ktamlin Offline

Registered: 05/06/02
Posts: 502
Loc: Auburndale, FL ---Not Far From...
I would have to say that my first lighthouse would Michigan City Pier Head seen many years ago when I was a kid going to the beach.

The most memorable would have to be East Brothers Lighthouse. It was the first B & B lighthouse that we stayed in and a very great experience.

The lighthouse I would love to live in is Point Betsie, MI. The first time that I saw it I fell in love with it.

I say that East Brothers is the most memorable, but really I think that every lighthouse visited is a memorable experience.
John & Karen

#17022 - 08/19/02 06:56 PM Re: My Favorite Lighthouse Memories
Shirin Offline

Registered: 07/11/02
Posts: 1540
Loc: Norwalk, CT
1. Tarrytown
2. Tarrytown
3. Tarrytown

This was the first light I visited almost 2 and a half years ago and is still my absolute favorite. What a plus it is to have it just 10 minutes away from home. This was also my first Harbour Lights so I can blame everything on this lighthouse.


#17023 - 08/20/02 02:33 AM Re: My Favorite Lighthouse Memories
RezmanDale Offline

Registered: 08/16/99
Posts: 934
Loc: Globe, AZ
The first lighthouse I ever visited was Old Point Loma. We took our family to Sea World and had a week in San diego. We visited the zoo and Balboa park and had some free time so we went to Point Cabrillo park and just happened to hike to the old lighthouse. We took a picture of the kids on the front steps. That was about 10 years ago before I realy had any interest in lighthouses.

The first lighthouse I visited that I will never forget was when Diana and I went to Florida for a cruse and had to kill 10 hours before our hotel room was ready. We found Jupiter Inlet lighthouse and climbed it. It was the first Lighthouse we climbed and we were hooked!

Another I'll never forget was Big Sable Michigan. It was the morning of September 11, 2001.

The one I fell in love with and would have moved right into was Point Fermin. The gardens were amazing and it was so peaceful!


#17024 - 08/20/02 06:43 PM Re: My Favorite Lighthouse Memories
Shortcake Offline
Cruise Director

Registered: 07/26/01
Posts: 2405
Loc: Mobile,AL,USA
1. The first Lighthouse that I ever saw was Biloxi, MS. Living on the Gulf Coast this is a light that you are likly to see alot of. When I was a very little girl we used to travel alot back and fouth between Houston, TX where we lived and Mobile, AL where both my parents grew up. This being before the day of interstates Hwy 90 was the way to go! I can remember seeing the lighthouse in the middle of the road and thinking "we are almost there!". Later on in time when I was 16. We lived in Ocean Springs, MS and I worked in Biloxi after school. So I would have to drive by the lighthouse every day. And now I still see this lighthouse about once a month or so, as I like to go over to the boats (Casinos) to eat and donate a few dollars from time to time.

2. My most memorable and unforgettable lighthouse experience wasn't realy because of the lighthouse (this was before my growing interest in lighthouses). The lighthouse was Fort Jefferson, FL. My husband and I wore on a 4 day live-a-bord Scuba Diveing trip to the Dry Tortuas. Note that there was a Hurricane just off the cost of Cuba at the time and we were diveing in 10 ft. seas! Getting off the boat was no problem, but getting back on was a *&%#@. This was also the day that I cought my first Lobster! Would I do it again? YOU BET YA!!!

3. As for the lighthouse that I would love to live in, I don't know, there are severl. St. Joseph Point, FL would be great! Although I've never seen the inside. I did fall in love with the outside! Cedar Keys, FL would also be nice! And I could name a few more as well.

Stephanie smile

God may have created man before woman,
but there is always a rough draft before the masterpiece.

#17025 - 08/21/02 12:51 PM Re: My Favorite Lighthouse Memories
Stainz Offline

Registered: 04/25/02
Posts: 136
Loc: Pinson, AL, USA
I stood radar watches in CIC on the sub tender I was attached to while I was in the Navy. We would 'plot' several as we entered/exited the Thames R. heading to/from our berth at State Pier in New London, CT. The first time I saw the N. London light, I had to run out to the weather deck to see why it was in the middle of the river! It was neat!

My first visit was to the Pensacola lighthouse on the Navy base - years ago. My most memorable visit was to the St. Simon Island, GA lighthouse. I had been in an art show under the oaks in the park by the lighthouse... it was a very hot July 4th ... I hadn't sold enough of my wares to pay for the gas, much less my other expenses. We became tourists! The lighthouse was much more fun. Somewhere, I have a very tight souvenir tee shirt... must have shrunk, huh?

Which one would I like to live in? Hmmm, how about the Sullivan Island light in Charleston... it has an elevator!


#17026 - 08/25/02 03:15 PM Re: My Favorite Lighthouse Memories
berriesncream Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/02/02
Posts: 15
Loc: Ocala,FL
I want to thank all of you for your interesting and heartwarming stories about your love of lighthouses. I will be looking forward to reading future posts about lighthouses in all the forums smile .


#17027 - 08/26/02 05:08 PM Re: My Favorite Lighthouse Memories
Randy Kremer Offline
Super Wacko

Registered: 01/01/70
Posts: 3329
Loc: Mason, Ohio
The first lighthouse that I saw was Bodie Island in 1990. I was hooked after that trip to the Outer Banks. I knew so little about lighthouses back then that we missed Currituck on that trip! In 1992, we went back and got to see it and climb it also - what a great experience!

My favorite is Split Rock. It's my opinion that this one is the best and sits in the most beautiful spot in this country! We got to see it on the first of Oct. in 1997. It was a most perfect day to see such a wonderful lighthouse. The locals told us they never have such nice weather in October, so I guess we were very lucky! I would suggest to anyone who loves lighthouses and have never seen this beauty, it's worth the trip! You will not be disappointed!

The lights that I never get tired of and have seen again and again are St. Simons, St. Augustine and Ponce Inlet! Since we vacation most every year in Florida, we drive past these and visit them often! Just this past Saturday, we stopped at St. Simons and climbed it again, this time with my seven year old son. We finally got our lighthouse passports, so this was our first stamp! Better late than never on those stamps I guess! Ponce and St. Augustine are later this week! On the trip back, we plan on hitting Tybee and Hunting Island again also! LIFE IS GOOD!!!!

#17028 - 08/29/02 07:43 PM Re: My Favorite Lighthouse Memories
kikigl Offline

Registered: 08/21/99
Posts: 862
Loc: St. Petersburg, Fl., USA
The very first lighthouse that I ever saw was
Rockland Breakwater when I was about five years old. I was not very happy with the adults in the
party because they wouldn't walk the mile-long
going out to the light. I think I cryed and stamped my foot, but that didn't get me out to it!
I went on a cruise out of Camden last year. Yhey took us in real close and stopped so we got really great pictures. It was a long wait, but I got there and it was a real thrill!

The most memorable was Marshall Point, Me. It was
so beautiful and quiet there even though it was
raining. The keeper's house is like a lettle doll
house. Got really neat pics of the lighted beacon.

I fell in love with Boca Grand, Fl. I could easily
move into this one with its pristine beach (imagine waking up to that view every morning!
and its tales of Pirate's and romance.

I think I love them all!!!!!!!

#17029 - 09/18/02 07:57 PM Re: My Favorite Lighthouse Memories
lhlover Offline

Registered: 09/09/02
Posts: 477
Loc: Brooksville, FL
As I mentioned in my introductory post - "my first lighthouse was Ponce Inlet (a.k.a. Mosquito Inlet) during my honeymoon. We weren't even in the hotel room 2 minutes when I saw a lighthouse shining proudly from the cover of a tourist welcome book for Daytona Beach. I didn't care where the lighthouse was located; I just knew that we were going. I made a deal with my new husband – we'll go to Daytona Raceway today, but we go to the lighthouse tomorrow. The deal was struck and I've been hooked ever since." My husband and I climbed to the top on a VERY hot July afternoon. As the breeze touched my face and cooled my body, I looked out beyond the railing, beyond the colored house tops and velvety green tree tops, out to the blue, inviting Ocean filled with all sorts of fishing boats and sports boats and knew that I was hooked.

Each and every Lighthouse has been memorable. Each Lighthouse has it's own personality, life, and tale and as the lighthouses, I have a different tale to tell for each. Out of every Lighthouse though I have to say that Cape St. George sticks out most from my memories. It was my first meeting with the Florida Lighthouse Association and I had made this simple goal to myself - visit EVERY Lighthouse in the State of Florida. At the meeting they were having a drawing to pick 30 FLA members to ride a private boat to Cape St. George. Boy did I think I was lucky when Kenny and I were called to join the group - boy was I in for a surprise!

The setting - Late October 2000 - a record cold day in the Panhandle of Florida. The Temp - 38F It was early morning, cold, but sunny. Only 15 of 30 members showed as we waited patiently (yeah right!) waited for the captain to show. When he showed, he tried for 15 mins to change our minds about going. The boat - an open ferry type boat with two metal bench seats that started from the front of the boat to the end and no shelter. The boat didn't have any gas and it was Sunday, so we spent the first hour trying to find an open boat gas station. After we filled up on gas and Hot Coco we started out.

We got stuck on a sand bar once due to the tide being out (will come up again in the story). We went around the island and got some beautiful shots of the Lighthouse from the water. (which has another story to it, but I'll save that for anyone who wants to ask me sometime in person wink ) We made it to the docking side of the island, but the tide was out so we had to boat over to a pier that was out in deeper water. That pier had to be build about the turn of the century - I think the only thing holding it up was the bird droppings! We inched our way across the pier, walked the mile to the Ranger station and took a beat-up old pickup to the Lighthouse. The site that met us was Heartbreaking and Heartwarming all at once!

The site - The Keepers Quarters had been knocked down and burnt, only the chimney stack stood to give proof that the house had stood at all. The Oil House was missing blocks, the roof caved in and looked like a strong wind would knock it down at any time. The construction machines (heavy-equipment) scattered about the site were silent as if they were watching us, waiting to see our reaction to the work they had so tenderly and lovingly done. There before us stood the Lighthouse - it's white bricks stained and dirty from the years of neglect and abuse. There was no glass in the windows, boards took the glass's place as if it was expecting a Hurricane. It's innards - the stairs - were in pieces laying in a pile of construction debris next to the oil house. Around the struggling Lighthouse was metal shoring with concrete poured between it and the lighthouse - keeping the Lighthouse standing tall and proud. As I'm sure all of you have seen, this Lighthouse was at one time tilting at almost a 45 angle - it now stood straight! At that moment I knew that I was proud to be with the FLA which helped donate money to restore this beautiful piece of History. I knew that I had to do what I could to help them help restore and open all the Lighthouses in Florida to people like you and I.

The Lighthouse I would love to move into - which surprisingly isn't Cedar Keys/Seahorse Key - would be Old Presque Isle in Michigan. From the moment we arrived, to the moment we left, I felt like the Lighthouse was built just for me. The grounds were beautiful, the view was mesmerizing, the lighthouse begged me to climb it, the house welcomed me into its warmth. The fire in the fireplace dared me to pull up a chair and curl up with my favorite book and read by its warm glow. I never felt so a part of a place before in my life as I did here. It was like I had come home after a long absence. For that place I would brave the cold and the snow. smile


#17030 - 09/19/02 05:05 AM Re: My Favorite Lighthouse Memories
WisKeeper Offline
Super Wacko

Registered: 01/01/70
Posts: 1290
Loc: Madison, Wisconsin USA
A woman at work just returned from a long weekend in Door County. She was excited to tell me that she visited her first lighthouse, Eagle Bluff. She really enjoyed touring it. Lighthousing is contagious at any age.

Suzanne Murphy
President, Wisconsin Lighthouse District (WILD)

#17031 - 09/19/02 01:57 PM Re: My Favorite Lighthouse Memories
Nana Offline

Registered: 01/01/70
Posts: 2310
Loc: Valrico, FL
My trip to Point Conception, CA has to be among the most memorable lighthouse trips for me. After several months of telephone calls--a date and time was set for the adventure. As my cousin, aunt and another family friend made our way to the gate with the seven locks, we wondered if our planning had been in vain. We felt like we were breaking into Fort Knox as my fingers and thoughts coordinated the unlocking. Soon, the gate was swung open and we eased the car inside the cattle ranch that surrounds Point Conception.

Slowly, we made out way across the dirt roads of the ranch, following the course that had been given to me. The car rode past same bunk houses, and as far as the eye could see ranch land. At one point, we saw the Amtrak train whizzing by. All along, the quietness was amazing.

Then we saw it, the elbow where the lighthouse sat. We were struck all at once with the beauty of the landscape, but the sad condition of buildings that had at one time been a thriving lightstation. If you read information on this light, you will realize what a problem it was to build it back in the 1800's..the first construction did not make it at all..but the second, completed in 1882 still stands...and there we were, on a foggy morning in July, viewing her.

The lighthousekeepers house was and still is, as far as I know, in a state of disrepair. No groups are trying to preserve it, seems I heard it is a controversial sight, as it sits on private ranch land. But, it is one of the most dangerous stretches of the CA coast and mariners still depend on the of which is the fog mournful it continued to sound while we stood letting our ears become use to the constant warning sound.

Of course, we could not go into the light, we were not with the Coast Guard, just four ladies fulfilling the quest of one lighthouse lover, me. So, we took in all we could with our eyes and ears. Deer darted across our paths, and stood afar to decide if our intrusion was a serious one. The Pacific Ocean beat itself along the shore as we peered thru the very doors that keepers had cleaned in years gone by and we were sad for what had been.

Did we venture down the wooden steps leading to the very point? You bet we did. The ice plant cascaded from the top over the side and down, down, down the cliff and steps. Slowly we made our way down, making sure our feet were on solid wood before each step. As I recall, we were pushed along once on solid rock as the wind made its normal appearance. Our steps made it as close as we dared to the edge and friendly cautions were given to each other freely. The whole scenario was magic for me....research to get there, making the trip out west, the lighthouse, the work of God under my feet and the technology of man--and did I feel blessed, you betcha!

Point Conception was one of my first trips and it was one of the most exciting.

#17032 - 09/19/02 10:37 PM Re: My Favorite Lighthouse Memories
oseabee Offline

Registered: 09/26/00
Posts: 936
Loc: Bradenton,Fl.U.S.A.
Hi Guys:

This is Oseabee from Nova Scotia. I have been checking out some of the Canadian lights this summer for a change. There are some beautiful lights up here, even tho' smaller than the U.S. lights. If you come this way be sure to see some of the P.E.I. lights, especially West Point, Cape North (the windmill farm - an added feature) and many others on this beautiful island. We travelled on the new Confederation Bridge and that was an experience in itself.

Also, here in Nova Scotia, on the Bay of Fundy, we saw some beautiful lights especially at a small town called Walton. There are some beutiful smaller lights all along the Eastern shore of the Bay of Fundy, including Margartetville (also known as Margaretsville - depending which end of town you live on) and Port George.

While travelling the West shore of the Bay, between St. John and St. Stephen, N.B.
at the turn-off to St. George on the left hand side of the road, a ride to Back Bay brings one to a really well-kept lighthouse surrounded by beautiful scenery where Freda wanted to live and never leave. The local residents are doing a very good job at keeping it in good condition. They even have a young student working in the little keepers house museum to proudly show visitors around. (All donations greatly appreciated) I was very pleased to see that they had on their brochure table some copies of the lighthouse digest.

If you do get to Nova Scotia you will want plenty of time to see all the lights in this part of the country and if you Prince Edward Island, West Point Light has a bed and breakfast and a great restaurant as part of the lighthouse. Why not spend a few nights here? When you visit, plan to take plenty of time for although these three Provinces look small on the map, they take a great deal of travel time.

When you want to see some lights different than U.S. lights in size and shape but still beautiful, come on up here. Canada will be glad to welcome you. Canada is just beginning to get into Lighthouse programs but the volunteers are very proud of what they have accomplished.

Bill O'Brien aka Oseabee
Bill O'Brien


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