CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

August 7, 2012

August 7th: A Celebration of Lighthouses Part A


CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

AUGUST 7TH:

A CELEBRATION OF LIGHTHOUSES Part A

Monte waves
from Owls
Head Light

On August 7, 1959, the first photograph of Earth was taken from space by the Explore VI. Did any of the photographs showed the magnificent lighthouses located in the United States. After all, August 7th is also National Lighthouse Day.

While the first known lighthouse was completed by the Pharohs of Alexandria, Egypt, about 280 B. C., and destroyed in an earthquake in the 1300s, the first lighthouse built in the United States was built in 1716. Located on Little Brewster Island at the entrance to Boston Harbor, Boston Harbor Light was blown up by the British in 1776. Its replacement tower, built in 1783, still functions as a manned navigation aid.3

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On August 7, 1789, the Lighthouse Act was signed, along with the commissioning of the first federal lighthouse in the United States.1  This act provided for the establishment and support of lighthouse, beacons, buoys and public piers.2

Two hundred years later Rhode Island Senator John H. Chafee sponsored a joint resolution designating August 7th as National Lighthouse Day. President Ronald Reagan signed the bill into public law on November 5, 1988. 1

As America continues its technological progress into the 21st century, it becomes easy to forget the wholesomeness and serenity of preindustrial establishments such as lighthouses. The history they provide gives us the opportunity to step back in time and learn more about our country. The contributions they made to our society, from protecting our coasts to guiding our sailors, should continue to be appreciated and remembered.1

National Lighthouse Day honors and commemorates a beacon of light that symbolizes safety and security for boats at sea.

The lighthouse is an iconic structure along the New England coast. We’ve met numerous persons on our visits to New England whose purpose in visiting the Atlantic coastline is for lighthouse tours and searches.

Although visiting lighthouses is not on our “bucket list” when we visit New England, we have had our share of experiences with lighthouses.

PORTLAND HEAD LIGHT

In 1787 Maine was still a part of Massachusetts. This was the year that George Washington directed two masons from Portland to be in charge of constructing the first lighthouse in Maine, the Portland Head Lighthouse. It was completed on January 10, 1791.

PIX left   We visited this lighthouse because I can incorporate it in the historic romance novel which I am writing. One of my main characters travels on a sloop between Boston and Lamoine (then Trenton) Maine between 1791 and 1797. She would have passed this lighthouse numerous times. In the 1790s Portland was America’s busiest port.

While there I was photographing the lighthouse with a new camera (only I would purchase a new camera for such a trip). I noticed a gentleman beside me using the same camera. I asked him if he knew how to use a certain technique, which he didn’t, so I showed him. I was real pleased to be able to show someone else how to use the camera I barely knew how to operate.

BURNT ISLAND LIGHT

In 2003 we took a boat ride from Boothbay Landing in Maine to Burnt Island, which features a living history lighthouse built in 1821 and recently restored. Monte climbed its tower (I questioned whether my knees would handle all the steps). He waved to me from the top, posing for a photo. It was a glorious island to explore, and well worth the visit.

OWLS HEAD LIGHT

We also visited Owls Head Lighthouse, built in 1826 on the west side of the Penobscot Bay.

CAPE NEDDICK (NUBBLE) LIGHT

Another lighthouse we intentionally visited was Nubble Lighthouse near York, Maine. I remember visiting it when I was a child living in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It was built in 1879 and automated in 1987. It is located on a small rocky island, the Nubble, once dubbed as Savage Rock. In 162, explorer Bartholomew Gosnold met with local Indians on this rock.4

(to read  AUGUST 7TH: A CELEBRATION OF LIGHTHOUSES Part B click on https://carolyncholland.wordpress.com/2012/08/12/august-7th-a-celebration-of-lighthouses-part-b/

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ADDITIONAL READING:

BRAMBLES (Brief Rambles) 2:2008 May 5—Temporary Art, Bull-Headedness?-Arachnophobia

CHILDISH CHARACTERISTICS

IN NEW ENGLAND, HISTORY CONFLICTS WITH PROGRESS

IS THIS “CHEERS?”

KILLED STRANGELY: A NEW ENGLAND MURDER STORY

LOBSTER-TALES

SOURCES

1http://www.lighthousefoundation.org/museum/natllighthouseday_info.htm

2http://www.nyacknewsandviews.com/2012/08/pipc_natllighthouseday2012/

3http://www.coastalliving.com/travel/top-10/fun-facts-about-lighthouses-00400000000665/

4http://www.lighthouse.cc/capeneddick/history.html

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2 Comments »

  1. Carolyn, you are an iconic woman.

    Comment by Joan — August 21, 2012 @ 9:20 am | Reply


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