Although there has been immense progress in saving lighthouses in recent years, today the lighthouse preservation movement is itself in danger. It seems that hardly a month goes by, and another lighthouse is lost because of neglect or vandalism.
Even now, in this era of preservation, there are a large number of lighthouses that are in imminent danger of being lost forever.
Many lighthouse groups are struggling to raise money. Many restoration projects have stalled or slowed down. Some lighthouses don't even have a group or other entity to take care of them.
The government is excessing lighthouses that no one wants because they are either too remote or too dangerous to attempt to restore. What will happen to them? Some will be offered for sale. If so, who would buy them? Even if they are sold, the same strict covenants that are in the deed as provided by the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act will still apply. In fact, some states are considering even more strict covenants, which could make it improbable to restore and save some remote lighthouses. These lighthouses will eventually become a hazard to the public and may have to be demolished. Some will collapse on their own or vandals will surely cause their demise.
To save our lighthouses, as well as the history associated with them, your financial help must be provided. Time really is running out for many of our nation's lighthouses.
Some can be saved, but only if you help. As we approach the end of the year, I would encourage you to make a sizable donation now to your favorite lighthouse organization(s).
If you're not sure where to make that donation, or unsure of which lighthouses need the most help, then I would encourage you to support the American Lighthouse Foundation and help them in their efforts to save not only the lighthouses, but the history associated with them.
Tax-deductible donations, as allowed by law, can be sent to the Lighthouse History Research Institute, PO Box 250, East Machias, ME 04630.
This story appeared in the
October 2004 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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