Twenty-five years ago this month, with only 34 paid subscribers, the first issue of Lighthouse Digest, a newsprint tabloid magazine, came off the press. As the magazine changed from newsprint, to heavy duty white stock paper, to a full color glossy publication, the number of subscribers grew into the tens of thousands, with subscribers in all fifty states and seventeen other countries.
Over the last twenty-five years, we are proud of the role that we have assumed by taking solid stands in helping to save lighthouses, lighthouse artifacts, and the uncovering and reporting of stories and history that otherwise might never have been told, more than any other publication in history. In doing so we built a massive archive. We helped found a lighthouse museum and donated numerous artifacts to various organizations. We were among the first to join the innovations of the World Wide Web with our Lighthouse Explorer data base.
One of our proudest memories is of the extremely active role we played in the “Fight for the Light” to support the ownership of North Carolina’s Currituck Beach Lighthouse for the Outer Banks Conservationists, as well as our role in the “Move It or Lose It” battle to move and save that state’s iconic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. We were also there to cover the early historic moves of such lighthouses as the Southeast Lighthouse on Block Island, Rhode Island; Highland Light on Cape Cod; and others. We were there when the Maine Lights program was started and completed, a program that led to the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000.
As well as supporting and promoting many lighthouse events and celebrations, for twenty years we were a major sponsor to the Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival that in its heyday was attended by tens of thousands of people every year. We fought and petitioned for lighthouse postage stamps and National Lighthouse Day. We even helped start several lighthouse groups, supported their early development, and donated to numerous lighthouse restoration projects.
More recently, we have tried to a great extent to lead the way in honoring our lighthouse keepers with ceremonies to place Memorial Lighthouse Keeper Markers at the gravesites of keepers, in hopes that others will follow suit, something that seems to be slowly taking off.
Obviously, many things have changed over the past twenty-five years, such as the growth of the Internet and social media sites where some people think that the Internet is the only source to learn about lighthouses, something that could not be further from the truth. In many cases, the stories found in Lighthouse Digest will not be found anywhere else. But as we continue to lose subscribers who have passed away, we find it increasingly difficult to replace those subscribers with younger subscribers. Plus, we have come to realize that age is even catching up with us, and we need to look for a new generation that could take over the magazine.
In summing up, we feel blessed and thankful for the thousands of subscribers, many of who we have known personally, including many who are no longer with us, who helped provided us with an amazing twenty-five years, and we end by saying,
“One Score, Five Years, and Counting . . .”
Editor & Publisher
P.O. Box 250
East Machias, ME 04630
This story appeared in the
May/Jun 2017 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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