"Lighthouse Memories"

Portland Head Lighthouse

Snow Frost......Portland Head Lighthouse is my favorite lighthouse for many reasons. The keeper's quarters is designed so beautifully--the bright red roof against the white lighthouse tower. I find it amazing how different the lighthouse looks, when viewed by various directions. I have three photos of the lighthouse that I took in November, 1997, that look like three "separate" lighthouses. I particularly like the view from a distance at the left side of the lighthouse. The cliff, the rushing waves crashing against the rocks, that bright red roof on the keeper's quarters, the smell of pine trees and the ocean--so beautiful.

I especially enjoy visiting Portland Head Lighthouse in the winter--with lots of snow. Being able to park next to the lighthouse is also enjoyable. The colors of a beautiful sunset, only adds to the beauty of visiting Portland Head Lighthouse. I feel as though somehow I belong there, and it shall always be my favorite lighthouse.

Alcatraz Lighthouse

Carrie Drake......The winter months seem to be a time when a lot of lighthouse enthusiasts go through lighthouse withdrawal because of the barriers that winter creates to actually picking oneself up, physically, and finding one's way to a lighthouse in real time and space. Looking at pictures of lighthouses is nutin' like being near a real life lighthouse! Lighthouses are in a totally different dimension from pictures of lighthouses, but what lies between the picture and the real lighthouse is still unexplored territory of the human imagination.

I just added an additional page to Lighthouse Station website in which I exploreed some of that territory with... photos I recently took on an evening walk along Aquatic Park here in San Francisco, and the lighthouse fantasy that the sight of the Alcatraz Lighthouse from there evokes. All along the waterfront in San Francisco from the Bay Bridge past the Ferry Building, Pier 39, Fisherman's Wharf, the Maritime Museum, Aquatic Park, Ft. Mason, the Marina Green, Crissy Field, and the Golden Gate Bridge, the height of the Alcatraz Lighthouse gives the flash from its light a powerful presence. This webpage shows a photo of Aquatic Park and a photo of the old ships docked nearby at the Maritime Museum with the light shining from the Alcatraz Lighthouse in the distance. And from there, you can follow a link to the rest of San Francisco and what life is like for this lighthouse fan in this city with its bizarre mix of light and darkness with an appreciation for the value of the beacon from the lighthouse as a beacon to guide us through history... individually and collective.

We don't usually think that we can make a difference as individuals in history, but by following the beacon, we all shape history for the better.

St Joseph North Pier Lighthouse

Sara David......I have been enjoying the pictures of some of the "Gt Lakes yahoogroups" members lighthouses and wanted to share my "beginning Story".

Two friends talked me into a bus trip offered by the local university. Four lighthouses, museum, and crafty shopping were included for the day's tour. We sat at the front of the bus and were the first group to head down the pier to view St. Joseph North Pier Light with two young coast guards. Arriving at the light, one realized he did not have the key to open the door so quickly ran to fetch it. Most of the tour group were still on the bus. These two young men opened the door, swept away the cobwebs, obtained a 'rickety' three step ladder and we (approx.12 persons) began climbing the steps, hoisted up over an old rusted wrought iron type fence to the entrance.

I had never seen a lighthouse or had much of an idea what one was used for, but this was an adventure and I scurried on up. Inside was aspiral staircase, up approximately one flight, and then straight up was a series monkey bar type rungs. I thought I would have a heart attack going up and not everyone opted to climb. Then a very narrow short stairs into the light area. All the coast guard said was, "Don't touch the light". It was great and I'm most sure it was once in a lift time climb, because they weren't suppose to take us up but didn't realize it. The tour guide was angry, the rest of the bus people didn't get the option, and I suppose it was dangerous, made the bus tour two hours late for the rest of the day.

That was my beginng to a wonderful interest in lighthouses and approx 80 different ones in the past year and a half. Have a great day and Keep looking Up. Sara--Fort Wayne, Indiana

Absecon Lighthouse
(New Jersey, USA)

Carol J. Innerst......Well, I am back from my trip to Atlantic City and want to say - I DID IT!!!

I thought that they were going to have to call the fire brigade to help me undo it but I am proud that I did it!! And you are wonder, what the heck is she talking about?

I found the Absecon (emphasis on the second syllable) Lighthouse and actually climbed all 228 steps to the top -- and thought that I was going to die!! I probably would not have been in such bad shape if my daughter and I hadn't walked the 12 blocks from the Bally hotel to the lighthouse. The bus company (Jitneys') lead me to believe that you had to have a ticket to ride on their bus!! They didn't tell me, in multiple e-mail messages, that I could get on one at any time and that the tickets were just the "multiple rider" types! So we walked to find their office which happened to be right next to the lighthouse. We were exhausted when we got the lighthouse but climbed to the top anyway! What an experience!! I even got the official card to say that "I had Climbed" the Absecon lighthouse!!

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
(North Carolina, USA)

Sheryl Iovanna......Cape Hatteras is my favorite. I first saw it when I was about 2 years old, and I remember standing next to it and looking up at how tall it was. Ever since then I have researched it and followed it's moving online. Last Spring I was able to go down to the Outer Banks. It just stood so majestic and you could imagine all the adventures it had been part of. It just seemed to take a place in my heart.

Marblehead Lighthouse
(Ohio, USA)

Jim Jauch...... I am a true "Buckeye", and believe what you have in your own backyard should be placed 1st....Marblehead Lighthouse on Lake Erie has won my heart by far...born and raised in Ohio, I love the history part and all the glory that goes with it...by the way it is "the oldest continuously operating light on the Great Lakes".

Tarrytown Lighthouse
(New York, USA)

Shirin Pagels...... I would have to say my favorite is the Tarrytown Lighthouse on the Hudson River. I live only ten minutes away in Ossining so I visit on a very regular basis.

I grew up along the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland and my parents house was decorated with many lighthouses but I didn't appreciate them or even visit any until I moved up to New York.

The Tarrytown Lighthouse was the first one I had ever been inside and the tour guide was very entertaining. That was a little over a year ago and now, it is a rare thing if I am home for a weekend or holiday and not out photographing lights. It is amazing how one little day trip would start such a major obsession.

Eagle Harbor Lighthouse
(Michigan, USA)

Cindy Freeman...... I haven't met a lighthouse I didn't like, but one of my favorites is Eagle Harbor in the Keweenaw Peninsula. If you have ever seen it on a sunny day, the colors are breathtaking -- the rusty-orange color of the brick against the most beautiful blue-green you'll ever see on Lake Superior. Add some white caps to the picture along with shiny wet jagged rocks along the shoreline and you have a gorgeous painting. I also love the structure of the house and tower. If you stand on the opposite side of the harbor, you can watch its flash in the tower from a distance.

Although it's a rather small lighthouse compared to many I've seen, you can easily understand the role it played in saving lives on the often treacherous waters of this huge lake.

Haceta Head Lighthouse
(Oregon, USA)

Bruce Comely......I'll never forget my visit to Heceta Head lighthouse. I visited Oregon on the occasion of a convention of the Organ Historical Society. Each year we visit a different location around the country looking at historic pipe organs, primarily built during the 19th Century. This convention was centered in Portland. After visiting the beautiful Mt. Angel Abbey in St. Benedict, I drove to the coast and had a wonderful ride north to Oceanside where I stayed in the Sea Rose B&B. It was incredibly beautiful. I enjoyed the sea stacks and a beautiful sunset (the only one I've ever seen from the perspective of the West coast).

During one of my excursions along the coast I went to the park by the Heceta Head lighthouse. After a wonderful, leisurely, and breath-taking (not to mention sweet-smelling) walk through the forest, I emerged on a small overlook at the edge of the park at the cliff's edge. There to my right was the Heceta Head lighthouse. My knees nearly buckled at the intensity of the beauty. I walked over and pressed my hand against the strong walls and gazed out over the Pacific Ocean to take in the view that the light had enjoyed for so many years. It was truly humbling to think that such a small structure could do such a big job.

I really hated to leave, and wished that I could have stayed longer to see the light in action.

***Do you have a lighthouse memory that you'd like to share? If so, please email me.

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