National Lighthouse Day

Annually, National Lighthouse Day is celebrated on August 7 in honor of United States lighthouses.

On August 7, 1789, Congress approved an act “for the establishment and support of lighthouse, beacons, buoys, and public piers.”

Read the text of the original act here:

In honor of National Lighthouse Day, take a journey back with me to some of the lighthouses I have visted over the course of almost three years.

I will always have a special affinity for Absecon Lighthouse in Atlantic City, New Jersey. It is the first lighthouse I ever visited and climbed.

Absecon is the tallest lighthouse in the Garden State, and the third tallest in the United States.

I first visited there in September 2013.

Above: My nighttime view of Absecon Lighthouse on Septmeber 19, 2013.

Above: September 20, 2013 at Absecon Lighthouse- I could barely contain my excitement as I spent my birthday climbing a lighthouse for the first time.

Since 2013, I have made it a point to try to visit Absecon Lighthouse once a year.

In 2014, I returned to Absecon to celebrate another birthday there.

I was not able to visit in 2015, but look forward to a return visit this year. As the wonderful staff at Absecon are fond of saying: “228 steps- one amazing journey.”

On September 22, 2014 I visted Drum Point Lighthouse in Solomon, Maryland. Drum Point is one of the few remaining screw pile, cottage style lighthouses in Maryland.

Above: Listening to the tour guide give a talk about Drum Point Lighthouse, from the room that houses the fourth-order fresnel lens.

What I love most about Drum Point Lighthouse, is the sense it gives you of how families actually lived there. Inside you will find replicas of living quarters, including bedrooms, a kitchen and dining room. On one of the walls is a tribute to Anna Weems Ewalt, who was born inside Drum Point on July 13, 1906.

In 2015, I wanted to experience lighthouses in a way I had not before.

On Septmeber 19, I boarded the MV Sharps Island boat for a tour of 10 lighthouses along the Chesapeake Bay.

As the boat approached each lighthouse, CAPT Mike would stop the boat long enough to talk about the lighthouse and allow us time to take pictures.

One of my favorite lighthouses that day, was Thomas Point Lighthouse, our second stop on the tour.

Other personal favorites for me that day, were the Baltimore Lighthouse (currently undergoing renovation), and the Pooles Island Lighthouse.

The day after my boat tour, I visted the Cove Point Lighthouse in Lusby, Maryland.

Cove Point is stil an active aide to navigation. As such, you can stand at the base of the lighouse and look up the spiral staircase. But you cannot go to the top of the lighthouse.

Each lighthouse experience is unique. You come away with different information and lessons learned, and thankful for each opportunity to experience lighthouses in a different way. I am looking forward to new lighthouse experiences in the weeks ahead.

Happy National Lighthouse Day!


Here’s Looking At You, Fresnel Lens

Today’s post is all about the fresnel lens.

The Fresnel Lens was developed by French physicist Augustin Fresnel.

You can read more about the fresnel lens in the book A Short Brght Flash by Theresa Levitt: A Short Bright Flash

This was my view of the first-order fresnel lens at Absecon lighthouse in Atlantic City, New Jersey on September 20, 2014.

2014-09-20 14.47.38




And this was my capture of the fourth-order fresnel lens inside the tower room at Drum Point lighthouse in Solomons, Maryland on September 22, 2014.

2014-09-22 13.28.55 HDR

Finally, from inside the museum beside Drum Point lighthouse, a section dedicated to lighthouses and the fresnel lens.

2014-09-22 12.38.32 HDR