February 2015  




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Lighthouse Lovers!


If you love lighthouses and want to learn about these guiding lights and navigational aids all over the world, then The Lighthouse Directory is the website for you. It provides an astounding amount of information, linking to more than 17,200 of the world's lighthouses. Russ Rowlett, Adjunct Professor of Mathematics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, compiled the directory with the assistance of hundreds of lighthouse fans around the world who have enriched this site with their own information and suggestions. For a long time, Rowlett tried to maintain a list of lighthouses from his many friends and contacts, but it had grown too long (and too out of date) to display on the comprehensive site. Rowlett offers special thanks to Michel Forand for his suggestions and editing, touching essentially every page of the directory, and Jeremy D'Entremont, Ted Sarah and Klaus Huelse, each contributing in vital ways.

The Maine
Lighthouse Museum

Another unique educational resource for U.S. Lighthouse history, Lifesaving and Lightship Services is the Maine Lighthouse Museum (MLM), located in Rockland, Maine, the heart of the Midcoast. Last October, the U.S. Lightship Museum presented a PowerPoint presentation at the MLM about U.S. lightships and Nantucket/LV-112.

The mission of the Maine Lighthouse Museum is to educate the public regarding the longstanding traditions, heroism and progress of America's Lighthouse and Lifesaving Services and the U.S. Coast Guard through the conservation and interpretation of the nation's most significant collection of lighthouse and lifesaving artifacts. From sparkling lenses to heartwarming stories of the keepers and their families, the Maine Lighthouse Museum is truly America's lighthouse museum. For more information, log on to the Maine Lighthouse Museum or call 207.594.3301.  



We Salute Our Donors


American Express
Amex Industrial Services, Inc.
Association of Public Safety Communications Officials - Atlantic Chapter

Bluefin Robotics

Boston Forge & Welding Corp. 

Boston Harbor 


Shipyard & Marina
The Boston Foundation
ThreeBees Fund

California Public Safety Radio Association 

  Cameron International Corporation


Claflin & Son

Nautical Antiques


Crandall Dry Dock Engineers


Capt. Robertson P. Dinsmore Fund

Donahue, Tucker &

Ciandella, PLLC 


East Boston Foundation


BAE Systems   


Eastern Bank Charitable

Egan Maritime Institute,

Nantucket Shipwreck &

Lifesaving Museum


Fitzgerald Shipyard


Foss Maritime


J. Hewitt Marine

Electrical Services 


Kelly Automotive Group   


H.F. Lenfest Fund


McAllister Towing &
Transportation Co.


Joe and Pepette Mongrain

National Trust for    

Historic Preservation

New England 

Lighthouse Lovers 

New London Maritime Society and Custom House Maritime Museum 



Industrial Marine Coatings Division
T & M Services

 Town of Oyster Bay, 

Long Island, NY

 U.S. Coast Guard Lightship Sailors Association 

 West Marine    

U.S. Lighthouse Society 

 USLM Members  

Verizon Foundation


Zuni Maritime Foundation

USS Zuni / USCG Tamaroa  

 Individual Donors




USLM is a Member
of the Following Organizations


CAMM Logo 


HNSA Logo     


The flag of the United States Lighthouse Service


Teach children about lightships with the book,


Editorial From School  
Library Journal 

Kindergarten-Grade 2: Lightships were anchored where lighthouses could not be built. They protected our ocean harbors as well as points along the Great Lakes. The last one (Nantucket/LV-613) was decommissioned in 1983, so this fascinating picture book is a piece of nautical history. Brian Floca's watercolor drawings depict daily life aboard one of these vessels, cooking, sleeping, working, all the while rolling with the rhythm of the waves. Many hazards were involved. Big ships came too close, anchors lost their mooring, and weather caused many problems. But when the fog rolled in, the lightship sprang into action. Lights flashed and horns sounded, allowing ship traffic to make it "through fog and night, past rocks and shoals, past reefs and wrecks, past danger." The drawings are very detailed. Some pages are collages of small scenes. Many are full spreads. The sailors' facial expressions are amusing to watch, and the resident cat appears on almost every page. The front and back endpapers show a cutaway view of one of the vessels. This fascinating, little-known slice of history should prove interesting to every child who loves big boats.
-- Ieva Bates, Ann Arbor District Library, MI (review originally published by Reed Business Information, Inc.) 

 The book Lightship, by Brian Floca, can be purchased on Amazon.com. For more information about lightships, click on Brian Floca's blog.

For more information about the U.S. Coast Guard Lightship Sailors Association and the U.S. Lightship Service, click on logo

Lead, Kindly Light

By John Henry Newman

"Lead, Kindly Light, amidst th'encircling gloom,
Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home,
Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.
I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou
Shouldst lead me on;
I loved to choose and see my path; but now
Lead Thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will. Remember not past years!
So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still
Will lead me on.
O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone,
And with the morn those angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile!
Meantime, along the narrow rugged path,
Thyself hast trod,
Lead, Saviour, lead me home in childlike faith,
Home to my God.
To rest forever after earthly strife
In the calm light of everlasting life."

Note: "Lead Kindly Light" was a poem originally written by John Henry Newman (1801-1890), who was 33 years old when he found himself on a boat from the Sicilian city of Palermo to Marseille, France. Newman, who was recovering after being dangerously ill with a fever, was on the boat to return to his native England when he penned the lyrics to "Lead, Kindly Light." The context that Newman was recovering from a frightening illness in the middle of the sea gives insight to the lyrics.


Photo above: Pigeon Point Lighthouse in California, by Darvin Atkeson


Poem posted on LV-112 while in service on Nantucket Shoals Lightship Station

"When a sailor gets to thinking 
He is one of the best
Let him ship out on a lightship
And take the acid test.
And if he feels like bragging
I don't think that all of his tales
Will be of deep sea sailing
But of the ship that never

Poem provided by Peter Brunk,
USCG-Ret., Commanding Officer,
Nantucket/LV-112, 1970-71

American Express donates $250,000 to restore Nantucket/LV-112's guiding light beacon   
Nantucket Lightship Sponsorship  


LV-112 berthed at the Boston Harbor Shipyard & Marina on the East Boston waterfront


Designated a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2012, Nantucket/LV-112 has received a $250,000 grant from American Express to rebuild its navigational light beacon, radio beacon structures, foghorn and on-board electrical systems. "This project will restore the heart of the lightship, allowing it to shine for the first time in 40 years," said Timothy J. McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation and vice president of corporate social responsibility at American Express, who authored an article published in the Huffington Post. "The grant also will help the lightship to be more accessible to the public year round."


This photo of LV-112 (c. 1965) shows the fully intact radio beacon antenna structures on top of the main and foremast. The primary 500,000-candlepower light beacon is located on main mast. Foghorn is shown on top of midship deck house
Top of LV-112's main and foremast as they appear today, with radio beacon antenna structures removed and radio beacon antenna relocated by previous stewards
Radio Beacon Structure Plan illustrates the original LV-112 radio and light beacon structures (highlighted), which are being restored back to the historically accurate 1960-75 configuration


The Huffington Post article continues (edited)

"American Express knows that historic places, like the Nantucket Lightship/LV-112, contribute to a sense of national and local identity, and they play an important role in attracting visitors and revitalizing neighborhoods," McClimon continued. "Through the National Treasures program, American Express is assisting the National Trust for Historic Preservation in mounting campaigns to protect endangered sites across America, and we are making grants to support some sites with their preservation and restoration projects.


Commitment to historic preservation

With a long history of philanthropy, American Express is deeply committed to historic preservation, providing more than $50 million in grants to preserve historic places globally. As a partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, American Express has contributed $15 million in the past 10 years to help promote and enable the preservation of cultural and historic places like the Nantucket Lightship/LV-112.


LV-112's hull restoration during 2012 dry-dock at the Fitzgerald Shipyard in Boston Harbor. Additional hull restoration and dry-docking is currently being planned

Helping save 'The Statue of Liberty of the Sea'

Nearly 80 years after it began safeguarding the trans-Atlantic shipping lanes with its powerful guiding light, radio beacon and foghorn, Nantucket Lightship/LV-112 will once again be illuminated in its homeport of Boston. The "Statue of Liberty of the Sea," as it's affectionately known, is a symbol of America's development. Anchored 100 miles off the U.S. mainland near the dangerous Nantucket Shoals from 1936-75, it was the last landmark seen by vessels departing the United States and the first beacon seen by many immigrants entering U.S. waters. Restoration is underway on this former U.S. Coast Guard floating lighthouse to make it accessible for future generations to better understand the vital lightship era of our nation's maritime history and to function as a floating learning center.



LV-112's hull before and after recent restoration, among key steps initially taken to restore the historic lightship

Working with a dedicated corps of volunteers, Bob Mannino is the lead caretaker for the Nantucket Lightship/LV-112, currently berthed in East Boston. With a lifelong passion for maritime history, Mannino worked to establish the United States Lightship Museum in 2009 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to saving and preserving the famous lightship. Back then, the Nantucket Lightship/LV-112 had been orphaned and on the verge of being dismantled. As highlighted in the discussion below, McClimon and Mannino share a similar philosophy that saving historic places not only helps preserve the past, but can provide powerful educational opportunities for active learning and discovery for future generations


McClimon: With a heritage of preserving historic sites around the world, American Express recognizes the power of nonprofit-business partnerships to save sites and rally communities. Have you seen the value?


Mannino: Partnerships with other nonprofit organizations and the business community can be absolutely transformational. Even though Nantucket/LV-112 is the largest and most famous lightship in American history, like many historic projects, we face funding challenges. We gained a tremendous boost when the National Trust selected Nantucket/LV-112 as a National Treasure, leading to this pivotal grant from your Foundation.


McClimon: Restoration work is underway right now to make the ship's navigational warning signals operational once again. Why was this step in restoration so important to you and the Museum?


East Boston fourth-grade students visit LV-112, learning first-hand about its remarkable role in maritime history

Mannino: To fully tell its remarkable story, we needed to restore LV-112's light beacon, a powerful navigational aid that once guided transoceanic ships through the treacherous waters around Nantucket Shoals, the most remote lightship station in the world and the only one located in international waters. Nantucket Lightship/LV-112's 500,000-candlepower light is symbolic of our new Candlepower Program, a hands-on educational opportunity in which schoolchildren visit our ship to learn why our nation needed lightships, the crew's courage during horrific storms and near-collisions, and the scientific data they collected to help scientists better understand our climate, oceanographic environment and weather. In additional to motivating children to learn and succeed, the course is designed to inspire them to become guiding lights -- "candlepower of the future" -- recognizing their key role in helping to preserve America's historic treasures for generations to come.


McClimon: After this phase of preservation is completed in 2015, I know there are some exciting public activities being planned. Can you tell me what's in store?


HAM radio operators broadcasting and receiving voice and Morse code communications to other lighthouses and lightships all over the world during the annual International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend in LV-112's radio room; LV-112's callsign is W1NLS


Mannino: We are excited to be invited by the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Park Service to participate in the 2016 Tri-centennial Celebration of Boston Light, America's first and oldest lighthouse site. Joint planning is now underway to nationally promote this event, with our restored beacon shining forth as the pride of the lightship. Every summer, we also participate in the annual International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend, based in Scotland, with Nantucket/LV-112 one of more than 500 registered HAM radio stations that broadcast and receive voice and Morse code messages transmitted from lighthouses and lightships around the world. We invite the public to LV-112 to participate in these events. LV-112's newly restored light beacon is scheduled to be relighted and celebrated on National Lighthouse Day, August 7, 2015. More information about LV-112 and National Lighthouse Day will be announced at a later date.   


Boston Light (foreground), which will celebrate its 300th anniversary in 2016, and Graves Light help guide a cruise ship into Boston Harbor. Credit: Photo above and Minot's Ledge Light (at top of left column) by Carl Spence Photography


McClimon: We know local community engagement is critical to sustaining historic places and that your organization is proof of this, with your entire staff being composed entirely of volunteers. Helping preserve local historic places doesn't have to be complicated. What are ways people can get involved with Nantucket Lightship or in their own community?


Mannino: The general public is fascinated by the story of lightships, which were anchored miles off the coast and largely out of sight. Now that Nantucket/LV-112 is back to its original homeport of Boston and berthed in the heart of the harbor, it has unparalleled visibility and magnetism, drawing people of all ages from the local community as well as tourists from around the world to learn its story and admire its unique design and sturdy construction. Showing support for historic places can be as simple as taking and sharing a photo of a site, going on a tour or buying a souvenir from a gift shop. For those who really want to get involved, we continuously reach out to people from all walks of life to volunteer, and many are giving their time and skills to advance our project's mission.


To learn more about National Treasures and nominate a historic place in your community, please visit SavingPlaces.org. Follow National Trust for Historic Preservation on Twitter.


Striving for completion

Although, Nantucket/LV-112's restoration is 50 percent completed, we still have a long way to go before we are in a maintenance and preservation-only mode. We still have to raise approximately $1.2 million to virtually complete LV-112's restoration goals, at which point we could focus primarily on educational programs for students and the general public


The pace and progress of LV-112's restoration is dependent on the generosity of our donors. We are sincerely grateful for the commitment of all our volunteers and donors who have helped us achieve LV-112's restoration progress to date. We are especially appreciative to the National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express for their ongoing support to our cause. Everyone's support of historic preservation is critical to saving America's national treasures, historic sites and landmarks.

Become a USLM member today
For a gift of $1,000 or more, donors will receive a limited-edition, fine-art print of the SS United States passing Nantucket/LV-112, signed by marine artist Gerald Levey
When you become a member of the U.S. Lightship Museum (USLM), you will be helping rescue and preserve Nantucket Lightship/LV-112, a National Historic Landmark and National Treasure that is an important part of our nation's maritime heritage. Plus you will have the satisfaction of knowing you are a contributing partner in the legacy of the world's most famous and largest U.S. lightship ever built. The USLM is a member of the Council of Maritime Museums (CAMM) and the Historic Naval Ships Association (HNSA). All USLM members will be granted reciprocal privileges (free admission) at participating CAMM institutions. For more information about the benefits and the USLM Membership program, click on USLM Membership.


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We thank everyone for their ongoing
contributions and support

The United States Lightship Museum 

The U.S. Lightship Museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the rescue and preservation of Nantucket Lightship/LV-112, a National Historic Landmark and a National Treasure. LV-112 is a museum and floating learning center, open to the general public -- a place for people of all ages to learn about our nation's seafaring history and the technologies that advanced the nautical and marine sciences.