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The Lighthouse Letter 2009


The Lighthouse Preservation Society’s restoration project of the Newburyport Rear Range Light in Massachusetts has just received a new paint job and a complete interior makeover of the upstairs lens room under the direction of local interior decorator and textile designer, Bridgette Newfell. Beautiful new adjustable lighting, including a glass chandelier with prisms and electric candles have been installed to create an enhanced romantic lighting effect, a unique “sea glass” table has been installed, new cushions with seasonal fabrics have been created, including one-of-a-kind hand-painted designs, and new color schemes, which includes a painted domed ceiling that looks like the sky, have been artistically rendered to create a refined and different look for each season of the year. In addition, a new window and a powerful new heat pump, that is capable of both heating and cooling the tower, has recently been installed. This will allow the popular romantic dining destination, which had been seasonal until now, to stay open for the first time through the cold winter months, and extend our season throughout the entire year.



Our popular dining program at the Newburyport Rear Range Light has continued to receive the highest accolades. In a recent (July/August) issue of Yankee Magazine, the writer stated that "if you're romantically inclined, it doesn't get much better", and described the dining room at the top of the lighthouse tower as "a glass-encased love nest… that feels like the top of the world". Earlier, the one-of-a-kind lighthouse dinners had been selected by Yankee Publishing as one of the top 35 destinations to make the "ultimate to-do list for New England Travelers" in the 2006 edition of the Yankee Magazine Travel Guide to New England.





On July 23, 2009, the U.S. Postal Service issued another 5 lighthouse stamps, thanks, in part, to the efforts of The Lighthouse Preservation Society, which proposed the concept, and has been a consultant and contributor for the artwork. This now makes 25 American postage stamps (4 sets of 5) that have come out since we first introduced the idea back in 1989-1990 for America’s Lighthouse Bicentennial, marking the 200th anniversary of the signing of the 9th Act of Congress, which established our nation’s lighthouse program. This present set features one lighthouse from each of the five Gulf Coast states: Matagorda Island Light (representing Texas), Sabine Pass Light (Louisiana), Biloxi Light (Mississippi), Sand Island Light (Alabama), and Fort Jefferson Light (Florida). Like the earlier stamps, these new images are the work of renowned illustrator, Howard Koslow. Commemorative first-day-of-issue envelopes, featuring the stamps on colorful lighthouse envelopes, are now available for sale through The Lighthouse Preservation Society.



The Lighthouse Preservation Society is announcing the start of a new contest in 2010 to create a winning design for a proposed “First Guardians” statue in Newburyport, the birthplace of the U.S. Coast Guard. The contest will be between three nationally-known sculptors, who will submit their own interpretations of the new statue. The First Guardians statue will depict three uniformed men from each of the three founding federal agencies – the Revenue Cutter Service, the U.S. Lighthouse Service, and the U.S. Lifesaving Service – that merged to become the modern U.S. Coast Guard. The Society is looking for three separate gifts of $3,000 each, from private donors, to fund the creation of three competing scale models from each sculptor. If you’re interested in contributing, or know of a corporate or foundation grant that might be available, please contact The Lighthouse Preservation Society at 11 Seaborne Drive, Dover, NH 03820.