The Lighthouse Letter 2013
New England Lighthouse Stamps Unveiled
The legacy of one of the most popular stamp series in U.S. Postal history was continued on July 12, 2013 with the release of five “Lighthouses of New England” postage stamps. This makes the 6th installment of postal sets of 5 - for a total of 30 stamps in 23 years – that have featured lighthouses from the various regions of the country. The first set was issued in 1990, and marked the American Lighthouse Bicentennial. The series was nominated by The Lighthouse Preservation Society, which has continued to serve as a consultant for the series over the years. This year’s stamps featured one historic lighthouse from each of the coastal New England states, including the Portland Head Light in Maine, the Portsmouth Harbor Light in New Hampshire, the Boston Light in Massachusetts, the Point Judith Light in Rhode Island, and the New London Harbor Light in Connecticut.
Society’s Lighthouse Dining Program Reaches New Heights
The last two years have seen a huge increase in our dining reservations at the Newburyport Lighthouse – nearly tripling what was already the Society’s very popular dining program. The increase has been so dramatic that it’s been a little overwhelming. It has quickly transformed us into one of the most popular lighthouse attractions in New England, and the only one that is open to the public year-round, 7-days-a-week. Prior to 2012, our dining program was largely seasonal, with dinner reservations usually booked solid from May through October. But after we got the dining area heated with a powerful heat pump - which also doubled as an air conditioner - we wanted to capitalize on the improvement, now that we could keep the dining area open year-round. Around that time, two major social media advertising companies, who each wanted to develop an ad campaign with us, approached us. Consequently, we started selling off-season dinners and lunches through their powerful new social media advertising networks. We saw immediate success when we sold lunch reservations for nearly every day of the year in an astonishing 24 hours. We saw similar remarkable success with the off-season dinner reservations. Now, we’re busy all year-round with both lunches and dinners; plus, for the first time, we will begin offering breakfasts in 2014, as well.
Major Improvements for Newburyport Light
Nearly $12,000 in electrical upgrades was made at the Newburyport Lighthouse this past year, which has dramatically improved the building’s looks at night. We have installed several new spotlights and bathed the exterior sides in light. The building can now be seen distinctly at night, as part of the city’s skyline. Also, beautiful new cabinetry and carpeting were installed on the first floor.
Straitsmouth Island Keeper’s House Restored
The Massachusetts Audubon Society has completed the exterior restoration of the Straitsmouth Island Keeper’s House this past year with the new chemically modified lumber that The Lighthouse Preservation Society was able to obtain for them. We have offered to help with a second phase interior restoration, as well, but so far, they have declined.
Society Creates Brass Vents for Cheboygan Range Light Restoration
Among the most common items that seem to disappear in old abandoned lighthouses are their brass vents. Consequently, when The Lighthouse Preservation Society fabricated the missing brass vents in our two Massachusetts range light restorations, we decided to make them available to other lighthouse projects around the country, as well. Earlier, we helped the historic 1827 Concord Point Light in Havre de Grace, Maryland. This past year, we supplied our brass vent replicas to the Charlevoix Historical Society in Michigan for their Charlevoix South Pier Light restoration work. We have also been approached this past year about providing our brass vent replicas to some of the National Parks lighthouses in 2014.