Tag Archive: rescuing lighthouse

The Lighthouse Kids Save Isles of Shoals Light in New Hampshire

Allan Wood | June 1, 2024 | COMMENTS:Comments Closed
Fishing Boat Passes White Island (Isles of Shoals) Lighthouse

Fishing Boat Passes White Island (Isles of Shoals) Lighthouse

The Lighthouse Kids Save White Island (Isles of Shoals) Lighthouse in New Hampshire

The first lighthouse in the Isles of Shoals was established on White Island in 1821, among the rocky islands as a stone tower to withstand the constant storms that would wash over the island. In 1839, Thomas Leighton became keeper at White Island Light. During some wild gale storms, he would be forced to bring his cow into the kitchen for safety. His daughter, Celia, later gained widespread fame as Celia Thaxter, poet and author. During another severe gale in 1839, the vessel Pocahontas was wrecked on a nearby sandbar, and all aboard perished. The memory of this incident inspired Celia Thaxter’s poem, “The Wreck of the Pocahontas.” She also wrote extensively about life on the Isles of Shoals, which continued attracting tourism to the islands.

White Island Lighthouse Without Walkway

White Island Lighthouse Without Walkway

The many years of constant storms were taking a toll on the lighthouse. In 1991, New England had two of its worst storms in many years. Hurricane Bob and the ferocious “Perfect Storm” of October 1991 that washed away the walkway from the tower to the house and the old fog signal tower. Over the years, the lighthouse tower developed major cracks in its lower exterior, threatening the structure to fall into the ocean. This inspired a group of seventh-grade students calling themselves the “Lighthouse Kids” in North Hampton, New Hampshire, along with their teacher, Sue Reynolds, to try to raise money to save the lighthouse. Each class would raise more funds each year to help fund the repairs. In 2005, they presented Governor John Lynch with a check for $110,000 to help restore the lighthouse, which helped to add to matching federal funds acquired in 2003 by Senator Judd Gregg. Most of the restorative work was completed during the summer of 2005, with more than 1,000 bricks used to replace many of those that had deteriorated in the tower.

Two years later, another storm in the spring of 2007 destroyed the walkway again and removed the solar panels for the light, but the lighthouse tower remains in good condition, and “the kids” are still raising funds for it. The walkway was rebuilt using FEMA funds in 2011. Through the ensuing years, funds have been raised for annual projects at the lighthouse.

The mission of Lighthouse Kids is to save and maintain the White Island Lighthouse Station at the Isles of Shoals through service learning projects and additional volunteer efforts, and they hope to have public access to the island someday. Other chapters have been established at other high schools as they continue their efforts in helping to restore White Island Light and continue to raise funds, gain support in local business communities, and educate. The founder of the Lighthouse Kids, Sue Reynolds, retired, is still very active with the school and local organizations and continues to raise funds. She currently operates “Island Cruises” to the Isles of Shoals from Rye Marina to the Isles of Shoals each summer on board the Uncle Oscar. The boat provides stopovers on nearby Star Island and passes by White Island Lighthouse for great views. Stop by and say hello, and thanks. Check out their website at www.lighthousekids.com

 

Exploring Star Island and Viewing White Island Light

The island is not accessible to the public at this time, but the lighthouse can be easily viewed from nearby Star Island or from boats bringing passengers to Star Island. Here, daytime visitors can schedule a lunch during the summer at the Victorian Era Oceanic Hotel. Island Cruises offers rides to the Isles of Shoals Islands and the lighthouse; it is actually the daily mail boat that goes out and passes close by White Island out of Rye Harbor. It offers daily stopovers to Star Island for a few hours or for the day. The teacher who founded the “Lighthouse Kids” organization is still involved and operates Island Cruises on board the Uncle Oscar each summer. The Isles of Shoals Steamship Co. has weekly Isles of Shoals cruises that will drop you off and pick you up at Star Island for full and half-day excursions. Spend the day exploring this unique rocky island with its stone cottages built to withstand the constant storms.
Enjoy!
Allan Wood

 

Books to Explore

The Rise and Demise of the Largest Sailing Ships

The Rise and Demise of the Largest Sailing Ships

To order a signed paperback copy:

The Rise and Demise of the Largest Sailing Ships: Stories of the Six and Seven-Masted Coal Schooners of New England. In the early 1900s, New England shipbuilders constructed the world’s largest sailing ships amid social and political reforms. These giants were the ten original six-masted coal schooners and one colossal seven-masted vessel, built to carry massive quantities of coal and building supplies and measured longer than a football field! This book, balanced with plenty of color and vintage images, showcases the historical accounts that followed these mighty ships.

Available also from bookstores in paperback, hardcover, and as an eBook for all devices.

get ebook on apple books

 

 

Book - Lighthouses and Attractions in Southern New England

Book – Lighthouses and Coastal Attractions in Southern New England: Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts

 


My 300-page book, Lighthouses and Coastal Attractions of Southern New England: Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, provides memorable human interest stories from each of the 92 lighthouses. You can explore plenty of indoor and outdoor coastal attractions, including whale-watching excursions, lighthouse tours, windjammer sailing tours, parks, museums, and even lighthouses where you can stay overnight. You’ll also find plenty of stories of hauntings around lighthouses.

 

 

Book - Lighthouses and Coastal Attractions in Northern New England: New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont

Book – Lighthouses and Coastal Attractions in Northern New England: New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont



My 300-page book, Lighthouses and Coastal Attractions of Northern New England: New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont provides memorable human interest stories from each of the 76 lighthouses, like the story of the lighthouse kids mentioned above, including the story of the keeper’s dog Smut, mentioned above. There are also descriptions and contact info of plenty of indoor and outdoor coastal attractions and tours you can explore. These include whale watching, lighthouse tours, unique parks, museums, and lighthouses you can stay overnight. There are also stories of haunted lighthouses in these regions.

 

 

Book of shipwrecks, resuces, and hauntings around New England lighthouses

Book- New England Lighthouses: Famous Shipwrecks, Rescues & Other Tales

 

Over 50 stories in my book New England Lighthouses: Famous Shipwrecks, Rescues & Other Tales. This image-rich book also contains vintage images provided by the Coast Guard and various organizations and paintings by six famous artists of the Coast Guard. There is a section of stories of famous animal rescues, including the story mentioned above.

You’ll find this book and the lighthouse tourism books from the publisher Schiffer Books or in many fine bookstores like Barnes and Noble.

 

 

Copyright © Allan Wood Photography; do not reproduce without permission. All rights reserved.

American Lighthouse Foundation

American Lighthouse Foundation

Join, Learn, and Support The American Lighthouse Foundation



Category: Lighthouse keepers, Lighthouses, New England, Rescues TAG: , , , , ,