Old Point Comfort Light, Hampton, Virginia, U.S.A., September 2013
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Acroterion
A Month of Lighthouse News:
- June 30. Rare public tours mark the 150th anniversary of the Guia Lighthouse in Macau.
- June 30. Bayham, Ontario, celebrates the 175th anniversary of the Port Burwell Lighthouse as the highlight of Canada Day festivities.
- June 29. The Point Clark Lighthouse in Ontario has reopened after a six-year, $3.7 million restoration.
- June 29. Restoration of the spiral stairway of the Pensacola Lighthouse in Florida is complete.
- June 29. The Noble Maritime Collection museum on Staten Island, New York, opens a new exhibit on the Robbins Reef Lighthouse.
- June 28. The restored 3rd order lens of the Grays Harbor Lighthouse in Westport, Washington, will be relit on Tuesday, July 1.
- June 28. A second phase of restoration at the Grand Haven Lighthouses is Michigan is planned to begin next year.
- June 27. A local couple offers to fund construction of a lighthouse at Point Roberts, Washington.
- June 26. First-ever public tours of the Bakers Island Lighthouse at Salem, Massacusetts, begin on Wednesday, July 1.
- June 25. Maine Maritime Museum plans display of the 2nd order lens from the Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse.
- June 25. In Ohio, the Port Clinton Lighthouse Conservancy remains at odds with City Council on placement of the restored lighthouse.
- June 24. Florida Governor Rick Scott vetoes $250,000 in funding to restore the St. Marks Lighthouse.
- June 24. Rare tours by helicopter to the South Solitary Island Lighthouse in New South Wales are scheduled for late July.
- June 24. Neighbors are protesting a planned resort development near the Cape Schanck Lighthouse in Victoria.
- June 23. Its foundation nearly complete, the relocated Gay Head Lighthouse in Massachusetts could reopen by the end of July.
- June 23. The newer Aguada Lighthouse in Goa, India, is being eyed for development as a tourist attraction.
- June 22. Facing access blocks on the land side, the New London Maritime Society needs $175,000 for a dock for the New London Harbor Lighthouse in Connecticut.
- June 22. The Coast Guard has repainted the graffiti-marred Waukegan Pierhead Lighthouse in Illinois.
- June 20. A 12-year-old acrobat has been killed at a stunt for a TV show at the Cap Ferret Lighthouse in Aquitaine, France.
- June 19. A documentary film on the relocation of the Cape San Blas Lighthouse in Florida will debut on July 30.
- June 18. National Trust Canada has established a new crowdfunding site to support lighthouse preservation in Nova Scotia.
- June 18. The annual Door County Lighthouse Festival in Wisconsin is judged a success despite sloppy weather.
- June 18. Tours of the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse near Annapolis, Maryland, resume this weekend.
- June 16. The Spectacle Reef Lighthouse in Lake Huron, Michigan, is for sale at auction by the General Services Administration.
- June 13. The Brixham Lighthouse in England will be repainted - and not demolished!
- June 12. Vote in Parliament advances legislation to save the Sambro Lighthouse in Nova Scotia.
- June 12. Coast Guard agrees to allow the Maine Lighthouse Museum to retain its collection of lighthouse artifacts.
- June 12. Controversial rezoning request for the Stonington Harbor Lighthouse in Connecticut is withdrawn.
- June 12. A Kickstarter campaign to raise $30,000 for repairs to the Baker Island Lighthouse in Salem, Massachusetts, remains short of its goal.
- June 11. The Fowey Rocks Lighthouse is listed among Florida's most endangered historic sites.
- June 11. Dedication ceremony marks relighting of the Tarrytown (Sleepy Hollow) Lighthouse in New York.
- June 10. The Sheringham Point Lighthouse in British Columbia will receive heritage designation and will be transferred to its preservation society.
- June 10. The Point Robinson Lighthouse in Washington has a new roof designed to last for decades.
- June 10. The municipality of Kincardine, Ontario, applies for federal grants to restore the Kincardine Lighthouse.
- June 10. Relocation of the Gay Head Lighthouse at Marthas Vineyard is complete, but work continues to establish its new foundation.
- June 9. City Parks and Recreation Committee hears the proposal for the location of the restored Port Clinton Lighthouse in Ohio.
- June 9. The Italian government has announced plans to offer long-term leases of ten lighthouses for restoration and tourist development.
- June 9. The North Pier at St. Joseph, Michigan, has closed so that restoration of the St. Joseph Pierhead Lighthouses can begin.
- June 9. A new musical is based on the story of the Jeffreys Hook Lighthouse in New York.
- June 8. The Lamb Island Lighthouse in Lake Superior, Ontario, is reported on the list for designation as a Heritage Lighthouse.
- June 8. The Port Washington Breakwater Lighthouse in Wisconsin is available under NHLPA, but it needs an interested recipient.
- June 7. The U.K. Ministry of Defence grants £250,000 to acquire land and develop visitor facilities at the Covesea Skerries Lighthouse in Moray, Scotland.
- June 7. With $1.7 million already raised, another $345,000 is needed to complete restoration at the St. Joseph Pierhead Lighthouses in Michigan.
- June 7. A $20,000 grant will improve signage at the Porphyry Point and Shaganash Lighthouses on Lake Superior, Ontario.
- June 6. A new law in Connecticut will ease transfers of offshore lighthouses to nonprofit groups or private individuals.
- June 6. In India, the Mumbai Port Trust will spend 470 million rupees (about $7.5 million U.S.) to develop the Khanoji Angre Lighthouse as a tourist attraction.
- June 5. The Nottawasaga Lighthouse Preservation Society has formed to work on saving the Nottawasaga Lighthouse at Collingwood, Ontario.
- June 5. The City of Gig Harbor, Washington, takes ownership tomorrow of the sandspit on which the Gig Harbor Lighthouse stands.
- June 4. Unable to reclaim its historic Fresnel lens, the Cape St. George Lighthouse in Florida will get a replica instead.
- June 3. Gloom mixes with outrage in Canada: only 74 of 970 lighthouses will receive heritage designation, and 121 local business plans for preservation will be rejected.
- June 2. With no financial plan in sight, the Maine Lighthouse Musuem may be on the rocks.
- June 2. Restoration of the North Head Lighthouse in Washington continues, but the 117th birthday of the light will be celebrated Saturday, June 6.
- June 1. Preservationist Marc Pointud braves ghosts for a 60 day stay at France's remote Tévennec Lighthouse.
- May 31. Cheers all around as the Gay Head Lighthouse reaches its new location on Marthas Vineyard, Massachusetts.
Halten Light, Frøya, Norway, April 2006
Wikimedia public domain photo by Oddein
About this site
Founded in 1999 (during the relocation of North Carolina's
Cape Hatteras lighthouse), the Lighthouse
Directory is a tool for research and study concerning lighthouses and
efforts to preserve those lighthouses. The Directory provides a brief
compilation of basic data for each lighthouse with links to other reliable
information available on the Internet. With the addition of the Hainan
page in February 2009, listings now cover the entire world. However,
this doesn't mean the Directory is complete, because new information
continues to come to light.
I'm glad to hear from site
visitors, especially if you have lighthouse news or photos of rarely-visited
The Directory has over 30,000 links, and all of them were appropriate
and legitimate when they were added. Occasionally, because a web site
is hacked or a URL is captured, a link leads not to legitimate information
but to an inappropriate site, such as a source of pornography or malicious
software. Please let me know if
this happens, and I will remove the offending link immediately.
This site is hosted by my employer, the University
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Stirsudden Light, Mys Seyveste, Vyborg Area, Russia, October 2010
Panoramio Creative Commons photo by Natalia Semenova
What is a lighthouse?
It is not so easy to define exactly
what we mean by a lighthouse, and various organizations and individuals
have used very different definitions when describing or classifying lighthouses.
Clearly, all lighthouses are lighted aids to navigation, but not all lighted
aids are considered to be lighthouses.
Some definitions are not controversial. An aid to navigation is
a structure placed on or near navigable water to provide visual guidance
to mariners. A beacon is an aid to navigation that is
fixed in place (that is, not floating). A lighted beacon or
lightbeacon is a beacon displaying a light, while an
unlit beacon is called a daybeacon. Often, a lighted beacon is
simply called a light.
Everyone agrees that a lighthouse is a lightbeacon that is, in some sense, a substantial building. Small lightbeacons such as masts, solid pillars, or small cabinets are usually not considered to be lighthouses. In this Directory, the guideline is that a lighthouse should have a height
of at least 4 meters (13 ft) and a cross-section, at the base, of at least
4 square meters (43 sq ft). This simple guideline does not require that
a lighthouse have any particular form or appearance. The structure of
a lighthouse may be enclosed, partially enclosed, or completely open.
The Directory includes listings of certain lights and other sites of
interest to lighthouse fans that aren't lighthouses by this definition.
The titles of those listings are enclosed in square brackets [...]. In
addition, lighthouses destroyed or demolished since 2000 continue to be
listed; their names are preceded by the hash sign #.
Sanganeb Reef Light, Red Sea, Sudan, December 2007
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Clifton Beard
The lighthouse listings
Dates shown for lighthouses are the dates when the light was first displayed;
this may be later than the construction date in some cases. A station
establishment date, when listed, is the date when a light was first displayed
at or near the same location. Data concerning the characteristics of lights
comes mostly from the U.S. Coast Guard Light List for U.S. lighthouses
and from the NGA List of Lights for lighthouses in other countries.
The focal plane height of a light is the height above the surface
of the water at which the light is displayed. (The level of the water
surface is usually "mean high water," the level at an average high tide.)
In the listings, "focal plane" refers to the focal plane height. A lantern of
a lighthouse is a room or structure that actually encloses the light.
The heights of the lighthouse towers themselves should be considered
approximate. Different sources use different methods for measuring tower
heights, and those heights may actually change due to changes in ground
level at the base of the tower.
I have attempted to determine whether lighthouse sites and towers are
open to the public. This information is inferred from whatever sources
may be available; it is certainly not guaranteed. Please let
me know if this information, or any information in the Directory,
Lighthouse listings are marked with ratings of zero to four stars based
on the extent to which the light station is open to visitors. Check the
ratings key to interpret these ratings.
Port Adelaide Light, Adelaide, South Australia, July 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Luke Roberts
Articles about lighthouses:
- The Oldest U.S. Towers, 1764-1791
- Early Federal Octagonals, 1792-1817
- Old Style Brick Lighthouses,
- Oldest Integral Lighthouses,
- Tall Towers of Iron, 1846-1881
- Early Classic Brick Towers,
- Onshore Skeletal Lighthouses, 1861-1910
- Sparkplug Lighthouses, 1871-1926
- Canada's Flying-Buttress Lighthouses,
- Unstaffed Offshore Lights of the
Florida Keys, 1921-1935
- Storm Warning Towers
Huku Se Light, Sasebo, Japan
Japanese Coast Guard Seventh Region photo
Old and new San Cibrao Lights, Cervo, Northern Galicia, Spain, October 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Esferobite
Yangjiam Chwi Light, Geoje, Korea, July 2009
Flickr photo copyright quat_ernion; used by permission
Mys Peschanny Light, Kazakhstan, 2009
Panoramio photo copyright Bolat Mukhambetov; permisson requested
Parque Colpuertos Light, Buenaventura, Western Colombia, June 2007
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Felipe Lozano
Regional, state, and local lighthouse
preservation organizations are
recognized on each U.S. state page. U.S. organizations interested in
lighthouse preservation nationally are:
- The American Lighthouse
Foundation, based in Rockland, Maine. ALF encourages preservation
efforts throughout the country and holds preservation leases on more than
a dozen New England lighthouses.
- The United States Lighthouse Society,
formerly based in San Francisco, has moved to the Point No Point Lighthouse
in Hansville, Washington. USLHS has chapters active in the Chesapeake area,
Long Island, Oregon, and Washington, and has been active in supporting preservation
in other areas as well. The Society also publishes a respected journal, The
Keeper's Log, and has a large archive of historic photos of U.S. lighthouses.
Lighthouses on the Internet: A Researcher's Guide
has replaced the list of links formerly on this page.
Cape Borda Light, Kangaroo Island, South Australia, September 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Gavin Anderson
of the Americas
Northeastern United States
Southeastern United States
Midwestern United States
Western United States and U.S. Pacific Territories
Atlantic Canada, Greenland, and St. Pierre
Interior and Western Canada
Bermuda and the West Indies
Mexico and Central America
South America, Antarctica, South Atlantic Ocean
of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, Australia, and Africa
New Zealand and Pacific Islands
South Indian Ocean
Britain and Ireland
France, Monaco and Switzerland
Spain and Portugal
Italy and Malta
Belgium and Netherlands
Germany and Austria
Denmark, Faroes, and Iceland
Norway (listed south to north)
Sweden (listed south to north)
Poland, Baltic States, and Finland
Northwestern Russia (southwest to northeast)
Western and Central Asia
Southwest Asia, Pakistan, and Bangladesh
Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Timor Leste
China and Taiwan
Korea (listed clockwise around the peninsula)
Japan (listed clockwise around the main islands)
Torre de Hércules, A Coruña, Northern Galicia, Spain, August 2011
Flickr Creative Commons photo by José Luis Cernadas Iglesias