“Lighthouses are endlessly suggestive signifiers of both human isolation and our ultimate connectedness to each other.” – Virginia Woolf
Happy National Lighthouse Day!
Hello friends! Happy Saturday AND Happy National Lighthouse Day! Y’all know my love for lighthouses. In fact I just recently shared about my second Maine Lighthouse tour I did in May and I still have so many more to see in just Maine alone!
Over the years that this blog has been in existence(which is many!), I have paid homage to quite a few lighthouses. When I travel, visiting these beacons of light is always a must. While structurally, they might be similar, the reality is no two are exactly the same, and the history and stories they tell are all unique and even intriguing. I feel like the quote, “If walls could talk” could be directly attributed to lighthouses. From the times when Kerosene was used to light the way of ships, to fresnel lenses that got more
complicated technical over time, lighthouses truly have stood the test of time.
Many lighthouses are still in operation today, and have been tagged as national landmarks. While lighthouse keepers are no longer necessary with the advancement of technology, (They use to climb the stairs multiple times a day to make sure the lamp was lit!) the Coast Guard, which owns and operates many of the lighthouses now, sometimes will live in them, having turned the grounds into a base, museums like with Owlhead, or a State ark like with Fort Williams. Other lighthouses, might still be in operation, but have been turned into private residences converting the lighthouse keepers corridors (which were usually attached or right next to the lighthouse) into a more modern living space which is honestly would be a dream! And one that will happen eventually!
Lighthouses are one of my favorite things to photograph, and last year with the pandemic and being in New England in particular Maine I made it my mission to visit, many of Maine’s lighthouses, which is no easy feat as many of them are on islands just off the coast. (anyone have a boat? Lol) But that is half the fun! I am about half way through!
But it isn’t just Maine lighthouses I want to see, having travelled up and down the East Coast, there are so many gorgeous lighthouses to visit and learn their history, as well as visiting the lighthouses around the world! It is on my bucket list to visit Hercules Light which is the oldest lighthouse in existence today, located in Spain. Another most see spot on my list, is where the Alexandria Lighthouse in Egypt once stood. While it is in ruins, the Egyptian government has been making plans to unearth the base which is submerged in the ocean, and perhaps create an underwater museum.
There is so much history, but also strength when it comes to lighthouses. They aren’t just necessary to guide ships and/or warn them of danger, but also symbols of strength, perseverance, and using a buzzword that became popular in 2020, they also remind us sometimes that we have to pivot to avoid danger and that is okay, because they are there to guide us around it.
Have you ever visited a lighthouse? What is your favorite one?