Monday, August 4, 2014

National Lighthouse Day and Lake County's Dual Beacons

‘Honoring 225 Years While Continuity Remains Elusive’ is this week's focus.  August 7th celebrates the 225th birthday of the federalization of our nation’s lighthouses and the 225th birthday of the United States Lighthouse Service.  This is quite an occasion.  Twenty-four years have passed and the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate still can not get together to agree on making this date a National Day in perpetuity.  It has been a one-time event and as such has left today’s world of lighthouse preservation in flux.  True lighthouse aficionados want not only to save lighthouse structures, but also to save the memories, the photographs, and the artifacts associated with them.  This is not some frivolous whim.  In Fairport an organization began in 1945.  These men and women planned, developed, created, and served in various capacities in a society designed to honor the people and history who came before us. They have done so as volunteers and have for the most part kept Fairport’s 1825 lighthouse intact without federal, state or village monies for most of its post 1925 history.  Although federal grant money is available, it is occasionally, but rarely made available to nonprofits.  Groups like the Cleveland Foundation offer opportunities but lighthouses are a niche special interest group.  County commissioners have reduced monies available in any given year to nearly zero dollars.  The Village of Fairport Harbor has committed little if any resources to its historic icon for decades.  Basically there is no standard of continuity when it comes to helping preserve lighthouse structures.  A National Lighthouse Day is just one small and token gesture to honor the many volunteers who have saved lighthouses from government neglect or possible destruction.  It is also a day to honor those who saved artifacts, those who work to preserve what others have started and the museums that are preserving them.

Lighthouses and their museums are under attack on all fronts.  Special interest groups want more without giving back.  Expenses rise while dedicated revenue streams dry up.  Volunteers continue to serve without relief in sight.  August 7th is a day to celebrate all that is good at our lighthouse.  I thank our volunteers who make the commitment each week, month or year to serve.  I urge our readers to write your local legislator and urge him/her to make August 7th a ‘National Lighthouse Day’ in perpetuity by 2015.

Visit -

No comments:

Post a Comment