It’s National Lighthouse Day
August 7th is National Lighthouse and Lighthouse Preservation Day.It’s a new day of recognition that’s special to the state of Maine as Senators Susan Collins and Angus King authored the resolution.Caitlin Burchill takes us to a museum in Rockland that’s been preserving the history of lighthouses for decades.They’re the traffic lights of the sea, but as lighthouses became automated over time, Dorothy Black’s husband, Ken, started collecting lighthouse artifacts to keep their history afloat. “He thought they were pretty important to history and so that we don’t lose that history, especially the light keepers, and what they did to save a lot of mariners,” said Dorothy Black, Board Member and Interim Director, Maine Lighthouse Museum. “It’s kind of nice to keep American history going. There’s items in this building right here, like I say, this is one of a kind. It’s irreplaceable. It’s just no more. This is it right here. Once this is gone its gone,” said another board member, Stan Metcalf, who is retired from the Coast Guard, and helped Ken Black start up the collection. Visitors might not have known it was National Lighthouse Day, but they understood the importance of these beacons of light. “We’re sailors. We have a sailboat that’s here in the harbor in Rockland, so we’re about to get ready to go on a cruise and we heard the Lighthouse Museum is a great place to stop and visit. When we go cruising, sailing, I rely on lighthouses and the Coast Guard for many different things we do on the water,” said Chris Otorowski, “We’re from Texas and we’ve been chasing lighthouses for a month. We leave next week. Today, we arrived here and it’s Lighthouse Day and we didn’t even know it, so that was kind of wonderful…an extra bonus,” said Maggie Hoogerheide, a Maine native who now lives in Texas. “They’re just absolutely fascinating. Yesterday, I went on a boat trip out of Stonington and visited three magnificent lighthouses. Two of them deep in the ocean and they’re completely unmanned. The foghorn you could hear for miles away. It’s fascinating,” said her husband, John Hoogerheide. Museum board members hope this fascination will catch on. “Were hoping with this National Lighthouse Day we can bring more members from Maine in here and show the importance of lighthouses,” said Black.