Monday, June 27, 2011
While my Brant Point Sailor's Valentine continues to simmer on the back burner, I decided to move on to a different project: adapting another lighthouse to needlepoint. Several months ago, Jan Fitzpatrick (www.threadmeadley.wordpress.com) sent me some lighthouse links to investigate. We both agreed the red-roofed beauty shown here would be ideal to represent the State of Alaska!
Eldred Rock is the oldest original lighthouse building in Alaska and one of the most remote in North America. From 1867, when Alaska was purchased by the U.S. from Russia, to the late 1890s, there were no lighthouses in the area to provide navigational aid. Then in 1898, the steamship Clara Nevada went down close to the rock, with 75 lives and 850 pounds of gold lost, bringing the need for lighthouses to the attention of the U. S. government.
The beacon of this octagonal, wooden structure was first lit in 1906. The original third-order Fresnel lens is now housed in the Sheldon Museum & Cultural Center. The lighthouse was decommissioned by the U. S. Coast Guard in 1973 and has been operated remotely ever since. It was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. A committee organized by the Sheldon Museum continues to lobby for the restoration of the lighthouse .
I never thought I'd be painting a lighthouse canvas with snow-capped mountains in the distance, yet here it is! So do check back in to see my progress in stitching this Alaskan landmark!