Friday, July 26, 2013

Another lighthouse "remake"

The second lighthouse that needs to be updated is Cape Cod lighthouse in Truro, Massachusetts, almost at the tip of Cape Cod.  The first of its kind on the Cape, it was also the seventh lighthouse to be built in the country.  Its nickname, Highland Light, is derived from the high ground upon which it was situated.

Truro was founded as "Dangerfield" in 1700 because of the treacherous waters along its coast.  To safeguard mariners, George Washington signed a bill in 1796 approving $5,000 to build a 45-foot wooden, octagonal tower set 500 feet back from the bluffs.  Lit in 1798 and rebuilt in 1831, the structure suffered from deterioration due to wood rot.

In 1857, a new 66-foot tower was completed and fitted with a new first-order Fresnel lens that produced a flashing white light every five seconds.  Three outbuildings were also constructed for the lighthouse keeper and his two assistants.  The lighthouse was automated in 1987.

Like so many other lighthouses, which have fallen prey to erosion, Highland Light was in peril of falling into the Atlantic Ocean.  The clearance from the cliff of 510 feet measured in 1806 had by 1989 dwindled to 128 feet.  After raising $1.5 million, the 430-ton tower was moved in 1996 to a safer distance of 453 feet from the cliff using I-beams greased with Ivory soap.

I'll be needle-blending the sky behind Highland Light, just as I did for Nobska lighthouse. 

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