Three Sisters Lit the Way

Three Sisters Lights – Retired

In 1838 the US Government took action to reduce the number of shipwrecks along the dangerous Cape Cod Atlantic coast by establishing the Nauset Light. To make the signal easily recognizable, three separate lanterns were set on small brick towers about 150 feet apart. Unfortunately, the brick “Three Sisters” were built too close to the eroding cliff which threatened to undermine them. In 1892 they were replaced by wooden towers built farther back from the edge.

From 1923 until 1981 the Nauset Light carried on the tradition of the retired “Three Sisters” by flashing three times every ten seconds. The present light flashes an alternating red and white pattern

Nauset Lighthouse

South County Museum Forge

Blacksmith Forge

Narragansett’s South County Museum’s Blacksmith Forge is an exhibit as well as a fully functioning working forge that includes an extensive collection of blacksmithing tools including bellows that came from the famous Fayerweather Blacksmith Shop in Kingston, Rhode Island. Joshua Kelly, the resident blacksmith, along with a team of several local blacksmiths, work on a regular basis throughout the season to provide lessons and live demonstrations.

What’s wrong with this weather vane?

South County Museum Press

The Museum Press is one of the most completely equipped letterpress shops in the Northeast, with presses manufactured over a hundred-year period from 1835 to 1953. The shop was organized in the 1980s by the late William Brady Washburn. Washburn collected so many letterpresses and other equipment that the museum trustees decided that the shop should have its own building.

Upper Case and Lower Case

I learned that the terms Upper Case and Lower Case comes from the actual position of the cases of letters used by the typesetters. The case of capital letters was placed above the case of the non-capital letters.

Linotype Model 14

This machine enabled the transition to a daily press from a weekly press

Westcott Beach State Park

Westcott Beach State Park – Sackets Harbor, NY

Captain George Westcott, my 4th cousin 4 times removed, purchased 190 acres along Lake Ontario in 1851. The 12-room farmhouse he built overlooking the property’s 300 foot beach is used today as a park office and park police office.

4th Cousin 4 times removed

After an accident in 1863, Captain Westcott died, leaving his farm to his wife and sons. A grandson eventually resided there and operated the place for bathing purposes until 1945. In 1946, 170 acres of the original farm were sold to the state of New York for $30,000. The park was officially opened and dedicated by Governor Thomas E. Dewey in June 1950.

Campsite at Westcott Beach State Park.

For more information check out this 1954 article: Old Houses in the North Country

Old Fort Niagara Lighthouse

Earliest Lighthouse on the Great Lakes
Old Fort Niagara Lighthouse – Youngstown New York

This is the site of the earliest lighthouse on the Great Lakes; a lantern on the roof of the French Castle inside the fort. From that first whale oil fueled lantern room on the roof of the castle, the Niagara lights evolved to this classically detailed tower erected outside the fort’s walls.

The current tower was first lit in 1872, having been removed from the French Castle to allow for more room for officer’s quarters. The light was deactivated in 1996, having been replaced by a light beacon at the US Coast Guard Station Niagara.

For the early settlers of America, the Fort Niagara Lighthouse served to mark one of the few natural harbors on Lake Ontario and a vital portage route around Niagara Falls.

The lighthouse was automated in 1983 and then deactivated in 1993. Today, it is owned by the state of New York and managed by the Old Fort Niagara Association, which also manages and maintains Old Fort Niagara.

Old Fort Niagara

French Castle

The history of Old Fort Niagara spans more than 300 years. During the colonial wars in North America, a fort at the mouth of the Niagara River was vital, for it controlled access to the Great Lakes and the westward route to the heartland of the continent. With the completion of the Erie Canal in 1825, however, the strategic value of Fort Niagara diminished. It nonetheless remained an active military post well into the 20th century.

The French established the first post here, Fort Conti, in 1679. Its successor, Fort Denonville (1687-88) was equally short lived. In 1726 France finally erected a permanent fortification with the construction of the impressive “French Castle.” Britain gained control of Fort Niagara in 1759, during the French & Indian War, after a nineteen-day seige. The British held the post throughout the American Revolution but were forced, by treaty, to yield it to the United States in 1796. Fort Niagara was recaptured by the British in 1813. It was ceded to the United States a second time in 1815 at the end of the War of 1812.

This was Fort Niagara’s last armed conflict, and it thereafter served as a peaceful border post. The garrison expanded beyond the walls following the Civil War. Fort Niagara was a barracks and training station for American soldiers throughout both World Wars. The last army units were withdrawn in 1963. Today, the U.S. Coast Guard represents the only military presence on the site.

Heroine of Fort Niagara

Betsy Doyle

During the War of 1812, it was common practice to heat cannonballs to red hot in order to set fire to enemy buildings and encampments during a barrage. This was a dangerous practice as it could set off the canon prematurely. It was exactly this tactic that was in use in November of 1812 when Betsy Doyle hauled hot shot to the American forces trying to hold the British from crossing the Niagara river. Doyle joined the cannonade after her husband was captured by British forces, and was dubbed “the hero of Fort Niagara” for her fearless efforts. The Fort was eventually overrun in 1813, and Doyle fled 310 miles on foot with her family to escape the British. She continued to assist the military at the Cantonment near Albany, often without pay, until her death in 1819. In 2012, she was named a New York State Woman of Distinction for her bravery.

I love it when I come across women in history that is usually dominated by men.

Marblehead Lighthouse

Marblehead Lighthouse – Marblehead Ohio

The Marblehead Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in continuous operation on the Great Lakes. Originally known as the Sandusky Bay Light Station. the lighthouse was built in 1821 to aid navigation and prevent shipwrecks. When the lighthouse had a keeper, the beacon was updated with ever brighter lamps and more powerful lenses. At the turn of the I9th century, a watch room and new lantern room were added, increasing the lighthouse’s height 15 feet. Beacons were lit with whale oil, lard oil, kerosene, and then, in 1923, with electricity. As of 2018, the light is an LED that is visible up to eleven nautical miles.

During 1876 the federal government established a series of six lifesaving stations across the southern shore of Lake Erie. By the time the U.S. Lifesaving Service was combined with the U. S Revenue Cutter Service in 1915 to form the new U.S. Coast Guard, there were 376 lifesaving stations in the country, with 77 of them on the Great Lakes. The stations were typically staffed by a crew of six “surfmen” and one station “keeper”. The crew lived in the station and had a weekly duty schedule consisting of training with the rescue boat, practicing with the breeches buoy apparatus and performing needed equipment maintenance. In 1939 the U. S. Lighthouse Service was added to the Coast Guard and the operation of all lighthouses is their responsibility to this day.

Merry-Go-Round Museum

What a great little museum in Sandusky Ohio. I enjoyed traveling back through time admiring the carving skills of the artists. Personally I was drawn to the more whimsical characters.

The doors to the Merry-Go-Round Museum opened to the public on July, 14, 1990 but the idea was born on October 1, 1988 when the U.S. Postal Service issued four carousel stamps. Paul Calle of Stamford, Connecticut designed the first set of stamps.

Gustav Denzel deer

The block of stamps included a Gustav Dentzel deer (ca. 1895), Charles Looff goat and camel (ca. 1880), and the King Armored horse by Daniel Muller (ca. 1925), The King horse is from Cedar Point’s Kiddieland carousel. This particular King horse is considered to be one of the rarest and most beautiful of all carousel figures.

King Armored Horse

Krohn Conservatory

Krohn Conservatory – Cincinnati Ohio

I came to the Krohn Conservatory’s Butterflies of the Nile exhibit to view the butterflies, but I was drawn to the extraordinary sculptures from internationally acclaimed artist Dominic Benhura and other prominent Zimbabwean artists including Stanford Derere, Tutani Mugavasi, and Lovemore Bonjisi. Sculptures range in style from representational to the abstract with a variety of subject matter.

Dominic Benhura

Inside the conservatory every where I looked there were sculptures of women that rbrought a feeling of peace and celebration.

Outside in the gardens were statues of graceful and stately fish and birds. And my favorite King & Queen Planters.