I'm sure everyone wants to know what we plan
to do with the Craighill Channel Lower Range Front Lighthouse! We
submitted an extensive and detailed plan to the National Park Service
as part of our application under the NHLPA process. In addition, an
accomplished and top notch lighthouse restoration expert is
volunteering his time to examine the lighthouse and provide us with a
detailed restoration plan.
We envision restoring the lighthouse to the late
Victorian era, in line with when Bayshore Park was in its prime (now
North Point State Park). Furnishings will be provided to match the time
period, as well as displays showing what life was like for a lighthouse
keeper and pertinent Chesapeake Bay and Craighill Channel historic
The lighthouse will remain an active Coast Guard Aid to Navigation, and therefore the lantern will be off-limits to the public.
We took into account the small communities of Edgemere, Sparrows Point, and Millers Island. One of the NHLPA requirements is to open the lighthouse to the public, which we project will happen in approximately three years (2008), if not sooner, depending on how many funds are raised in order to complete the restoration of the lighthouse. We understand higher traffic volume is a concern coming down North Point, so we plan on having charter boat tours begin and end at Inner Harbor in Baltimore.
We would like to involve the community in as many aspects of the restoration and process of bringing this lighthouse back to life as possible. We are available and accessible for any questions you may have. This is, afterall, your community and landmark. We are merely a vehicle for ensuring its proper restoration and re-awakening! This also means we welcome participation in the process by community members. Please feel free to become a member of our organization and have a voice (as well as get occasional goodies and inside information!).
As for the rear beacon, aka Millers Island Light, we have been asked frequently about it and its future. As far as we know, the government does not plan to demolish the existing structure and replace it with a pole (Side note: I doublechecked and this is correct). We were asked by two agencies involved in the NHLPA program if we were still interested in the structure and we obviously answered affirmatively! There was a recommendation by the Coast Guard to take it down due to safety issues several years ago, but because the lighthouse has been nominated for the National Historic Register, it is under protected status. We fully believe it will be put into the NHLPA program and we will apply for it in order to save it and manage the pair of range lights together. Our vision is to reconstruct the original Victorian keepers quarters on the granite piers and of course, open it to the public.
One lighthouse consumes all of our available resources at the moment, no matter how much we love and want to save both in the range. However, if we can build large enough support through our member/volunteer-base and raise enough funds to successfully support the restoration of two lighthouses, we will apply for an historic lease on the Millers Island Lighthouse to begin restoration before it decays further due to abandonment and neglect in order to get a head start before it goes into the NHLPA program. This is up to you in the community, though!
Non-profit organizations can only thrive by having an involved and enthusiastic member base. We will be performing a membership drive and seeking corporate sponsorships in the near future. If you are interested, by all means don't wait for us to contact you!
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