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ImageI'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.

The first order of business is to seal and repair extensively damaged portions the lighthouse so that no further damage is caused by the elements or vandals while we secure the funds to perform a proper restoration and preservation of the light station where it sits, approximately two miles offshore from North Point State Park. Once emergency repairs are made (to the roof, for example), we will then hire a marine architect to design a dock for the light station so that boats can safely dock at the structure and provide a staging area for supplies. Eventually, this will allow public tours as well!

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 facts.

Once the restoration is complete and safe access to the lighthouse is available, we will work in cooperation with a charter service to provide public tours every other weekend from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Due to the size of the lighthouse, these tours will be small groups. The Victorian Society at Falls Church will also hold occasional re-enactments at the light station and afternoon teas. We will also make the lighthouse available for educational tours for children. In addition, we are working on making the light station "green" and self-sufficient, including electricity. Stay tuned for more information on that!

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.Image

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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Newsflash

A Dock On The Bay! We are currently raising money to fund the building of a highly necessary dock at the Craighill Lower Range Front Beacon (if you've boated around there, you are well aware of the need for a dock at the light!). Major restoration work cannot begin until a dock is in place (believe me, we've tried without one).

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