Chesapeake Chapter USLHS and Outer Banks Lighthouse Society
September 20-22, 2002 Portsmouth, Virginia
By Shirin Pagels
|At noon on Friday September 20th, the first joint meeting of the
Chesapeake Chapter, USLHS and the Outer Banks Lighthouse Society got underway.
The first event for this combined group was a trip out to the Cape Henry lights
in Fort Story near Virginia Beach. While at the site, participants had the
unique opportunity to climb both the old and the new towers. Visitors are
usually only allowed to climb the old tower since the new tower is still an
active aid to navigation. For those who made the trek up both towers, they made
it a total of 407 stairs (191 old tower, 216 new tower).
New Cape Henry
Old and New Cape Henry's
|It was then back to the hotel in Portsmouth for dinner. The guest speaker for
the evening was CWO White from the U.S. Coast Guard 5th District who
gave us an update on the status of many of the lights in the Chesapeake Bay
area. After dinner Cheryl Shelton-Roberts and Bruce Roberts, lighthouse authors
and photographers, gave a slide show presentation and Lloyd Childers spoke to
the group regarding the status of the battle over who the Currituck Beach
Lighthouse should be turned over to. See
www.currituckbeachlight.com for more
Saturday morning started bright and early as the group made its way to the
Virginia Beach Fishing Pier at Rudee Inlet to catch our boat for a cruise along
the Chesapeake Bay. Blessed with a sunny day and beautiful blue skies, we made
our way past the Cape Henry lights and then over to the Cape Charles light where
we were only able to get a distant view of the light.
|It was then on to the Thimble Shoal light where we were treated to a very up
close and personal view of the lighthouse. Many of us were ready to hop from the
boat to the ladder on the side of the light and climb up, we were that close!
Our next stop was a water-based view of the Old Point Comfort light on the grounds of Fort Monroe.
Old Point Comfort at Fort Monroe
Newport News Middle Ground
|This is the second oldest lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay. The final light
of the day was the Newport News Middle Ground Lighthouse, the oldest caisson
light in Virginia. This light had been painted in the past year so it was
looking pretty good for its age.
Back at the hotel, Bill Younger from Harbour Lights was available to sign
pieces prior to our dinner banquet where he was also our guest speaker for the
evening. During dinner, both societies presented their annual awards to several
members from both groups. The evening wrapped up with a huge auction with
proceeds to be split between both lighthouse groups.
The weekend came to a close Sunday morning when attendees were able to either
visit the Virginia Beach Lifesaving Station or climb the Old Point Comfort
From left to right:
Front Row - Shirin Pagels, Pat & Ron Bandock
Back Row - Al & BJ Smith