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Lighthouses: Organizations, Books, Music, and Film.

Updated on November 1, 2016

Lighthouse Organizations

When people come together to form an organization that educates, entertains, provides hands-on experience; and when they volunteer their time and energy, it is because they have a deep affection for something, and that something propels them to dedication, and that dedication is awarded when they see how others benefit from the fruits of their labor.

For decades, people have come together to promote lighthouses. They have captured a time and place in history, a life-style unbeknownst to many, diligently searched newspaper clippings, light-keepers' logs, photos, interviewed past light-keepers, written books, produced phenomenal documentaries - all to keep alive the legacy and awareness of the wonderful monuments we call lighthouses.

These groups maintain websites, provide newsletters, offer email updates and utilize social media as a means of keeping enthusiasts updated. They educate and provide enthralling stories as well as provide insight into navigational aides such as lightships, and foghorns. They are also instrumental in planning restoration projects.

Advancements in technology have diminished the need for lighthouse keepers, thus ending a fascinating era of tending lamps, scaling cliffs, traversing the ocean as an only means of arrival and departure, and the end to what was sometimes a lonely life away from families and socialization. Nevertheless,even without keepers of old, lighthouses have remained steadfast in providing navigational assistance. However utilized, they remain beacons of hope in stature, credibility, and of course, historical significance.

Lighthouses are often portrayed metaphorically to foreshadow darkness, mystery, and intrigue, or personified to symbolize hope and guidance throughout literature, poems, songs, bands, film, and social media. It may prove surprising how commonly mediums use lighthouses! Come explore various samples; maybe you will recognize them, or perhaps you will be quite pleasantly surprised!

Lighthouse Profit and Non-Profit Organizations

Following, are links to various organizations:

  • American Lighthouse Foundation - dedicated to the preservation and heritage of lighthouses through volunteers and donors. Updates on-going restorations and events.
  • The Lighthouse Preservation Society - seeks lighthouse preservation by petitioning at congressional hearings, active role in nominating lighthouse for U.S. stamps, sponsors National Lighthouse Day. Received Presidential Achievement Award.
  • New England Lighthouse Lovers - educational resources of maritime and lighthouse history, raises funds for preservation and restoration of lighthouses.
  • United States Lighthouse Society - multiple award winning site, including the Preserve America Steward Award from the White House, seeks to spread awareness of lighthouses, and assists other organizations that strive to preserve lighthouses. Includes extensive information and links to chapters and affiliate sites. Also includes interactive maps and resource tools, and links to entertainment such as tours, challenges, and festivals.
  • Great Lakes Light-keepers Association - originally formed in 1983, of retired lighthouse keepers. Includes their families and friends, and all who share an enthusiasm for the preservation, education, events of lighthouses.
  • American Lighthouse Foundation- preservation of lighthouses, includes educational programs.
  • Lighthouse Friends - a treasure trove of information on United States lighthouses, and some Canadian, including localities, directions, historical facts, updates, and even GPS coordinates.

United States Lightouse Society

American Lighthouse Foundation

Lighthouse Preservation Society

Five Abandoned Lighthouses

The relentless efforts of Lighthouse organizations have preserved many lighthouses that may have otherwise, gone the way of these:

Lighthouses In Movies, Books, and Songs

Architecture, mystery, curiosity, and the intrigue of lighthouses have not been lost to Hollywood, artists, authors, documentary writers, musicians, singers, and animators. Even Donald Duck gave lighthouse keeping a whirl.

Lighthouses bring either a sense of tranquility and assurance, or they hold an aura of mystery, suspense and chill. Both depictions are present through various forms of entertainment.

Let's explore some of the many ways lighthouses have provided entertainment.

Did You Know?

• The first known American navigational aid was at Nantasket (currently Hull) Massachusetts in 1673? It guarded the harbor at Point Allerton at the southern end of Boston Harbor.

• The first lighthouse erected, was in Boston Harbor in 1716, and cost 2,285 pounds. Its first keeper was George Worthylake, paid 50 pounds a year.

• Currently, August 7th, is honored as National Lighthouse Day.

• By 1800, there were 24 lighthouses in the nation on the Atlantic ocean.


And did you know?

• On August 7, 1789, the 1st Congress, 1st Session, Chapter 9 (IX), provided for the establishment and support of lighthouses, beacons, buoys, and public piers.

• Regardless of the passage of the 9th Act of Congress, lighthouses were not officially turned over to the government until 1797.

Lighthouses in Movies- includes direct links to lighthouses

Amos and Andrew - 1993 - Santaky Head, MA

Backbeat - 1994 - Neuwerk Light, Germany

Bandits - 2001 - Point Montara Light, CA

Birds II, The - Cape Lookout Light, NC

Breaking The Waves - 1996 Neist Point Light, Scotland Isle of Skye, Scotland

Bugsy - 1991 - Morro Castle Light Havana, Cuba

The Butcher’s Wife - 1991 Bald Head Lighthouse, NC

The Color of Money - 1986 - Absecon Lighthouse, NJ,

Captain January -1950-possibly Point Pinos Light Pacific Grove, CA

Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang - 1968 - Beachy Head Lighthouse, East Sussex, England

East Sussex, England

Dan in Real Life - 2007 - Point Judith Lighthouse, RI

The Deep - 1977 - Light Unknown

Double Jeopardy - 1999 - Sheringham Point Lighthouse - British Columbia

Failure to Launch - 2006 - Bloody Point Bar Lighthouse - MD

El Faro - 1998 Lighthouse Uknown

Escape From Alcatraz - 1979 - Alcatraz Island, CA

Final Analysis - 1992 - Pigeon Point Lighthouse, CA

The Fog - 2005 - Point Reyes Lighthouse, CA

The Fog - 1980 - Point Atkinson Lighthouse

Forever Young -1992- Point Arena Lighthouse, CA

Forrest Gump - 1994 - Marshall Point Light, ME

The General’s Daughter - 1999 - Tybee Island Light, GA

The Good Son - 1993 - Split Rock Lighthouse, MN

The Goonies - 1985 - Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, OR

Half Light - 2006 - Lighthouse, fictional

Heartbreakers - 2001 - Cape Florida Light, FL

Into The Blue - 2005 - Paradise Island Light New Providence

Jaws - 1975 - Gay Head Light, MA

Kindergarten Cop - 1990 - Light Unknown

Lady Killer - 1995 - Point Abino Lighthouse - Canada

The Light at the Edge of The World - 1971 - Lighthouse Unknown

The Lighthouse Keeper - 1911 - (silent) - fictional lighthouse, said to be made of paper mache with a hole punched out for the light.

The Lighthouse by the Sea - 1911 - (silent) - Unknown

Moonrise Kingdom -2012- Conanicut Point Lighthouse, RI

Murder in the First - 1995 - Alcatraz Island Lighthouse, CA

Needful Things - 1993 - Point Atkinson Lighthouse - Canada

An Officer and A Gentleman - 1982 - Point Wilson Lighthouse, WA

Pete’s Dragon - 1997 - Lighthouse, fictional

The Perfect Storm - 2000 - Eastern Point Lighthouse, MA

The Rock - 1996 - Alcatraz Island Light, CA

Snow Falling On Cedars - 1999 - Portland Head Lighthouse, ME

Somewhere In Time - 1980 - Round Island Lighthouse, MI

Stone Cold - 2005 - Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse, Nova Scotia

The Lovely Bones - 2009 - Lighthouse Unknown

Thinner - 1996 - Marshall Point Lighthouse, ME

Thomas Crown Affair -1999- Robbins Reef Light, NY

To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday - 1996 - Brant Point Light, MA

The Transporter - 2002 - Lighthouse Unknown

The Truman Show - 1998 - Possibly the Crooked River Lighthouse, Carabelle, FL

Waking Ned Devine - 1998 - Isle of Man Lighthouse, Ireland

Weekend at Bernie’s - 1989 - Bald Head Lighthouse, NC

Shutter Island

Dan In Real Life

The Perfect Storm

Lighthouses in Animation - Pete's Dragon

Donald Duck: Lighthouse Keeping


Reference Books and Novels

The American Lighthouse CookBook -The Best Recipes and Stories from America’s Shorelines - Becky Sue Epstein and Ed Jackson

Lighthouse at the End of the World - Fiction - Jules Verne

California Lighthouse Life - Wayne Wheeler -

Staying At A Lighthouse- Non Fiction - John Grant

Lighthouses of the Pacific Coast - Non Fiction - Elinor De Wire

Lighthouses of the Great Lakes - Non Fiction - Todd R. Berger, Daniel E. Dempster

The Lightkeeper’s Menagerie -Stories of Animals at Lighthouses - Non Fiction - Elinor De Wire

Haunted Lighthouses - Phantom Keepers, Ghostly Shipwrecks and Sinister Calls From The Deep - Non Fiction - Ray Jones

America’s Lighthouses, An Illustrated History - Non Fiction - Francis Ross Holland

To The Lighthouse - Fiction - Virginia Woolf

Lighthouse In My Life - Memoir - Philmore B. Wass

Keeper of Lime Rock - Fiction -Lenore Skomal

Walk Across The Sea - Historical Fiction - Susan Fletcher

Reservations for Murder (Lighthouse Inn Mysteries, No. 2) - Tim Myers

Lighthouse Keeper, The - Fiction - James Michael Pratt

The Lighthouse - Fiction - R.M. Ballantyne

The Lighthouse - Fiction - P.D.James

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter - Fiction - Arielle North Olson

The Lighthouse Stevensons : The Extraordinary Story of the Building of the Scottish Lighthouses by the ancestors of Robert Louis Stevenson.- Non-Fiction - Bella Bathurst

The Light Between Oceans - Fiction - M.L.Stedman

New York State Lighthouses - Non Fiction - Robert G. Miller

Lighthouse Island - Fiction -Paulette Jiles

Lighthouses of New England: Pictorial Discovery Guide - Non Fiction - Jon Marcus

Facing the Sea - Non Fiction - Lightkeepers and Their Families

Lighthouses of the World - Non Fiction - compiled by International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation

Lighthouse Psalms: God's Gift of Hope and Direction - Non Fiction - Terry Whalin

Women Who Kept Lights - Non Fiction - An Illustrated History of Female Lighthouse Keepers - Mary Louise Clifford and J. Candace Clifford

Lighthouses of England: The Southwest, lighthouses of Cornwall,Isle of Sicily, North Devon, Somerset, and Bristol Channel

For Children:

Lighthouse Girl - Fiction - Dianne Wolfer

The Girl in the Lighthouse - Fiction - Roxane Tepfer Sanford

The Lighthouse, The Cat, and The Sea - Fiction - Leigh W. Rutledge

The Girls of Lighthouse Lane - Katherine’s Story - Fiction - Thomas Kinkade

The Lighthouse Cat - Fiction -Sue Stainton, Ann Mortimer

Birdie’s Lighthouse -Fiction - Deborah Hopkinson, Kimberly Bucklen Root

Lighthouses for Kids: History, Science, and Lore - Non Fiction - Katherine L. House

The Lighthouse Keeper's Lunch - Fiction - Ronda and David Armitage

The Lighthouse Keeper's Catastrophe - Fiction - Ronda and David Armitage

"Lighthouses don't go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining." - Anne Lamott


“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent” ― Victor Hugo

Let There Be Songs About Lighthouses, The Sea, And What Happens In The Sea...

Preserving Lighthouses For The Future

Do you believe that it is beneficial to restore and maintain lighthouses for future generations?

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    • EsJam profile image

      Essie 13 months ago from Southern California

      Thank you, Seafarer Mama, for your kind words. That means so much!

    • Seafarer Mama profile image

      Karen A Szklany 13 months ago from New England

      I love lighthouses, too, and this is a beautiful, informative hub! Thanks for putting this together.

    • EsJam profile image

      Essie 13 months ago from Southern California

      Aw, thank you so much! I am sorry I have not replied sooner. Believe it or not, I just found your comment today. It appears you wrote it a long time ago.

      I was profoundly surprised to see how many people are interested in lighthouses, their history, the history of lightkeepers, etc. It always warms my heart when I go on lighthouse tours and see others who treasure these fascinating monuments! There is a saying that goes, "“Lighthouses are not just stone, brick, metal, and glass. There's a human story at every lighthouse; that's the story I want to tell.” - Elinor Dewire.......I truly believe that!

      Thank you again, so much for taking the time to send me a note. I hope you are well. Essie

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a wonderful reference source for anyone interested in lighthouses, Essie! The amount of research that you must have done is very impressive. I can tell that it was a labour of love! I wanted to comment earlier, but like Jodah I was having problems loading the hub on my iPad. I'm writing this on an older iPad, which is doing a better job.

    • EsJam profile image

      Essie 2 years ago from Southern California

      Thank you, John. I will check it out on my phone and see what happens, I don't have an iPad. You may be right, it may have to do with the videos. That is a bummer.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Yes Essie, you have succeeded in getting rid of the white spaces by making the photos and videos full width. That looks great, however I am having trouble getting the hub to load on iPad, and it keeps giving me an error message, possibly due to the number of videos. It may just be my problem so I don't know if others using these devices will have the same problem. It is fine viewed on the computer.

    • EsJam profile image

      Essie 2 years ago from Southern California

      So good to hear from you, Jodah. Thank you, also, for the valued advice. I think that I edited it and corrected the empty space next to the book images. If you happen to see it, please let me know if I corrected what you were talking about? Thank you.

      And thank you for your support!

    • EsJam profile image

      Essie 2 years ago from Southern California

      Seafarer Mama,

      I love it! Taking your daughter to share in the fun! Those lighthouses you visited sound amazing. I'm glad that you have access to what sounds like a wonderful book. I am impressed by all the beautiful lighthouses around the world, as well as here, in America. I hope you thoroughly enjoy your book!

      And thank you so much for your support, and for stopping by and reading my hub.

    • EsJam profile image

      Essie 2 years ago from Southern California


      Thank you for reading, and I am glad that you are a believer in lighthouse restoration! I have often taken all the wondrous lighthouses for granted! Until I began learning about these organizations, I hadn't realized how much effort goes into caring for these fascinating structures!

      I appreciate your support. Thank you. Essie

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Certainly a noble subject! You've filled your hub with so much information and so many resources it is definitely one to be read more than once.

      I think the preservation of lighthouses is a must to keep our past alive! Well done.

    • Seafarer Mama profile image

      Karen A Szklany 2 years ago from New England

      Wow. What a comprehensive hub about lighthouses. My daughter and I climbed to the top of Assateague Lighthouse last June. We also enjoyed spending an afternoon at the Museum of Chincoteatue Island, where there is a model of the Point Edward Lighthouse - the one on stilts. Also visited Boston Light. Hope to visit more in my lifetime. I've read some of the kids' books about lighthouses with my daughter and my mother recently gave me a book of lighthouses around the world. I know that I will return to this hub to see more of the videos. Great job!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      This is a very extensive hub about everything "lighthouse" Essie. Some great videos include. One suggestion is to make the book images into thumbnail images, so they don't run down the hub without text beside them. Good work though. I always loved the Donald Duck Lighthouse Keeper.