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US Auctions Connecticut, New York, Ohio, Michigan Lighthouses

If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a historic lighthouse, now might be the time.

The US government is donating at least 10 lighthouses to the public and government agencies as demand for once-critical maritime facilities declines due to technologies such as GPS. Some of the buildings, which can be centuries old, have colorful histories – and some are even said to have ghosts.

The General Services Administration will auction four lighthouses to the public, it announced in a news release Friday. It will also offer six beacons to federal agencies, state or local governments, nonprofits, or educational agencies that want to take on building maintenance. The GAS offers headlights every May, and the number made available this year is a record, he said.

Others saw a rusty old lighthouse. This man saw the opportunity.

The lighthouses available for auction are the Penfield Reef Lighthouse in Fairfield, Connecticut; the Stratford Shoal Light in New York; the Cleveland Harbor West Pier Lighthouse in Ohio and the Keweenaw Waterway Lower Entrance Lighthouse in Chassell, Michigan.

The Penfield Reef lighthouse is said to be haunted, according to Lighthouse Friends, a website that has an extensive list of such facilities in the United States and Canada. Frederick A. Jordan, the keeper, sought to row ashore from the lighthouse in 1916, to spend the Christmas holidays with his family. The boat capsized.

Since then, Jordan’s ghost has appeared several times, according to Rudolph Iten, who claimed to have seen an apparition come out of Jordan’s old bedroom. In the Lighthouse Friends article, Iten said he found the logbook removed from the shelf and opened to the page describing Jordan’s death.

Lighthouses made available to government institutions or educational groups include Lynde Point Lighthouse in Connecticut, Nobska and Plymouth/Gurnet Lighthouses in Massachusetts, Warwick Neck Light in Rhode Island, Little Mark Island and Monument in Maine and the Erie Harbor North Pier Lighthouse in Pennsylvania.

The Plymouth Lighthouse was home to America’s first female keeper. Warden John Thomas worked there until he joined the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. When he died of smallpox in 1776 while serving, his wife Hannah took over, according to Lighthouse Friends.

Under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act, lighthouses can be transferred at no cost to government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and educational groups, but acquiring entities must have the funds to maintain the lighthouses and must update them. available to the public “at reasonable times and under reasonable conditions,” GAS said in the press release.

If a lighthouse is not acquired by any of these institutions, it is then offered to the public at auction.

The annual offering aims to raise funds for the Coast Guard’s Aids to Navigation mission, a program that involves installing buoys, radio beacons or fog signals that serve as signs on waterways. Previous sales since 2000 have grossed more than $10 million, the GSA said.


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