Know someone dreading a return to office life? The federal government may have a solution to those doldrums. It is making four spectacular properties available for free. Perhaps the price—and the astounding waterfront views of God’s creation—will make these unusual lighthouse properties worth the commute.
Lighthouses are an important part of American history. To many, they symbolize the country’s maritime heritage and adventuresome (risk-taking) spirit.
Advances in GPS and other navigation tools have rendered some beacons less useful than they once were. However, God’s command for Christians to be lights (Matthew 5:14) never ceases. Believers in Jesus must shine so that “the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:4) can show the way forward in a sin-darkened world.
Today, the U.S. Coast Guard is releasing four of the nation’s lighthouses. The government is inviting certain types of organizations to take over the buildings at no cost.
Vacation rental managers need not apply. Only government agencies, nonprofits, and community development organizations are eligible. But if the government doesn’t find new owners in those categories, it could conduct a sale to the highest bidder.
America’s third-oldest beacon, Beavertail Lighthouse in Jamestown, Rhode Island, is one of those up for grabs.
All that remains of the original 1749 building is its foundation. British soldiers leaving the area in 1779 burned the lighthouse down. Today, the 64-foot granite tower faces south at Rhode Island Sound. This tower was built in 1856 along with six additional structures.
Beavertail “has been determined to be excess to the needs of the United States Coast Guard,” which is part of the Department of Homeland Security, says General Services Administration spokesperson Paul Hughes.
Perched on a peninsula, Rhode Island’s Watch Hill Light features a three-story block tower with a cast-iron-and-glass lantern on top. Attached is a two-story brick keeper’s dwelling from 1935. Outbuildings on the four-and-a-half-acre complex include an oil house built in the mid-1800s.
Cleveland Harbor West Pierhead Light was built in 1911 to guide ships in Lake Erie as they approached the Port of Cleveland, Ohio. The structure housed a Coast Guard Station until 1976. Cleveland Harbor West is best known for its annual winter transformation into a majestic ice castle. As temperatures fall below freezing, the surf sprays the lighthouse façade and covers it in icicles.
Built in 1910, the Duluth Harbor North Pierhead Light sits perched at the westernmost tip of Lake Superior. Like Beavertail, the Minnesota building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Interested groups have begun lining up to win a free lighthouse. National Park Service personnel will decide who is a good fit for lighthouse life. Then hopefully, new caretakers will continue allowing these historic beacons to shine on.