Local NPR for the Cape, Coast & Islands 90.1 91.1 94.3
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Our Fascination with Lighthouses

Dan Tritle

Author Eric Jay Dolin tells the story of America through the prism of its beloved coastal sentinels. Set against the backdrop of an expanding nation, his book Brilliant Beacons - A Story of  the American Lighthouse traces the evolution of America’s lighthouse system.  It's a history that includes political, military, and technological battles fought to illuminate the nation’s hardscrabble coastlines.   Dolan talks with host Mindy Todd.

Meanwhile, the automation of light and fog signals has done away with the need for lighthouse keepers, and growing budgetary restrictions have made maintaining these structures a financial burden for the Coast Guard.  Instead of tearing down the keeper houses, the Coast Guard is working with communities for creative ways to preserve these iconic and historic properties.  Nobska Light in Woods Hole is the latest whose future is bright thanks to a partnership between the USCG and the community group Friends of Nobska Light.  The group's executive director, Catherine Bumpus, joins Mindy Todd to talk about this noted Cape Cod lighthouse.

Mindy Todd is the host and producer of The Point on WCAI which examines critical issues for Cape Cod and the Islands. She brings more than 30 years of experience in radio and television to WCAI.