Monday, December 7, 2015

Two Harbors-A Lighthouse B&B

Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast at Two Harbors

Staying in a Lighthouse is a Unique Experience

I have always enjoyed lighthouses and have photographed over 50 lighthouses in the past 6 years, but this was my first time to actually spend the night in a lighthouse. I was so excited for the experience and didn't know quite what to expect. I was in for a delightful time and I loved staying in a lighthouse for the night.
It is hard to say what I liked best. I really enjoyed the access to the lighthouse and tower at all times of the night and day. The views of the harbor in the middle of the night were fantastic and I loved being able to get photographs at sunrise and sunset. It was a full moon the night we stayed at Two Harbors, Minnesota lighthouse so I had the added experience of capturing the moon and lighthouse in a photo together. The fun of sharing a bed and breakfast and meeting new people was also great. There were three couples staying in the lighthouse and one in the skiff house on the property. We all met in the dining area in the evening for snacks and again for a delicious Scandinavian breakfast in the morning.
For me the lighthouse B&B was a great experience that I would recommend to anyone who loves lighthouses.
all photos by author-mbgphoto

Lighthouse View from the Shore - autumn at Two Harbors

The colors were at their peak when we visited Two Harbors lighthouse on September 30, 2012.
Inside the Bed and Breakfast

The Dining Room - guests eat in the dining room

The comfortable dining room had a welcoming atmosphere.

Parlor Room

Parlor Room
Parlor Room

Scandinavian Breakfast- Great Fruit Soup and Pumpkin Bread

Scandinavian Breakfast- Great Fruit Soup and Pumpkin Bread
Scandinavian Breakfast- Great Fruit Soup and Pumpkin Bread

Harbor Bedroom - three guest bedrooms in lighthouse

The lighthouse has three guest bedrooms on the second floor. There is one bathroom that is shared by the three rooms. In addition the lighthouse has a Skiff House on the property that is now used for an additional guest room. It has a large room with private bathroom facilities and a Jacuzzi tub.
We stayed in the Harbor room that is pictured above. It was a comfortable room that had a great view of the harbor.
Entertainment at the Lighthouse

Watching the Ships enter the Harbor - a fun pastime

Two Harbors lighthouse is situated in Agate bay where you can watch ships of iron ore come and go. These shipping operations first began in 1884 when the first iron shipment was loaded for shipment from Agate bay. While we were visiting a large ship came into the harbor at about 6 pm. and left just after midnight. It was fun to watch the ship come in from the pier and then when it left I watched it from our bedroom window.

Climbing the Lighthouse Tower

a fun experience

I always love to climb a lighthouse tower and see the view from on top. Usually I visit a lighthouse and get one trip to the top to see the view, but while staying at the lighthouse B&B I had the opportunity to climb the tower anytime I wanted day or night. Since we were already staying on the second floor the climb to the tower was only two short flights of stairs to the lantern house. I ended up climbing to the top on 4 different occassions, one time late at night when it was a bit spooky since I was all alone. It was fantastic though to view the harbor at night. The harbor was all lit up and you could see the sweeping lights from the lantern along the shore. The photo in this section is taken through the portholes at the top of the lighthouse during my afternoon climb up the tower.
The lantern gallery is only 43feet 6 inches high but when you add that to the location of the light along the shore, it sits 78 feet above the water.
The lighthouse at Agate Bay near Two Harbors was authorized by US Congress in 1886 and was first lit in March of 1892. It was built on a rocky area on the east side of the bay. They had to blast nearly 600 tons of rock out of the bedrock to form the fountation of the lighthouse. The lighthouse and the keepers house were connected and yet they were two separate structures. There is a very thick wall where the two structures come together, which protected the keepers family from a fire or explosion.
facts for this lens come from a pamphlet by Lake County Historical Society

Walking along the Miles of Trails along the Lake Superior Shore

I woke up early to catch the sunrise on my camera and then enjoyed a 2 mile trek along the shores of Lake Superior. The hiking was great and the views were wonderful. This poster shows several of the photos I took while hiking the trails.

Deer Seen during my Hike

Deer Seen during my Hike
Deer Seen during my Hike

Visiting Pierhead Lighthouse

two lighthouses at Two Harbors

At the end of a L shaped pier you find the second lighthouse at Two Harbors. This lighthouse was built in the 1940's and is 25 feet high. It has an octagonal lantern house and sits on steel legs that let the waves splash beneath it. I walked out to the lighthouse in the early evening to watch a large iron ore ship that was just coming into the bay. It seemed to be a popular place for people to come out to watch the ships.
The Lighthouse Grounds

Assistant Keepers House

lighthouse grounds attractions

The grounds of Two Harbors lighthouse contains several additional attractions. The assistant keepers house has been restored with original furnishings from the late 1800's and future plans are to turn it into a rental cottage for the B&B. The old Skiff House, which was once a power house, is currently being used as a rental for the B&B.
The fog signal building has been turned into a nice gift shop for the lighthouses. It has a wide variety of items depicting the lighthouses and the area. I purchased post cards, a lighthouse apron and a lighthouse sweatshirt while I was there.
At the edge of the ground is the Frontenac Pilot House. This pilot house, which was once part of a ship, is now used as exhibit space for the lighthouse and shipping museum. I toured the house and found the exhibits to be interesting. You also have a great view of Lake Superior through the windows of the pilot house.

Life in the late 1800's - furnishings in assistant keepers house

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Prospect Point Lighthouse

 Prospect Point Lighthouse is located in Stanley Park in Vancouver, Canada.  On a recent cruise our ship left the port in Vancouver and proceeded under the Lions Gate Bridge (a popular Vancouver landmark).  As we proceeded under the bridge I noticed a cute little lighthouse sitting on a path below the bridge.

I did a bit of research and found that the lighthouse is called Prospect Point.  In October of 1888 the steamship Beaver slammed into Prospect point and the need was felt for a lighthouse in the area.  The first light at Prospect point was opened on July 25, 1888.

In 1938 the Lions Gate Bridge (linking the Prospect point bluff to North Vancouver) was constructed and the original lighthouse still operated.  Several years later in 1946, the current lighthouse was opened.  As we traveled by the lighthouse on a Sunday afternoon I could see many visitors to the park walking past the trail by the lighthouse.  It looked the a great way to spend a beautiful afternoon.
The photo above shows the Lions Gate Bridge and the skyline of Vancouver.  I took the photograph off the back of the ship after we passed the lighthouse.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

St. Augustine Lighthouse

St Augustine Lighthouse-through the eyes of the camera

Historic City

I love photographing lighthouses, so I went to St. Augustine specifically to photograph the lighthouse. I was pleasantly surprised by a wonderful, historic ciy with many wonderful attractions. We were only there for one day so we really only touched the surface of all of the sites to visit. I spent quite a bit of time photographing the lighthouse and touring the lighthouse museum.
Afterward we went to the Castillo de San Marcos, an old Spanish fort that is right on the inlet. We also spent some time walking around the downtown area and taking in the many historic buildings. St. Augustine is truly a historic treasure. It was settled 55 years before the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock and is full of hundreds of years of fascinating history.
This page will give you a photographic tour of the lighthouse and the Castillo de San Marcos.
photographs by Mary Beth Granger

St Augustine Lighthouse - from the Parking Lot

Here is the first photo I took of the lighthouse from the parking lot. The way the lighthouse is surrounded by trees it is hard to get a good shot of the lighthouse without being right on top of it. In this lens you will see my challenge at trying to get a good shot of the lighthouse.
I moved around to various spots within the lighthouse grounds and even tried to shoot from across the way in a park. If you have a favorite view I would love to hear from you. Just let me know in the comment section at the end of the article.

St Augustine Gifts on Amazon - Lighthouse Gifts

St Augustine Lighthouse is a beautiful sight with it's black and white stripes spiraling up the lighthouse.

Fourth Order Fresnel Lens - in lighthouse museum

The lighthouse has a wonderful museum that tells the history of the lighthouse and shows a great timeline of the history.
The museum has several fresnel lenses. This photo shows a Fourth Order Fresnel Lens

Lighthouse and Keepers House

Taken from the Museum porch

This photo was taken from the porch of the museum, directly across from the lighthouse. It was one place I could get an unobstructed view of the lighthouse with the little house in front of it. I'm still a bit close for comfort and it gives a distorted look to the tower.
St. Augustine lighthouse has a 165 ft tower. Visitors are welcome to climb the 219 steps to the top.

An Artists point of View

Up Close section of Lighthouse

While we were visiting the lighthouse, there was a local artist painting an oil painting of the lighthouse. When I finished touring the grounds and museum I stopped to look at what he had been painting. I snapped this photo from the same angle the artist was using to paint the picture. It gives a closeup point of view. Interesting...although I will admit it looked much better in the oil painting.

A view through the Trees

The grounds of the lighthouse have trails through the woods that go up and down hills. I explored one of the trails looking for a view of the lighthouse. This photo was taken of the lighthouse through the trees.

Photo from Park

There is a park not far from the lighthouse where you can get some great views of the lighthouse. With my telephoto lens, I was able to capture the lighthouse framed in palms. You can even see a few tourists enjoying the view from the top of the lighthouse.

Nighttime View

We stopped by St. Augustine on another trip to Florida and I was able to capture the lighthouse at night. The lighthouse is surrounded by buildings and trees so to get a good shot of the light at night I went to a nearby park and set up my tripod.

Castillo de San Marcos

This wonderful old Spanish fort was constructed between 1672 and 1756. It was made from coquina, a local shell-rock formation.

Old Spanish Fort

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Photographing Hereford Inlet Lighthouse

Photographing Hereford Inlet Lighthouse

Hereford Inlet Lighthouse is located along the New Jersey shore in North Wildwood. This gorgeous Victorian style lighthouse is a photographers dream. It not only has a beautiful Victorian home with a lighthouse incorporated into the house, but the surrounding property is full of beautiful gardens, special little hideaways, and a path leading right to the sea.
I found this lighthouse particularly interesting because it looked more like a beautiful Victorian home than a lighthouse. Inside the home it has 5 fireplaces and a very well maintained living quarters for the keeper and his family. This must certainly rate among the nicest keepers quarters for lighthouses.
All photographs in this article are my own-mbgphoto.

Victorian Lighthouse

Source: Mary Beth Granger

View from Parking Area

Source: Mary Beth Granger

Sign Welcoming You to Lighthouse

Source: Mary Beth Granger

Historic Lighthouse

The lighthouse was first operated in 1874 to guide ships along the New Jersey shoreline. This distinctive lighthouse helped navigators to pinpoint where they were located along the shore.
This lighthouse is very sturdily constructed. In 1889 when a ferocious hurricane blasted the area many people were washed away and drowned. Those people that survived took refuge in the Hereford lighthouse. Even though it was surrounded by water and shaken by the high winds the lighthouse and18 people who took refuge in it survived. ( information on this event taken from Mid-Atlantic Lighthouses by Bruce Roberts and Ray Jones).
The lighthouse remained in service for 90 years at which time it was discontinued by the Coast Guard in 1964. It sat unused until 1986 when the citizens of North Wildwood opened it again.
Today you can tour the lighthouse, climb to the top of the tower and enjoy a restful day among its beautiful gardens,


Visiting Lighthouses

Have you ever visited a Lighthouse?

  • 42% Oh yes I have visited many lighthouses, they are great!
  • 42% I have visited a few lighthouses and would love to see more.
  • 17% No, but they are on my list now.
  • 0% Why would I want to see a lighthouse...just another building!
12 people have voted in this poll.

My Passion for Visiting Lighthouses

I have always loved lighthouses, but 8 years ago when I retired my love of lighthouses really heated up. It started with a love to travel and improve my photography skills. The first year of my retirement my husband and I visited Door County, Wisconsin and I took some photos of their lighthouses. I found each one to be different and intriguing and my quest to photograph more lighthouses started.
Over the years we have photographed over 100 lighthouses and each year I am looking for new opportunities to capture these beautiful, historic lights with my camera. Our trip to the New Jersey shore gave me the opportunity to add 6 new lighthouses to my photographic collections.

White Hydrangea and Gazebo Sitting Area

Source: Mary Beth Granger

The Gardens at Hereford Inlet Lighthouse

The gardens all around the lighthouse were beautiful. The flowers were well maintained and there was a huge variety of flowers artfully set among small sitting areas. You would walk along a path and be surprised by each little area. One area had a birdbath surrounded by flowers, another would have beautiful hydrangea bushes, and still others would have bright yellow daisy type flowers bordering the house and fence.
There were so many wonderful little areas to explore. It was truly an unexpected and delightful garden.

Hanging Baskets around the Porch

Source: Mary Beth Granger

Flowers Surrounding Birdbath

Source: Mary Beth Granger
Source: Mary Beth Granger

Bright Yellow Flowers and Picket Fence

Source: Mary Beth Granger
Source: Mary Beth Granger

Paths throughout the Garden

One of the things that I loved about the garden was the pathways that led you from one section to the next. These pathways were lined with beautiful greenery and flowers and were found throughout the back area of the grounds.
There was a wooden pathway that went from the house to the very back of the property which then opened up to a concrete boardwalk that went along the sea. What a great way to spend an afternoon. I walked from the gardens out onto the boardwalk and could watch the sailboats drifting out to sea. A truly delightful walk.

Pathways Lined with Flowers

Source: Mary Beth Granger
Source: Mary Beth Granger

Old Boats Surrounded by Flowers

Towards the back area of the gardens, I came across two different old boats. Theses boats looked like they had seen better days and were now used to showcase the flowers around the garden. Each of the boats had a wooden bench sitting across from it and beautiful flowers growing all around the boat.
I took some time to sit on the bench and rest before I started photographing the boat and flowers. What a great way to add interest to the gardens!
Source: Mary Beth Granger

Where is Hereford Inlet?

Map data ©2015 Google
North Wildwood New Jersey -
North Wildwood, NJ 08260, USA
 [get directions]
When we visited Hereford Inlet we were staying at Atlantic City. The lighthouse was about a half hours drive from our hotel.

Lighthouse Gifts from my Photos

I love to use my photographs to make gifts for my Zazzle shops.  Below you will find several gifts from photographs of the Hereford Lighthouse.