Modern Day Lighthouse Keeper – Bob Trapani

On my recent trip to Maine, I had the pleasure of stopping by Owls Head Lighthouse and catching up with Bob Trapani, president of the American Lighthouse Foundation.  The lighthouse, as you can see from these photos, looks fantastic.  Bob’s hard work has paid off.  Folks can now enter the tower and climb a few steps to enjoy the view and see the beautiful fourth-order Fresnel lens.  The keeper’s dwelling now houses the offices of the American Lighthouse Foundation on the second floor with the first floor devoted to a gift shop and some interpretation.  (And yes I did drop off the new edition of Women Who Kept the Lights, the first copy I distributed actually.) Bob has plans to enhance the interpretation and is currently writing a book about the station using lots of material from the National Archives.


Bob Trapani, keeper of Owls Head Lighthouse, copyright Candace Clifford, 2013


Owls Head Lighthouse, copyright Candace Clifford, 2013

In addition to Owls Head, the American Lighthouse Foundation is affiliated with some 20 other light stations. One of the biggest challenges Bob faces is the continuous maintenance and repair these station require in their harsh marine environments.

A talented photographer, Bob posts a lot of his wonderul photos to Owls Head facebook page.  Bob also finds time to work with the local Coast Guard’s Aids to Navigation team, getting a first-hand perspective on caring for offshore lights and the evolving technology. I am very pleased to feature him in the first post of my series on modern-day lighthouse keepers.


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