Trinidad Lighthouse Exhibit To Open

Patti Fleschner
Trinidad Tidings

Trinidad Museum opens “Trinidad Lighthouse 1871-Present” in the Photography Room on Sunday, Feb. 9. A reception will be held from 2 to 4 p.m.

TrinidadTidingsCoastGuard copy copyOn view are 30 historic lighthouse photographs taken by A.W. Ericson in the late 19th century along with photographs of lighthouse keepers, the keeper’s residence, the 1898 bronze bell and bell house, the 1949 Memorial Lighthouse replica, and more from the Edith and Milton Hunter collection and the Katie Boyle collection and others.

A lighthouse was proposed for the ocean-facing side of Trinidad Head in 1854. Funding was requested from Congress to build it in 1866 and when $20,000 was approved by Congress in 1871, work commenced to build the brick and stucco lighthouse and keeper’s residence in the spring.

Jeremiah Kiler, the first lighthouse keeper, lit the first lens in December 1871.

Photographer A.W. Ericson, working as a laborer at the Trinidad lumber mill at the time, wrote in his diary that he walked up to Trinidad Head to observe construction in progress.

A highlight of the exhibit is the 1947 375 mm Fresnel lens that was removed from the lighthouse in trinidad.lenseDecember by the United States Coast Guard JBOSN4 Curtis Barthel, BM1 Jerad Calobreves and Seaman Jacob Salts and transported to the museum at 400 Janis Court, Trinidad.

The 375 mm, 110 volt lens has been in place as an aid to navigation since 1947 (electricity came to Trinidad Head in 1942).It replaced the Fourth Order Fresnel lens which was installed in 1871 in the 25’ lighthouse perched 175’ above sea level. A new automated LED light will guide navigators in the future.

Museum board members Scott Baker, Jill Mefford, Joan Berman, Jim Baker, former board member Tom Sharp and I were present to witness the light change at the lighthouse. Tom, Scott, Katie LaSala, and Patti Fleschner are curators of the photography exhibit.

Scott Baker organized fabrication, by Jeffrey W. Belton of Arcata, of a sturdy metal stand for the light.  Scott and Mike Morton of Trinidad set up the splendid light last week in the Photography Room.

Also newly on view at the museum in the Native American Room are splendid large Yurok and Karuk carrying and cooking baskets, a rare Iris fiber fishing net, and many beautifully woven traditional caps from the museum’s permanent collections.   Ron Johnson is curator of this recent exhibit.

Fifteen volunteer docents welcome visitors to the museum on Thursdays through Sundays from 12:30 to 4 p.m.  Special school or group tours can be organized by calling (707) 677-3816.

Trinidad Library news

Next to Trinidad Museum, there are many new events. On Saturday, Feb. 1, the library will host a Valentine making event for grown-ups at 1 p.m. The library staff will provide envelopes and pre-cut cards, stamps, die cut hearts, glue, pens, doilies and stickers for making Valentine greetings. Bring your own embellishments if desired. The event will end about 3 p.m.

Trinidad Reads!, a readers’ club for sharing and exchanging ideas about favorite books, will take place on Thursday, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. February’s topic will be mysteries. Library director Kenzie invites readers to share favorite characters, locales and plots from gritty crimes to little ladies solving mysteries.

Kenzie also reminds us that Friends of Trinidad Library has started selling popular books at the new library. Sales benefit library programs. The next FOTL meeting is on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 9 a.m.

Global Beats at Trinidad School

Trinidad School art and music students will present a program on Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the school on Trinity Street.

Principal-Superintendent Geoff Proust, a musician himself, writes about “Challenges and Benefits of Music” in the January school newsletter.

Certified music instruction has been offered at Trinidad School for decades even as many other schools have had to drop this important program. He and previous superintendents have seen the benefits to students who find time in busy academic days to learn an instrument or sing in ensembles.

Students who participate in music programs not only improve in math and other academic subjects but the students develop discipline, organization, creativity, friendship and enjoy a more balanced life, he says.

School board vacancy

With the retirement of Trustee Jonna Kitchen, the Board of Trustees of Trinidad Union School District now has a vacancy.

The Board is currently planning for an appointment to this seat, with much of the process determined by state law. Applicants must be registered voters residing in the district, 18 years of age, and must submit a letter of intent to the District office by 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 4.

Interested candidates will be interviewed by the board in a public session on Thursday, Feb. 13.  If you are interested in taking on this important challenge, please call the school office, (707) 677-3631.


E-mail Patti at [email protected]


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