Historic landmarks get the
TWO SENTINELS OF THE SEA and one iconic vessel from Hollywood history all gained added distinction recently when Interior Secretary Ken Salazar awarded them federal
recognition. In June, Salazar designated Lightship Overfalls (LV118), now a maritime museum in Lewes, Delaware, a National Historic
Landmark. The steel vessel, launched in 1938,
is the last lightship constructed for and commissioned by the U.S. Lighthouse Service.
Joining Overfalls is Split Rock Light Station on Lake Superior in Minnesota. The
lighthouse operated by the Minnesota Historical Society is virtually unchanged since its
construction in 1910. Every year on November 10, the navigational beacon, decommissioned in 1969, is lit in memory of the 29
men lost when the Edmund Fitzgerald sank in
Lake Superior in 1975.
Over 200 properties related to U.S. maritime history are currently on the Historic
Landmarks registry, including vessels, light
stations, lifesaving stations, World War II
sites, canals, homes of famous individuals,
marine hospitals, dry docks, canneries, and
entire historic port towns.
In August, John Wayne’s beloved World
War II minesweeper cum personal yacht,
Wild Goose, tied up on a different but equally
distinctive list, the National Register of Historic Places. Wayne bought the converted
136-foot, ex-Navy vessel in 1962 and owned
it until shortly before his death in 1979. It’s
one of four wooden minesweepers left out
of 481 built for the war effort. A tour boat
company in Newport Beach, California,
now owns Wild Goose. Wayne lived there
when he owned the boat. Wild Goose had
roles in two movies, and also in TV’s “The
Man From U.N.C.L.E.” It joins 200 vessels
on the National Register of Historic Places.
A fish-eyed view of Split
Rock Lighthouse, Two