Lighthouses of Australia Project - JANUARY 01 BULLETIN
JANUARY 2001

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Dear Friends

LOAP Needs More of YOUR Input

This month Ed Kavaliunas has done a lot of the work on the Bulletin. We also had assistance from some of our other supporters with some the more time consuming tasks.

Hopefully the situation will develop where there is a greater involvement from supporters and members in areas such as reporting and research as well as the more mundane tasks.

So keep the letters and stories coming to make the Bulletin better than ever.

John Ibbotson Completes His Journey Around Australia

This month sees the last instalment of John Ibbotson's journey across the top of Australia to complete the photographing of lighthouses for his forthcoming book.

Ed Kavaliunas Reports on His Honeymoon Trip to King Island

Ed and Deb Kavaliunas (nee Taylor) chase lighthouses on King Island encountering many interesting 'locals'.

Malcolm Macdonald
Malcolm Macdonald
[Photograph: Deborah Kavaliunas]

eMail Malcolm

Ed "Smithy" Kavaliunas is Taking Over the Editorial of the Monthly Bulletin  [Photograph: Deborah Taylor]
Ed "Smithy" Kavaliunas
[Photograph: Deborah Kavaliunas]

eMail Ed


Around Australia Chasing Lighthouses (Part 3 of 3)

Part 1: Nov 2000 Bulletin
Part 2: Dec 2000 Bulletin

[John Ibbotson]

From Darwin we drove back to Katherine and then on to Kununurra. Founded in 1961 Kununurra is the main town for the Ord River Scheme. A trip on Lake Argyle is a great way to spend a day. It is the largest body of fresh water in Australia (1,000 square kms and a 1,000 km shoreline) and could quite easily do with a light or two so that boaters know where they are. The only other stop on the way to Derby was at the Bungle Bungles that personally I found disappointing.

Broome is a pleasant little town and its sunsets are spectacular - big red balls sinking into a murky horizon. The murk was from the smoke generated by scrub fires that are lit on purpose and burn right across the Top End during 'The Dry'. On a sunny day aerial trip around Cape Leveque I gave up and went home at 3:00pm because the sun had effectively disappeared in the haze. We might have had 58 clear days in a row in September-October but I think April would have been a better photographic time to do the trip.

Gantheaume Point Lighthouse, a Plain Tower in a Photogenic Surround [Photograph: John Ibbotson]
Gantheaume Point Lighthouse, a Plain Tower in a Photogenic Surround
[Photograph: John Ibbotson]

The Gantheaume Point Light on the outskirts of Broome at the end of Cable Beach is a typical frame tower although the surrounding red rocks do improve its photogenic qualities.

Cape Leveque Lighthouse is a Rough 240 Kilometre Journey North of Broome [Photograph: John Ibbotson]
Cape Leveque Lighthouse is a Rough 240 Kilometre Journey North of Broome
[Photograph: John Ibbotson]

Cape Leveque north of Broome can be reached by road but it is a rough 240 kms in a 4WD. It is better to fly. Phillip and Maureen Telfer at King Leopold Air (08) 9193-6092 runs regular tourist trips or charters to the cape. There is also accommodation available there. Contact Kooljaman at Cape Leveque PMB 8 Cape Leveque via Broome WA 6725 or phone (08) 9192-4970.

The tower is probably the best tower in the top half of WA but is unfortunately behind a high wire fence. On the way we also flew past Red Bluff and Lacepede, Adele and Caffarelli Islands. These are all minor lights but their settings are quite different and quite spectacular.

The next port of call was Port Hedland a town where absolutely everything has a coating of iron ore dust on it. There are a long line of buoys marking the channel out into deep water but I did not go out and photograph them. Instead we drove on to Cossack.

The Jarman Island Lighthouse is Anticipating a Much Needed Restoration Project [Photograph: John Ibbotson]
The Jarman Island Lighthouse is Anticipating a Much Needed Restoration Project
[Photograph: John Ibbotson]

The Jarman Island Cottages Will Hopefully Be Restored Also.[Photograph: John Ibbotson]
The Jarman Island Cottages Will Hopefully Be Restored Also.
[Photograph: John Ibbotson]

Cossack is a small historical port that is now only used for the occasional pleasure craft. The old buildings there have been magnificently restored and well worth a visit. We were able to rent a small boat there from Dave and Darlene Fairgrieve (0408-937-677) and motored the three km out to Jarman Island. Fortunately it was a flat calm day.

The tower, constructed with cast iron panels bolted together is in reasonable condition but only the walls of the keepers' cottages remain. The WA government and the major local mining companies (Robe Iron, Hamersley Iron, Woodside etc) have pledged money for its repair (including the houses.) If the restoration is as well done as the buildings in Cossack it will be superb.

The Old Vlamingh Head Lighthouse is Also to be Restored From Cyclone Repair Funding [Photograph: John Ibbotson]
The Old Vlamingh Head Lighthouse is Also to be Restored From Cyclone Repair Funding
[Photograph: John Ibbotson]

Soon after arriving in Exmouth we drove the 15km out to the old Vlaming Head tower. Although it is in reasonable condition it too is going to be restored. The next morning I succeeded in contacting Jeff Callon at the Navcommsta Radio Base. I then went out to the base and Jeff spent about two hours showing me around the facility. The 13 towers (6 are 304m tall, 6 are 364m tall and the Zero tower is 387m tall) with their associated ariels are used to transmit low frequency messages to Australian Navy vessels.

The New Tower at Exmouth Could be Considered the Tallest Lighthouse Structure in the World [Photograph: John Ibbotson]
The New Tower at Exmouth Could be Considered the Tallest Lighthouse Structure in the World
[Photograph: John Ibbotson]

The only structure in the Southern Hemisphere that is taller is the Omega tower at Harriman in Victoria. When the Vlaming Head light was decommissioned in 1967 the replacement light was placed 120m up tower 11 (just above the ospreys nest). This would make tower 11, at 304m the tallest lighthouse structure in Australia and possibly the world. The courtesy and assistance provided by the base personnel was the best I've ever encountered and made this one of the highlights of the trip.

The Old Point Cloates Lighthouse Was Damaged by an Earthquake in 1932 [Photograph: John Ibbotson]
The Old Point Cloates Lighthouse Was Damaged by an Earthquake in 1932
[Photograph: John Ibbotson]

After leaving Exmouth we called in to say hello to Billie Le Froy at Ningaloo Station before going out to see the old Point Cloates light. The tower was built of local sandstone in 1910. After being damaged during an earthquake in 1932 it was decommissioned. A new light was built offshore on Fraser Island but the base rock it was built on eroded and the light toppled over. In 1966 a new GRP light was built about one km from the original light.

The Point Quobba Lighthouse Near Carnavon [Photograph: John Ibbotson]
The Point Quobba Lighthouse Near Carnavon
[Photograph: John Ibbotson]

Before driving into Carnarvon we drove out to Point Quobba. It is a classic white concrete tower with a red cupola. It's lantern came from Cape Wickham in Tasmania.

The Babbage Island Lighthouse With a Fresh Coat of Paint [Photograph: John Ibbotson]
The Babbage Island Lighthouse With a Fresh Coat of Paint
[Photograph: John Ibbotson]

In Carnarvon we visited the light on Babbage Island. The steel frame tower replaced earlier wooden ones that had all burnt down. It had been freshly painted because the Olympic Relay had passed by and everything needed to look spick and span!

The Cape Inscription Lighthouse With Genuine SOS Painted Around the Base[Photograph: John Ibbotson
The Cape Inscription Lighthouse With Genuine SOS Painted Around the Base
[Photograph: John Ibbotson]

From Denham we flew out to Dirk Hartog Island. It is the largest island in WA and is run as a sheep station and wilderness lodge by Kieran Wardle and his partner Tory Pyman. Tory met us at the runway and then drove us in a 4WD to Cape Inscription at the top of the island. Not only was she delightful company on the six hour round trip but she had packed a wonderful lunch!

The Cape Inscription Lighthouse on Dirk Hartog Island. Typical of the Islands Along This Desolate Coast.[Photograph: John Ibbotson]
The Cape Inscription Lighthouse on Dirk Hartog Island. Typical of the Islands Along This Desolate Coast.
[Photograph: John Ibbotson]

The Cape Inscription tower unfortunately had 'SOS' painted all over it (done by a sailor who had supposedly been shipwrecked earlier in the year). Otherwise the tower, built in 1909 was in excellent condition. Only the walls of the keepers' houses remain. On our return flight we also flew over the Steep Point Light. It's only a GRP cabinet but it is the western most light on the Australian mainland. Kieran and Tory can be reached on (08) 9948-1211 or c/- PO Denham WA 6537.

Point Moore Lighthouse at Geraldton [Photograph: John Ibbotson]
Point Moore Lighthouse at Geraldton
[Photograph: John Ibbotson]

On our way to Geraldton I tried to find Shoal Point but without success. I think I saw it but thought it was a water tower.... In Geraldton we hired a plane and flew out to the Abrolhos Islands for photos of the 'Rocket' light on Pelsaert Island. Also took ariels of the Point Moore light as we went past.

The Trip to Escape Island Came at the Expense of a Bottle of Rum [Photograph: John Ibbotson]
The Trip to Escape Island Came at the Expense of a Bottle of Rum
[Photograph: John Ibbotson]

Drove into Jurien on the off chance on finding a boat to take us out to Escape Island. We lucked out. The only active boat in the harbour, a cray boat called Sentosa IV had just returned with some research students. Reg Isles and Kelly Borger who were crewing the boat said they'd go out again if 'The Boss' said ok. 'The Boss', Kevin Brewer agreed as long as I gave him a bottle of rum! I'm sure that the boat burnt the equivalent of quite a few bottles of rum during the trip.

The light is just a frame tower with a Tupperware light at the top (like Gantheaume Point but without a lantern room) so it didn't matter that it was too rough to go ashore.

North Mole Lighthouse at Fremantle [Photograph: John Ibbotson]
North Mole Lighthouse at Fremantle
[Photograph: John Ibbotson]

The South Mole Lighthouse at Fremantle [Photograph: John Ibbotson]
The South Mole Lighthouse at Fremantle
[Photograph: John Ibbotson]

Before leaving Perth I managed to take photos of the North and South Mole and the Woodman tower and in Bunbury took some sunset/sunrise photos of the Casuarina Point light. It is only a harbour light, as are the three preceding ones but it is one of the most attractive lights in Australia.

The Picturesque Casuarina Point Lighthouse [Photograph: John Ibbotson
The Picturesque Casuarina Point Lighthouse
[Photograph: John Ibbotson]

The Woodman Point Lighthouse at Fremantle [Photograph: John Ibbotson]
The Woodman Point Lighthouse at Fremantle
[Photograph: John Ibbotson]

As I had previously photographed the main lights to the south and west of Perth we visited them, but only briefly. By this stage we were ready to head for home. The same applied for the South Australian lights. So at the end of the nine weeks we had seen about 80 lighthouses, used 3 helicopters, 5 4WDs, 11 planes, 9 boats, 180 rolls of film and had done 20,500km in the '76 Valiant. I felt like I needed a vacation.

Jack packed up and returned to the US. I had the photos developed and have catalogued them. Now I rise at 4:00 am most mornings to write the text for the coffee table book before heading off to work. I will be glad when this project slows down a little.

John Ibbotson <johnibbo@mira.net> Travelled across the top of Australia to complete photographing lighthouse for his new book [Photograph: John Ibbotson]
John Ibbotson <johnibbo@mira.net>
[Photograph: John Ibbotson]

John travelled across the top of Australia to complete photographing lighthouses for his new book that he is working on.

King Island Report

Deb and Smithy Get Married: Dec 2000 Bulletin

[Ed Kavaliunas aka "Smithy"]

After a short recovery from a wonderful post wedding party, Deb and I pack up and head off to King Island for a welcome break from humanity as we know it. King Island is like a stepping stone across Bass Straight to Tasmania, a mere 50 miles from Cape Otway, an island of some 1800 inhabitants (human that is…..many more wallabies, bush turkeys, pheasants, penguins, possums etc. etc.).

The greeting at the airport from the car hire desk goes something along the lines of; "…welcome, $750 excess, so many hundred kilometres of road, 15% of them sealed, watch out for wallabies and bush turkeys…, after ten minutes of driving this proves to be no exaggeration.

Bush Turkeys Holding Up Traffic [Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]
Bush Turkeys Holding Up Traffic
[Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]

We head off to Grassy, the second largest town on the island to find our accommodation where we find the number of buildings to be disproportionate to the number of humans apparent. We unload our luggage and set of on some preliminary exploration of the island. First destination, Currie, the "capital", home of the only re-commissioned lighthouse perched over the pretty Currie harbour with its flotilla of crayboats nestled safely protected from the Southern Ocean.

Currie Harbour With Lighthouse in the Background [Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]
Currie Harbour With Lighthouse in the Background
[Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]

Some quick shots from various vantages and then back to Grassy with thoughts of a good country counter meal at the Grassy Club. NO LUCK, no meals on Tuesday nights, the only possibility is back at Currie! Thanks to the generosity of one of the locals at the bar it's back to our unit with a couple of packs of King Island cheese for some toast and bickies to go with it. The next day we head up to Cape Wickham with a wary eye on the notoriously changeable weather hoping for clear skies to shoot the Cape Wickham Lighthouse.

The Road Approaching Cape Wickham [Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]
The Road Approaching Cape Wickham
[Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]

Not disappointed the early cloud breaks and we are treated to good weather bordering on quite warm.

The Impressive Cape Wickham Tower [Photograph:Ed Kavaliunas]
The Impressive Cape Wickham Tower
[Photograph:Ed Kavaliunas]

Unfortunately only one of the original buildings remain with a recent addition of red brick incongruous next to the impressive white tower reputedly the tallest in the Southern Hemisphere.

Cape Wickham Tower and Remaining Outbuildings [Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]
Cape Wickham Tower and Remaining Outbuildings
[Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]

After a bit of beachcombing and avoiding stepping on more skinks on the rocks than I have ever seen anywhere we set off to Martha Lavinia Beach on the northern tip of the island with it's magnificent white sand scattered over with nautilus shells, bordered by wonderful sub-tropical bush land. We head back to Currie with the constant habitual friendly finger wave to any car that passes reminiscent of the tour of the northwest of Tasmania.

Currie Lighthouse Tower [Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]
Currie Lighthouse Tower
[Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]

A quick tour of the Currie Museum housed in the original lighthouse keepers cottage, one of the few brick buildings on the island.

Currie Lighthouse and Keepers Cottage (now historical museum) [Photograph:Ed Kavaliunas]
Currie Lighthouse and Keepers Cottage (now historical museum)
[Photograph:Ed Kavaliunas]

Some shots of an original prism from the Cape Wickham light and looking at original photos of the lights and relative buildings.

One of the Original Prism Panels From Cape Wickham Lighthouse (Currie Museum) [Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]
One of the Original Prism Panels From Cape Wickham Lighthouse (Currie Museum)
[Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]

We then head south towards Stokes Point Lighthouse, which according to the island map supplied by the car hire company, is off limits. After passing through a gate into the property where the lighthouse is located, again this is no exaggeration! Blue metal gravel, the size of an adult fist, provides a surface that would loosen every possible bolt that holds this car together in a very short time. We abandon this sojourn after about 3 or 4 kilometres, heading back in the direction of Seal Rocks on the southernmost tip of the island. Looking back we realize that we were only a couple of kilometres form the lighthouse (Oh well, it was only a "toilet block" light anyway).

Wild Pheasant (commonly seen around the island) [Photograph:Ed Kavaliunas]
Wild Pheasant (commonly seen around the island)
[Photograph:Ed Kavaliunas]

Seal Rocks is a wonderfully rugged piece of coast with the water turning a spectacular sapphire blue/green as it meets the rocks (not so attractive if you were the captain of an 1800's cutter I suspect). Again, an abundance of wallabies watch our progress. We head back to Grassy to have tea (yes meals are on tonight, and typically generous country fare), before heading off to the penguin rookery rugged up against a typically blowy Bass Straight night.

Rewarded eventually by the cacophonous arrival of said creatures we make our way back through another armada of possums and wallabies for a well earned rest. Our final day is a leisurely drive up the east coast taking in some more endless kilometres of deserted beaches and the impressive Sea Elephant Bay, which unfortunately due to over-sealing hosts very few of these enormous creatures any more.

A Stark Reminder of One of the Early Maritime Disasters of King Island, a Headstone Erected For One of the Victims of the 'British Admiral' (1874).[Photograph: Deborah Kavaliunas]
A Stark Reminder of One of the Early Maritime Disasters of King Island, a Headstone Erected For One of the Victims of the 'British Admiral' (1874).
[Photograph: Deborah Kavaliunas]

A casual drive back to Currie and another visit to the museum before dinner at the local pub (with Mercury Cider on tap) before retiring back to our digs for our final night on the island.

Shipwreck Timbers Behind the Currie Museum [Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]
Shipwreck Timbers Behind the Currie Museum
[Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]

Friday greets us with spectacular weather, fine and warm and we head off to the King Island dairy to stock up on cheese for the rellies before heading back to Currie for some last minute shots and the obligatory postcards.

Currie Lighthouse, Re-ignited After Much Agitation From the Locals [Photograph:Ed Kavaliunas]
Currie Lighthouse, Re-ignited After Much Agitation From the Locals
[Photograph:Ed Kavaliunas]

We arrive at the airport and as we unpack our luggage we notice in the car next to us something that typifies our impressions of this place. A woman in the car next to us has a canvas rucksack suspended from the passenger seat, and peeping innocently out is an orphaned wallaby watching casually at the goings on around him. Shortly after take-off we fly over Cape Wickham Lighthouse in brilliantly clear weather (totally cloud covered on arrival) almost as if were bidding us bon voyage.

Aerial View of Cape Wickham as We Are Leaving the Island [Photograph:Deborah Kavaliunas]
Aerial View of Cape Wickham as We Are Leaving the Island
[Photograph: Deborah Kavaliunas]

Ed "Smithy " Kavaliunas ><edkav@pipeline.com.au>
            [Photograph: Deborah Taylor]
Ed "Smithy" Kavaliunas <edkav@pipeline.com.au>
[Photograph: Deborah Kavaliunas]


Letters & Notices:

Couple Needed For Management at Cape Otway Lightstation

Advertisement Reproduced from the Geelong Advertiser, January 6th 2001

This historic Cape Otway Lightstation; situated 1/2 hour from Apollo Bay, is a major tourist attraction on the Great Ocean Road, attracting a large number of. visitors per year. We require an energetic, resourceful and enthusiastic live-In management couple. This will Involve after hours work. .

One person needs to have skills to deal with the public, host accommodation, manage staff and handle administration including shop inventory and bookkeeping.

The other person needs to be able to handle. extensive site maintenance (heritage buildings and adjoining land) including pump systems, backup electricity, construction, repair and supervision of contractors..

Applicants must be able to demonstrate actual experience in staff management; maintenance, dealing with paying public arid working without supervision.

Remuneration by. way of salary plus house on site

Closing date: January 17.

Written applications including.CV and 2 referees to:
Stephanie Symes
PO Box 555
Emerald VIC.3782
AUSTRALIA

Closing date for applications January 17; 2001.

 

Information on Identifying Graves on Goose Island

Dear Keeper

A wonderful job well done and we wish this website had been here a few years ago when we did most of our research on Goose Is.

My great, great grandfather George Marks worked on Goose Island, Tasmania from 1865 until his death in 1871 on the Island. He is actually buried in the graveyard there. He lived there with his wife and 3 young children, William, Henry & George along with 2 other families.

I notice you have a photo of the grave site. I have one too from Ronald
Wise on Flinders Island, but I would dearly love to have some idea of which graves were which. If you ever come across any info mentioning the graves I would love to hear from you.

Many thanks and keep up the good work.

Andrea (Jenny & Roger) Marks <qaww2@bit.net.au>

 

Looking for Information on John Sheedy

Sir,

I am researching my family history and I believe one of my past family members, John Sheedy, had some involvement with the Macquarie Lighthouse.

If you can help me with any information on his connection I would be very grateful.

Hoping you can help.

Lesley Whitla <legs@nor.com.au> Byron Bay

Feel free to post any request, letters, notices here regarding research, events etc for any Australian Lighthouse on this notice board.

<keeper@lighthouses.org.au>


Department of Scrounge:

If anybody has any of this material on any Australian lighthouses including the ones listed at the Department of Scrounge it would appreciated, especially the high priority ones:

  • Original Colour Photographs
  • Historical Photographs or Postcards
  • History, experiences and anecdotes
  • Technical History

Please eMail <Keeper>


Australian News:

Barranjoey Report out for Comment

[PRISM Extract - Summer 2000]

Re-use of the cottages at Barranjoey Lighthouse is not expected to become a possibility for some time. However, in the medium to long term they should be made available for site management, interpretation, retail and visitor services and short term holiday accommodation.

The Barranjoey Lighthouse [Photograph: Grant Maizels]
The Barranjoey Lighthouse
[Photograph: Grant Maizels]

These are recommendations in a major study of NSW lighthouses, their conservation and management by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, currently being circulated for public comment. The report describes the lighthouse as "substantial and relatively intact 19th century lighthouse of outstanding architectural quality, containing a rare Chance Bros 700mm fixed optic and pedestal."

It notes that this complex of buildings contains the oldest remaining structures in Pittwater and they remain as evidence of the earlier coastal shipping use of Broken Bay and the Hawkesbury River. "It is also an important and representative example of the so-called 'coastal highway lighthouses' that were erected on the NSW coastline between 1862 and 1903."

While it says the cottages at the base are of lesser significance, the report says they should be restored and maintained. The site itself is also of significance for the local aboriginal community, the Guringai. A Native Title claimant group, the Bongarri Clan of the Darkungung Country People has laid claim over land from Newcastle to Manly and 96kms inland. It includes the Lighthouse and Peninsula.

The Barranjoey Lighthouse and Cottages [Photograph Courtesy: Laurie Sharp]
The Barranjoey Lighthouse and Cottages
[Photograph Courtesy: Laurie Sharp]

The report urges restoration and preservation of the cottages in recognition of their contribution to the overall headland story and their potential to interpret the history of the earlier customs station. "If the buildings were simply researched, recorded and demolished, it would wipe away another cultural layer of the headland. Irrespective of their potential cultural value, the cottages represent a good opportunity in cultural tourism terms to raise revenue for the Service."

The report notes that the Commonwealth body AMSA which is handing the site over to NPWS did not manage the landscape very well and there is a great deal of restoration work to be done. The report also recommends upgrading the access track for walkers and limited 4WD access for residents of the cottages. The report can be viewed in Avalon Community Library.

There is supposed to be a series of reports on the status of the lightstations now under NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service management. None have appeared on the Service's Web site and our queries as to their availability have remained unanswered.

Anyone with any articles or stories effecting Australian Lighthouse are welcome to contribute them.


Join Proposed Lighthouses of Australia Inc.

In August I announced my intention of leaving the Project and the intention of forming a incorporated body to take over. The response so far has been quite positive with interest from people with all sorts of backgrounds and skills.

There is a little bit of "red tape" to go though with a period of 3-4 weeks to actually form the body. Once this is done we can officially receive the new members and start to function as a group.

There is still time to throw your hat into the ring, whether it just be a financial member or direct involvement on the committee, web pages, the bulletin or some other aspect that could enrich the site.

A charter has been developed and can be found on-line at <../../About/Charter.htm>.

A constitution has been developed and can be found on-line at <../../About/Constitution.htm>.

The suggested memberships and costs are as follows:

  • Individual Membership (12 months) $25 AUD

    Other groups/bodies with in interest in Lighthouses:

    • Non-Profit Organisation or Group Membership (12 months) $50 AUD
    • Small Business Membership (12 months) $100 AUD
    • Large Corporate, Government Department & Statutory Authority Memberships and Sponsorship by negotiation.

To join, visit the Membership page.


Thanks to the Following People for Their Help in December:

Klaus Huelse (Links)
Dennis Conroy (Research and Notes)

Thanks to all the people who have put links to the site

Thanks to those who let me use their photos for thumbnails.


Regards until the Feb 2001 Bulletin
Malcolm Macdonald & Ed
Kavaliunas

http://www.lighthouses.org.au/lights/


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Lighthouses of Australia Web Site First Published: 3/12/97

Photographs & Contributions:

Deborah Kavaliunas for Photographs
Denise Shultz for Research
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Laurie Sharp for Historic Postcard
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