A Lighthouse in the Mountains
The Summersville Lake Lighthouse was erected in Mount Nebo, West Virginia on October 17th, 2012. Standing 104 feet tall with a top elevation of 2,164 feet above sea level, the 77,000 lb. structure has a cylindrical tower constructed entirely of ½ inch thick steel. With a base diameter of 12 feet receding to 8 feet at the top, visitors will be able to climb 122 steps to reach a 360 degree gallery deck offering unparalleled views of Summersville Lake and the Gauley River National Recreation Area. The second tier lamp room houses a fully restored 36,000 lumens rotational beacon complete with a double bulls eye Fresnel lens capable of projecting a beam a distance of over 30 miles.
The unique location and classic architectural design of this landmark project will provide spectacular views of West Virginias’ largest lake and surrounding mountain region, while at the same time re-using almost 72,000 pounds of structural steel otherwise slated for the ovens to be re-forged. “This has to be the most innovative second use of a tower section that I have ever seen” stated Geoff Kerr, Construction Manager for Invenergy LLC. “In fact, in all of the energy projects that I have been involved with worldwide, this is, to my knowledge, the first time that anyone has ever utilized a wind tower in a recycling project.”
The official dedication and Lighting of the Summersville Lake Lighthouse will be held on West Virginia Day, June 20th, 2013 when we will be celebrating our states sesquicentennial anniversary. We welcome our special guest and keynote speaker, Senator Joe Manchin. Mark your calendar to attend this special event.
The Lighthouse Project is indeed already helping to improve some of the preconceived impressions about our great state. Roy Harper of Saco, Maine, writes in his November 22, 2011 blog on www.mrlighthouseenthusiast.com of his first thought upon learning of a new lighthouse to be constructed in West Virginia. After expressing his initial concerns of “What in the name of all that’s holy will it look like?” he researched our efforts and proclaimed our lighthouse to be modeled after the “golden age of lighthouses”, and has become an ardent supporter of our project to his readers.
Back then, Dad never called it recycling, he just seemed to have the knack for finding a useful “second life” for things. His thoughts were simply not to be wasteful and to be a good steward of the land, and it would come back to you. While I’m not sure that recycling a wind tower may be what Dad had in mind all those years ago . . . something tells me that he’s going to like it.
|Photo by Terri Shifflett|
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