Over the past two and a half years, the Chesapeake Chapter of the US Lighthouse Society has created and installed fifteen indoor lighthouse historical exhibits. They established the Offshore Lighthouse Historical Placard program in 2016. There are several purposes to the program; one of them being to preserve the history of Lighthouses, Lighthouse Keepers, Lightships, and Lightship crew in the Chesapeake Bay core area.
Recently, the Chesapeake Chapter added a new dimension to the program by unveiling the first two outdoor lighthouse historical exhibits. These outdoor exhibits were placed at Fort Smallwood County Park, at the Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse and Sandy Point State Park, at the Sandy Point Shoal Lighthouse. The group chose to have these produced as Pannier’s durable fiberglass embedded panels. They also ordered two of the National Park Service style, cantilevered aluminum exhibit bases to hold the panels. These historical panels help educate the public about the history of existing, and no longer standing, offshore Lighthouses. Chapter volunteers did all the research for the historical panels at the US Coast Guard Historians office and National Archives, as well as the design.
“These two FE panels and exhibit bases were procured from Pannier, who provides the same type of exhibits to national parks throughout the country. The friendly Pannier staff worked closely with the Chapter volunteers to ensure the displays were just what was needed to tell the story of these two Chesapeake Bay lighthouses.”
~Greg Krawczyk, Chesapeake Chapter of the US Lighthouse Society
Pannier’s fiberglass panels were the perfect material for the application. The outdoor exhibits are being placed near the shore, facing the lighthouse or where the lighthouse used to stand. Our fiberglass panels are made to withstand the outdoor elements and will hold up over time.
“I’ve never done anything like this project with the outdoor displays. It is rewarding to see this vision come to fruition and know it will be a long-term educational method for the general public. It is also reassuring to know that Pannier can provide replacement panels to the Chapter, long after I am no longer a volunteer for the chapter.”
The Chapter’s budget in the future will support an additional two or three outdoor displays per year. They hope to increase their membership, allowing them to produce the remaining exhibits more rapidly. Tentative long term plans include an additional 30+ of the outdoor displays, which are already researched and ready to go! For more details on the Historical Lighthouse Placards, visit the Chapter’s website, www.CHESLIGHTS.org.