by Kieta Osteen-Cochrane
Preservationists are part of a very big picture with state, national and international efforts in many areas. Wayne Wheeler is America’s expert on the history of lighthouses, and founder of the United States Lighthouse Society and preservation movement. He will present a two part program. A brief overview of the lighthouses of antiquity, leading up to the development of American lighthouses and their preservation over the last 30 years. This will be followed by a question and answer period expected to be lively and informative!
Wayne is a retired Coast Guard officer who founded the society in 1984. It publishes a quarterly journal and bulletin, maintains a 5,000 volume research library and archives, collects related artifacts and grants annual preservation funding for lighthouse and lightship projects. The society provides regional, national and international lighthouse tours, some to restricted sites. The society received a Department of Transportation award for “Outstanding Contribution to Historic Preservation” among other distinctions and awards. Wayne has lectured throughout the United States at Science and Mariner’s museums, and appeared on Good Morning America, NPR’s “ All Things Considered” and locally over the past ten years at UNCA’s OLLI center.