Tim Harrison, New Board of Trustees Member at the Maine Lighthouse MuseumTim Harrison, of Whiting, Maine, is the editor and founder of Lighthouse Digest Magazine, author of seven lighthouse books, and the past president of the non-profit American Lighthouse Foundation, which was co founded by him in 1994. He is currently cochairman of the Friends of Little River Lighthouse and continues serve on the Board of Directors of the American Lighthouse Foundation. Harrison was also a cofounder of Lighthouse Depot, the World's Largest Lighthouse Gift Store and mail order catalog in Wells, Maine.
In 2004 Harrison retired from the day-to-day activities of Lighthouse Depot and in 2007 after 13 years as president of the American Lighthouse Foundation he stepped down to enable himself to concentrate more of his time to his magazine to research and writing books.
In August of 2005, Rear Admiral David Pekoske personally honored Harrison with the medal for Homeland Security's United States Coast Guard Meritorious Public Service Award, which is one of the highest awards given by the United States Government to a civilian. The medal was given to Harrison for his many and varied efforts in helping to save America's lighthouses and the history associated with them.
Under Harrison's leadership the American Lighthouse Foundation, a non-profit, national, preservation group that has helped save lighthouses all around the nation. The group now has 24 lighthouses under its auspices, eleven of which are in Maine, which it is restoring or maintaining, including the tower at Pemaquid Point, which under his leadership, became the first land based lighthouse in Maine to be opened to the public on a regular basis. Under Harrison's leadership the American Lighthouse Foundation has been able to establish alliances and working relationships with the United States Coast Guard and local community leaders in establishing chapters of the American Lighthouse Foundation to assist in saving lighthouses and has successfully completed the restoration of the remote Race Point Lighthouse on Cape Cod, which is one of the finest lighthouse restoration projects in the nation.
Through Harrison's leadership and personal dedication the American Lighthouse Foundation became the first non-profit in all of New England to obtain ownership of a lighthouse under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act, which is a complicated and strict application process. In 2001, through his personal initiative, after being dark for 26 years, the Little River Lighthouse in Cutler, Maine was relit as a beacon of Freedom to the World, an event that was recorded by the History Channel and aired on national television. Little River Lighthouse, once listed as one of the ten most endangered historic properties in Maine, has now been restored and is available for overnight stays.
With many of his own personal lighthouse artifacts Harrison founded the Museum of Lighthouse History, which was merged a few years ago with the Maine Lighthouse Museum that was founded by his good friend and mentor, the late Ken Black.
Harrison says his biggest concern now is that time is running out to locate and save the lighthouse memories and photographs of the few surviving children of the lighthouse keepers who served under the United States Lighthouse Service, which was dissolved in 1939 when it merged into the Coast Guard.
Harrison is widely respected as a national leader in preserving America's lighthouses and the history associated with them.