Daughters of the American Revolution dedicate marker; Hillsboro Inlet Light Station now a national monument
Historic preservationist Hib Casselberry, 91, preserves the moment Hillsboro Lighthouse Preservation Society worked hard ot realize, as the Daughters of the American Revolution and marble marker designate the Hillsboro Inlet Light Station a monument of national significance.
Wearing lighthouse pins, shirts printed with lighthouses and, in one case, a hand-made sun dress printed with lighthouses, more than 120 historic preservationists gathered in Pompano Beach recently, to add their beloved Hillsboro Inlet Light Station to a national register of historically significant sites.
“I’d like to thank the City of Pompano Beach for being such a staunch supporter of our endeavors,” said Art Makenian, an engineer, and president of the Hillsboro Lighthouse Preservation Society, . The past commander of Coast Guard Flotilla 36 in Boca Raton, Makenian recruited a group of retired engineers and one retired physician to dismantle and renovate the massive lens long before the Daughters of the American Revolution decided to put it on a national map. “I want to assure you,” he added, “the light still comes on every night.”
Last year, the Lighthouse Point chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution honored HLPS past president, Hib Casselberry with a historic preservation medal for the 16 years he spent promoting the historic significance of a structure rendered virtually obsolete by the invention of global positioning system.
This year, the 91-year-old Pompano Beach resident was on hand with his wife and partner in lighthouse preservation, Martha, and with DAR members from as far as Pensacola, as President Kim Zeman took the honor to the next level.
Pulling the red-white-and-blue bunting from a bronze and marble marker was the easy part, Zeman said. Adding the 108-year-old Hillsboro Inlet Light Station to the nation’s list of historically significant sights was the greater challenge.
“You have to prove everything you write on the plaque—source all the data, get three historic preservation experts -- three people to certify that what we said was correct,” she explained. “Then we send it into national and they review and decide if it meets their standards.”
All told, the project took a year – and some editing. “It was longer,” she said of the text. “We revised it several times and it still is two paragraphs – which is quite long for a marker.”
Even a marker designed to endure.