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Tangier Island

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The "Soft Shelled Crab Capital of the World," Tangier Island (Virginia) is about as quaint as small towns get. What it lacks in its population of about 600, it makes up in its character and warmth. The island sits in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay between Maryland and Virginia. It is accessible only by aircraft or boat (ferries make the trip daily from Crisfield and Reedville) and has a rich heritage that reflects both its isolation and the greater Chesapeake culture that engulfs it.

In 2004, benefactors Neil and Susan Kaye contacted us with a unique idea to transform the everyday garbage cans on the island from a necessary eyesore into an asset fitting this heritage. We worked with Dr. Kaye to transform our wooden lighthouses into garbage receptacles that would hide the trash, beautify the walkways where visitors frequent, and create a visual nautical theme appropriate for the fifteen square-mile island. For an even more personal touch, we modeled the receptacles after the Tangier Lighthouse. Our Amish woodworkers in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, built 20 of them—each made of high quality materials that withstand the elements, serve the functional requirements, and add an element of charm to an already charming community.

The Tangier lighthouse project is a success. Positioned throughout the island, the lighthouses are enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. Other seaside communities are picking up on the idea, considering similar projects that reflect the unique look of their own lighthouses.

Click to see Tangier Island Website
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