Lakeside Nautical Table and National Lighthouse Day

I’m at the table with a little nautical fun in celebration of National Lighthouse Day!

National Lighthouse Day is observed on August 7th, honoring the beacon of light that for hundreds of years symbolized safety and security for ships and boats at sea across America’s shorelines.

On August 7, 1789, the United States Congress approved an act for the “establishment and support of Lighthouse, Beacons, Buoys, and Public Piers.” In celebration of the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Act and the commissioning of the first Federal lighthouse, Congress passed a resolution which designated August 7, 1989 as National Lighthouse Day.

It seemed fitting to pull out the Red, White and Blue for a little celebratory nautical fun!

Lady Luck smiled down on me when I sailed into Habitat ReStore last fall and found 4 place settings of ‘By the Sea’ by Thomson Pottery after returning home from our Coastal Maine Getaway. 

One of the four salad plates had a light house that reminded me of the iconic Portland Head Light, in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.

Portland Head Light was first lit on Jan. 10, 1791. Commissioned by George Washington and dedicated by the Marquis de Lafayette. It is Maine’s oldest lighthouse and one of the most visited, painted, and photographed lighthouses in New England.

 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was a frequent visitor at Portland Head Light, and friends of the Keepers. It is thought Longfellow’s poem “The Lighthouse” was inspired by his many hours at Portland Head Light.

I weighed anchor and set sail at a table with a Tommy Hilfiger navy anchor tablecloth, straw placemats with alternating red and blue stripes, and nautical flatware.

Towle Everyday Living flatware features a nautical rope border and a sailboat design.

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse was commissioned in 1827 by President John Quincy Adams and is the lighthouse depicted on the Maine quarter, making it the first lighthouse to be featured on a piece of US currency.

The stunning views from Pemaquid Point Light will take your breath away!

Anchor glasses with a rope detail from HomeGoods are first mate to blue goblets from Dollar Tree.

A galvanized rope handled lantern filled with shells and a pillar candle provides a centerpiece for a table.

Rockland Harbor Breakwater Light

Walk across the almost mile long granite breakwater that took almost two decades to build, to reach the lighthouse.

Tip: Go at low tide so you’re less likely to get wet walking the granite pier.

The Cape Lookout Lighthouse is a 163-foot high lighthouse on the Southern Outer Banks of North Carolina. It is painted with directional diamonds~ white diamonds facing east & west, and black diamonds for north & south. It’s one of the few lighthouses that operates during the day with its rotating 1,000-watt beacon flashing every 15 seconds 24 hours a day.

The Cape Hatteras Light is on Hatteras Island in the Outer Banks in the town of Buxton, North Carolina and is part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

Cape Hatteras Light Station was moved in 1999 due to the threat of shoreline erosion.

The lighthouse was moved 2,900 feet in 23 days and now lies 1,500 feet from the seashore, its original distance from the sea.

Table Details:

 Dishes / Thomson Pottery By the Sea

 Anchor glasses / HomeGoods, several years ago

Blue Wine Glasses / Dollar Tree

Anchor Tablecloth / Tommy Hilfiger, HomeGoods

Star Enamel Napkin Rings / Pottery Barn, last year

Napkins / World Market, several years ago

Galvanized Rope Handle Lantern /  Target, several years ago

Placemats / HomeGoods

Towle Living Everyday Nautical Flatware

Since its commission by George Washington in 1790,
Portland Head Light remains an enduring symbol of
the rugged, solid characteristics of a magnificent
coastline and proud people weathering the
challenges of nature and time.
In observance of Greater Portland’s 350th
anniversary, we rededicate this unique landmark
to the aspirations and achievements of those who
came before us and to present and future generations
who will continue its proud heritage.
George Bush
Vice President of the United States
July, 1982

Happy National Lighthouse Day!

Thank you for your visit, sharing with:

 Tablescape Thursday


  49 comments for “Lakeside Nautical Table and National Lighthouse Day

  1. Granny Gay
    August 7, 2017 at 8:00 am

    Spectacular presentation…Happy Lighthouse Day!!!

  2. August 7, 2017 at 8:20 am

    Fabulous post! I have the sudden urge to hop on a boat and do a lot of get house tour! I love your photos and your table is wonderful. So much to take in, what a lovely way to start my day! Thank you.

  3. Porti
    August 7, 2017 at 8:30 am

    Thank you! Your table is beautiful! My husband and I visited lighthouses in Michigan a few years ago. We were so impressed with the history and got a sense of the importance of the structures and the hardiness of the keepers. Cheers for Natonal Lighthouse Day!

  4. Kathi
    August 7, 2017 at 8:38 am

    Beautiful. Your blog was very enLIGHTning!

  5. Alice
    August 7, 2017 at 8:48 am

    Being a native of North Carolina I am very proud that our state saw fit to move our light house, to preserve it for the future good of all those who would sail by our outer banks. Thanks for the show!

  6. August 7, 2017 at 8:52 am

    Happy National Lighthouse Day Mary! I can see how you were inspired from your wonderful trip to Maine, what is it about lighthouses that make them so intriguing, yet they make us feel safe like they are constantly looking to protect us…Love the TH anchor cloth and the fab dishes you found, so pretty with your lakeside setting and the lantern centerpiece acting like your very own lighthouse! I get such a kick out of all the crazy National holidays, I have a funny one coming up tomorrow :) Have a great week!

    • Cathy Wright
      August 7, 2017 at 2:16 pm

      I just did a table for National Watermelon Day! lol

      • Sandra
        August 7, 2018 at 8:43 am

        Let’s see it!

  7. Donna Milazzo
    August 7, 2017 at 9:00 am

    Just darling! I especially love the sailboat flatware!

  8. August 7, 2017 at 9:18 am

    Very cool weaving of history, your travels, and a great tablescape. I love the craggy shoreline of Maine. This makes me want to dive back into archived photos of my own and relive some of our past travels. Have a great week, Mary.

  9. Ellen
    August 7, 2017 at 9:21 am

    Marvelous photos and interesting facts about lighthouses! A very beautiful celebration of National Lighthouse Day, your tablescapes are always fantastic. Thank-you and enjoy this day!

    • Cynthia Raines
      August 7, 2017 at 10:31 am

      Aren’t they majestic! I love them. We are blessed to have our own lighthose that guards the mouth of the mighty Lake Huron, she is the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse. Two years ago I was finally brave enough to climb to the top, but couldn’t get the nerve to go out on the catwalk which surrounds the top near the beacon — I have a fear of heights, but was still happy that I made it to the top! It’s fun to swim at her beach and know she is standing tall looking on.

  10. August 7, 2017 at 9:53 am

    Fantastic post, Mary! I’ve always been fascinated by lighthouses. If there is one near where I vacation, I make a point to visit or if I see a children’s book that includes a lighthouse, I’ll pick it up to read. Something intriguing about the life of those who used to live and care for lighthouses. Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos and the nautical table is a winner. Love most things nautical as well. I always say I must have lived by the sea in a former life. ‘-) Who knew there was a National Lighthouse Day!

  11. August 7, 2017 at 9:54 am

    That was all so lovely and inspirational. Living in Michigan I greatly appreciate the lighthouses we have on our many shores. They are a beacon in so many ways. Thanks for the lesson and beautiful pics. Come to Michigan for more inspiration!

  12. Ellen
    August 7, 2017 at 10:18 am

    YO HO!!

  13. Cynthia Raines
    August 7, 2017 at 10:36 am

    Amy! I’m from MI too near Port Huron. Whereare you? :)

  14. franki
    August 7, 2017 at 10:43 am

    We, too, are “lighthouse lovers!!” Living close to major waterways has been a bonus to see so many!! Luv your table (I have that silverware and am using the Miles Kimball “Coastal Lighthouse” plates today) franki

  15. August 7, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    I really love your pretty nautical-themed table. It is perfect for your lakeside setting! I also enjoyed viewing your pretty lighthouse photos. (Love the Tommy Hilfiger tablecloth!)

    Have a great week!
    Ricki Jill

  16. August 7, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    Mary, what a stunning table in honor of National Lighthouse Day. Every detail is perfection! On our trip to New England last fall, we visited so many lighthouses with interesting histories. Maine’s lighthouses are so inspiring! The history and photos are outstanding!

  17. Maggie
    August 7, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    How Lovely – Lighthouses are romantic – mysterious – historical – a symbol of safety – and for this of us who love the water, they certainly tell you – you are near the water! Happy Lighthouse Day! Thank you for the lovely photos.

  18. Cynthia Randall
    August 7, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    As a life-long resident of Maine, it was nice to see “home” on your blog. I always look forward to your table settings and gardens. And of course the dogs. Lighthouse Day. Who knew? ~ YOU, that’s who!

  19. Cathy Wright
    August 7, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    Love all the Lighthouse Facts and the table. FYI – nothing to do with Lighthouses; I picked up some Fish salad plates (melamine) and matching reversible placemats at WalMart yesterday for 50 cents each!! Check out their clearance isle.

  20. August 7, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    I love this so much! You have a place setting for everything :)

  21. August 7, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    I love Lighthouses. We did a tour of Lighthouses on the Oregon Coast Line in 2008. The Lighthouses are spaced thirty miles apart up the entire coast. Your post is wonderful. Thank you for sharing you beautiful photos and the great history of our American Lighthouses.

  22. August 7, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    Such a beautiful table setting and a gorgeous setting! Cape Elizabeth, Maine is a favorite spot so I was so glad to see your photo of it! 💙

  23. August 7, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    Loved your post! I’m a huge fan of lighthouses and I didn’t even realize such a day existed! My husband and I visited the Outer Banks in May! I’m pleased to say I’ve visited or climbed every lighthouse in NC now except for Cape Lookout and we’ll get that one on a return visit! Your blog is one of my favorites…I love how you blend everything from decorating to history in the same blog, you have a true gift!

  24. Aquitelife
    August 7, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    That was so fun, I can’t tell you the delight I get in seeing again! Just when we get high speed the new house will wipe that joy away… Love all the lighthouse shots, have been reading lots of lighthouse stories this summer, seeing your table in sending pangs of I wanna play too moments, my mind has been drifting inland, I think of all the lighthouse goodies I have surrounding me and want to dash outside and shine with you ;-)

    Wild about the granite pier. Gorgeous shots as always.

  25. Marilyn the nurse
    August 7, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Loved this post of Lighthouses and Lighthouse Day. My husband and I just visited last weekend the many lighthouses in the Portland Maine area. Your pictures of Portland head light house are just wonderful. We loved our visit so much!!!

  26. Gail
    August 7, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    Even the inside of the little bowls are nautical – how adorable

  27. August 7, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    I have often visited the lighthouses in Maine so I loved today’s blog! And your nautical setting is spectacular!

  28. August 7, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    My mother loved lighthouses and had quite a few of them framed in her bathrooms and hallway…This brought some lovely memories of her…Thank you!

  29. August 7, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    Sounds like a fabulous trip to Maine. Happy Lighthouse Day! Your table in honor of the occasion is charming.
    I’ve never been to Maine.Need to do something about that.

  30. August 7, 2017 at 11:57 pm

    Mary, what a fun, beautiful post! Your table is just wonderful, I am enamored with the nautical flatware. Thank you! Lidy

  31. August 8, 2017 at 6:43 am

    Sail on, sail on…gorgeous table…love it all!! ❤️🐚⛵️⚓️

  32. Karen Wright
    August 8, 2017 at 7:27 am

    Well, I do say, Luck be a Lady to you on the lovely dish find at restore!!! Beautifully used in your nautical table setting!!! Just simply LOVE that water view!!! The history of the lighthouses is very intriguing. What a lovely way to celebrate National Lighthouse Day!!!⚓️👏⚓️👏

  33. August 8, 2017 at 8:40 am

    What a beautiful homage to National Lighthouse Day, Mary! Didn’t you score a major win with those dishes at the Habitat store? Your photos took me away on a mini vacation, and then to return home to your lovely table and lake setting.

  34. August 8, 2017 at 11:37 am

    Mary, From one lighthouse lover to another, thank you for telling me about this day and sharing your gorgeous photos of all the lights you have recently visited! There is something so magical and both intimidating and reassuring about a lighthouse, I think. We are going to visit one in Newport Harbor (Rhode Island) in September. It can be rented for an overnight stay, but we aren’t staying (website warns of many legless critters on the island~~can’t imagine sleeping knowing that!!) but I’m looking forward to a daylight visit. I can see why those dishes hopped into your cart! I love them! I just scrolled back over those lighthouse photos a few times and they are fabulous!!! Beautiful all around! Linda

  35. Sherry
    August 8, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous post. Love the history woven throughout.

  36. August 8, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    I’m crazy for lighthouses and have hundreds of photos of those on the Maine coast. I should have guessed there’d be a National Lighthouse Day as there’s a special day for most things. Super way you have intertwined lighthouses and your table setting.

  37. August 8, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    Happy Lighthouse Day!…I love visiting lighthouses and have visited many of the ones that you have featured today…My granddaughter and her mom did a lighthouse tree this past Christmas doing a replica of the Cape Hatteras lighthouse and it turned out beautiful….I think one of my favs that I visited was the one on Cape Elizabeth…I so love the history of each one!

  38. August 10, 2017 at 11:20 am

    I love your table! I live in Lighthouse Point, FL and had no idea Aug. 7th was National Lighthouse Day! We have our own pretty lighthouse that I can see every day from from my home near the Intracoastal Waterway. Being a native of NC I love lighthouses. You tables are always so beautiful and inspirational!

    Smashing Plates Tablescapes

  39. August 10, 2017 at 11:39 pm

    I didn’t know there was a Lighthouse Day! I love lighthouses and hope to visit as many as I can in Michigan. There were 247 lighthouses at one point and while those numbers have dwindled there are 100 in good condition but around 124 total. Love the table you set up especially that vibrant blue tablecloth with anchors! What a lucky find with those dishes! I like the info about Henry Wadsworth Longfellow visiting the Portland Head Lighthouse and of course the poetry.

  40. Melodie Strickland
    August 12, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    Loved your lighthouse post and your beautiful photos. Your have such a talent. I had no idea there was a Lighthouse Day. I’ve been to Maine and North Carolina. Never had the chance to visit the lighthouses in either state but wish I had.

  41. Sandra
    August 7, 2018 at 8:45 am

    Love this! Who knew there was such a day. Thanks for the Maine tour—love that place. a-dor-a-ble pics and post!

  42. May 13, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    Oh thank you Mary, I was needing something nautical and seafaring today. The table is beautiful and fun. Thanks for the lighthouses – I LOVE lighthouses.

  43. August 1, 2019 at 11:38 am

    Am I to think you were recently in Maine? Good work tying your table setting and lighthouses together.

  44. Debbie
    August 13, 2020 at 1:55 pm

    I love this salute to lighthouses. Thanks, Mary.

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