National Lighthouse Museum

National Lighthouse Museum The National Lighthouse Museum's mission is to preserve and educate on the maritime heritage of lighthouses and lightships for generations to come.
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Mission: The National Lighthouse Museum Board of Trustees, Board of Advisors and FRIENDS will advocate, help preserve, and raise funds for establishing a National Lighthouse Museum at the old US Lighthouse “SUPER” Depot site on Staten Island, initially opening a pilot museum in Building #11 and continuing the fund raising efforts toward the expansion of the National Lighthouse Museum into Building #10, partnering with government agencies, non-profits, corporations, foundations and other organizations to promote and support historical, educational, cultural, recreational and other related activities at the site, while enhancing the historical significance and maritime heritage of lighthouses throughout our nation.

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LIGHTHOUSE OF THE WEEKBurkehaven Lighthouse - Sunapee New HampshireLake Sunapee, at an elevation of 1,093 feet, is a shi...
02/09/2021

LIGHTHOUSE OF THE WEEK
Burkehaven Lighthouse - Sunapee New Hampshire

Lake Sunapee, at an elevation of 1,093 feet, is a shimmering peaceful lake. Tree-lined shores and quiet coves greet those who come to get away from it all. At the southern end of the lake, 2,700-foot Mount Sunapee, home to a downhill skiing resort, peers down on the serene setting.

Beginning in the 1870s, folks from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut spent their summers frolicking at the lake. Soon, it became a Mecca for the affluent. Grand resort hotels and family estates dotted the shores. Travelers came by train to Sunapee Harbor then boarded steamships for their final destination.

In the 1890s, the Woodsum Brothers, who owned the steamships, built three lighthouses on the lake. The white hexagonal Burkehaven Lighthouse, located at the tip of Burkehaven Island, is the southernmost of the three lighthouses.

When steamship service on the lake ended following the Great Depression, the lighthouse was left to deteriorate. Crushing ice destroyed the lighthouse in 1936.
The 1980s brought a renewed interest in the lights, and in 1983 funds were raised to rebuild both the crib and lighthouse. Solar panel lights were installed in the mid-1980s.

Ice strangled the lighthouse again in 1994 severely damaging the crib, and for the second time, the crib was rebuilt.
The lighthouse is owned by the State of New Hampshire and is maintained by the Lake Sunapee Protective Association. The plaque on the lighthouse reads:

LIGHTHOUSE OF THE WEEKChatham Lighthouse - Chatham, MA     Chatham, with sixty-six miles of shoreline, is the only Cape ...
02/02/2021

LIGHTHOUSE OF THE WEEK

Chatham Lighthouse - Chatham, MA

Chatham, with sixty-six miles of shoreline, is the only Cape Cod town surrounded on three sides by water – to the north is Pleasant Bay, to the south is Nantucket Sound, while to the east lies the open Atlantic Ocean. If the Cape were a bent arm, Chatham would be the elbow. The beauty of Chatham’s shores hides some of the most dangerous waters in Cape Cod: It is said that half of the known wrecks on the entire Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts have occurred off the Outer Beach of Cape Cod.

On April 21, 1806, Congress allotted $5,000 for a light station at Chatham and added an additional $2,000 two years later. To avoid confusion with Highland Light, built nine years earlier near the northern tip of the Cape, two light towers were used at Chatham. The contractor, obviously not from the Cape, planned to fabricate the lights on the twelve acres acquired on James’ Head using local stone, only to learn that there is a lack of stone on the Cape. His attempt to import stones came to naught, leading the ill-fated builder to report on June 26, 1806: “There are no stones to be had so the Lights will have to be made of wood.”

The two octagonal, wooden towers, about forty-feet tall, were placed seventy feet apart atop movable wooden skids (which were later used once to move the towers). Also constructed was a single story, one-bedroom keeper’s house measuring seventeen by twenty-six feet. The lights, which were suspended on chains, used lard as fuel.

Before construction was even completed, several petitions were filed seeking the appointment of an acquaintance to the coveted post of Chatham’s first keeper. One such petition contained 125 names in favor of Samuel Nye, and on October 7, 1808 President Thomas Jefferson appointed Nye keeper.

Joseph Loveland succeeded Nye as keeper, and he was followed by Samuel Stinson. In 1839, Stinson resigned after being charged of dereliction of duty by local inspector David Henshaw. Stinson requested reimbursement for an addition to the keeper’s house he had made, but his petition was denied.

From the beginning, many people, including Lieutenant Edward W. Carpender, believed a single distinguishable light at Chatham would have been sufficient. Carpender’s November 1, 1838 report suggested a single red fixed light and contained the following write-up on Keeper Stinson.
The present towers at Chatham are of wood, very much shaken and decayed, so as to make it dangerous to ascend them in windy weather. They each contain 6 lamps, with 8 ½-inch reflectors, and with plano-convex lenses of green glass, nine inches, in front of them. The reputation of this light is very low, owing, however, I apprehend, principally to the very neglectful manner in which they have been attended. I visited them late in the afternoon, and found them in as bad order as they well could been—nothing done to them from the previous night; the reflectors, apparently, not having been burnished for a length of time; the glass very smoked, and the lamps neither filled nor trimmed. A sly attempt was made by the keeper to have them prepared through his son; but what were partially done only served to show more plainly the condition of the remainder. If there can be any excuse for this keeper, it is the dilapidated condition of these towers, requiring a severe tax upon the pride he may possess for a faithful discharge of his duty.

Carpender recommended that the keeper’s house be replaced and that the southern tower should be rebuilt of brick or stone. According to Carpender’s calculations, the reduction to a single tower would save $215.25i in oil annually, but his words fell on deaf ears, and nearly ninety years would pass before one of the towers would be removed.

Collins Howes, a Cape Cod fisherman who had lost a leg in an accident, was appointed keeper in 1841 at $400 per year. Howes, however, lost his job in 1845 when James Polk became President and appointed Simeon Nickerson keeper. When Nickerson died in October 1848, his penniless wife Angeline was given his position. After Zachary Taylor became President in 1849, Howes wrote to the Secretary of the Treasury maneuvering for his old job, but this action was thwarted by the intervention of Mrs. Nickerson’s friends. One Chatham resident wrote in her defense: “I can testify that it has never been in a better condition than it has been under her charge, nor is there any Light upon the Coast superior to it.” Mrs. Nickerson remained keeper at Chatham Light, where she continued to rear her four young children, until 1862.
In 1841, “being entirely unfit for use” the two forty-foot light towers were torn down and rebuilt in brick for $6,750, by Winslow Lewis. A new brick keeper’s dwelling was connected by covered walkways to the twin towers, each of which were outfitted with ten oil lamps and an equal number of fourteen-inch reflectors.

Scarcely twelve months later the inspection report of civil engineer I.W.P. Lewis, Winslow Lewis’ nephew, contained a statement from Keeper

Howes complaining about the wretched construction practices used:
I expected to have a light-house, and everything in first rate order, when these new buildings were put up; but I was mistaken. In first place, the house is leaky about the roof and windows, every part being badly built as far as I can judge. The cellar and foundation walls are laid on sand, without any footing to the walls, and so little below the surface, that rats burrow from the surface and infest the cellar. All the chimneys in the house smoke baldy. The kitchen is built particularly bad - in the oven, which is not large enough to get any thing like a good batch of bread into it; also in the walls being plastered into the brick work without furring. The house stands midway between the two towers, with a covered way leading to each; this covered way leaks badly. The lanterns were glazed with plate glass, and, during the gale of October last, both lanterns were burst in by the force of the winds; and 17 panes of glass were broken, this accident occurred entirely in consequence of the insufficient manner in which the glass was originally set by the contractor; and had I not been so fortunate as to discover the accident before the whole of the glass was blown in, both of the lanterns would have been destroyed, and the light put out. …The numerous leaks about my house cause so much dampness, that I find it difficult to preserve my provisions from moulding.

Fourth-order Fresnel lenses with lamps burning lard oil were installed in the tower in 1857.
Captain Josiah Hardy II was keeper from 1872 to 1899 and kept a daily log in which he recorded frequent entries detailing the erosion of the bluff near the station after the outer beach was washed away. Keeper Hardy noted that on December 21, 1874, the south tower was 190 feet from the bank. On September 30, 1876, the distance from the same tower to the bluff was 126 feet, and roughly five months later, on February 28, 1877, the distance was just 95 feet.

Alarmed by the rate of erosion, authorities quickly approved the construction of a new station across the road from the previous site. Five cast-iron rings were bolted together and lined with brick to form each of the new twin towers, and on September 6, 1877, the Fresnel lenses were moved into the new towers and lit that night. The duplex keeper’s dwelling that stands today was also built at that time. The position of assistant keeper had been added to the station in 1859, and two keepers would be responsible for the light through 1880. A door was cut to connect the two halves of the double dwelling in 1881 for the convenience of the head keeper after the position of assistant keeper was eliminated.

On September 30, 1878, Keeper Hardy noted that the old south tower was twenty-six feet from the edge of the bluff. Exactly one year later that distance had shrunk to merely twenty-seven inches. Two months later, a third of the foundation was over the edge, and locals began to place bets on the exact time when the tower would topple over the bluff.

At 1 p.m. on December 15, 1878, the south tower plummeted to the beach below. Fifteen months later, the 1841 keeper’s home and the north tower followed suit. Remains of the north tower could still be seen at the edge of the bluff as late as 1919.

A brick oil house, measuring roughly nine by eleven feet, was added to the station in 1893.
Beginning in the early 1900s, the government began to phase out twin lights as a cost-cutting measure. In 1923, a fourth-order, L. Sautter & Cie. Fresnel lens that flashed four times every thirty seconds was installed in the south tower. The lens used a clockwork mechanism for rotation, while its lamp used incandescent oil vapor for fuel. The increased range of the light and its new characteristic negated the need for two towers.
In May 1923, the government opted to relocate Chatham’s northern tower to Nauset Beach to replace the final remaining tower of the Three Sisters of Nauset, which had deteriorated beyond repair. The newly situated tower became known as Nauset Light or Nauset Beach Light.
George F. Woodman, who became keeper in 1928, received a number of superintendent’s efficiency stars for excellent service. He was noted for his outstanding courtesy, even when responding to the silliest of questions posed by visitors, such as, “Is that the lighthouse?” In addition to his regular duties, he received 1,500 visitors between mid-July and mid-September 1936.

An electric motor replaced the clockwork drive at Chatham Light in 1939, when the Coast Guard took over control of the country’s lighthouses. During World War II, Chatham was one of just a few lights that remained an active navigational aid.

In 1969, a 2.8 million candlepower aerobeacon that can be seen twenty-eight nautical miles out to sea was installed in a new, larger lantern room (which was required to house the beacon). Chatham’s old lantern room and Fresnel lens were removed to the grounds of Chatham Historical Society’s Atwood House Museum.

Chatham Light was automated in 1982, and in August 1993, crowds gathered to watch as new DCB-224 aerobeacons were installed in the lantern room.

Despite the town’s efforts to stem ongoing erosion and damage to Chatham’s shore and bluff-top buildings, the coastline continues to wear away. At present, Chatham Light remains unthreatened due to its relocation on the west side of the road by forward-thinking individuals in 1877, but the day will likely come when Chatham Light will need to be moved again.

The National Lighthouse Museum thanks all of our sponsors for all of their support.Become a member of our Business Partn...
01/27/2021

The National Lighthouse Museum thanks all of our sponsors for all of their support.

Become a member of our Business Partnership team. The National Lighthouse Museum hopes to benefit from the support of businesses who share our vision for the future of our museum and the local St. George community. Contact the Museum Executive Director Linda Dianto (718-390-0040 / [email protected]) to discuss how we can work together for mutual benefit on projects and promotional events.

http://lighthousemuseum.org/our-sponsors/

LIGHTHOUSE OF THE WEEKTurtle Rock - Philadelphia, PAThe 128-mile-long Schuylkill River (pronounced SKOO-kill, Dutch for ...
01/26/2021

LIGHTHOUSE OF THE WEEK
Turtle Rock - Philadelphia, PA

The 128-mile-long Schuylkill River (pronounced SKOO-kill, Dutch for Hidden River) winds through Philadelphia before emptying into the Delaware River. Around 1800, the Schuylkill was tapped as a water source for Philadelphians, but the initial pumping stations quickly proved to be too small for the growing city. In 1805, Frederick Graff initiated the design of a much larger water works to be located on the banks of the Schuylkill near the base of Fairmount, a bluff that overlooks the city and is now home to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Construction of the water works began in 1812, and three years later, a Federal-style building housing a pair of steam engines was completed on the east bank of the river. The steam engines pumped water up to a large storage tank located atop Fairmount where the water was then fed by gravity throughout the city in wooden pipes. The steam engines required twenty cords of wood each day and on two occasions exploded taking the lives of three men. It was soon realized that a safer and more economical source of power was the river itself, and a dam was built across the stream in 1821 to direct the water into a newly constructed mill house where it would turn large waterwheels to drive the pumps.

With its impressive architecture and innovative design, the Fairmount Water Works attracted admirers from near and far. After a visit in 1842, Charles Dickens noted, “In Philadelphia there is a place that is wondrous to behold, and that is the Philadelphia Waterworks.” Thomas Ewbank, who would later become the U.S. Commissioner of Patents, left the following description of the impression the water works made on him in 1840.
It is impossible to examine these works without paying homage to the science and skill displayed in their design and execution; in these respects no hydraulic works in the Union can compete, nor do we believe they are excelled by any in the world. Not the smallest leak in any of the joints was discovered; and, with the exception of the water rushing on the wheels, the whole operation of forcing up daily millions of gallons into the reservoirs on the mount, and thus furnishing in abundance one of the first necessaries of life to an immense population – was performed with less noise than is ordinarily made in working a smith’s bellows!

Besides providing an economical source of water, the construction of the dam across the Schuylkill River also brought other advantages to the citizens of Philadelphia. The dam essentially transformed a section of the Schuylkill River from a tidewater stream into a lengthy freshwater lake. The lake’s smooth surface soon became popular for rowing, a sport then in its infancy, and for ice skating in the wintertime.

In 1849, the Philadelphia Skating Club was established to promote the sport and rescue skaters in danger. The Schuylkill Navy, a collection of rowing clubs that is still in existence today, was formed in 1858 with nine initial clubs and approximately 300 members. The City of Philadelphia had purchased the Lemon Hill Estate in 1844, and just over a decade later, the city converted the property into Fairmount Park. The park included riverfront property near the water works, and in 1860, an ordinance was passed allowing the skating club and Schuylkill Navy to respectively build a clubhouse and boathouses along the river. Over the years, several boathouses have been built along the shoreline near the water works dam. Today, ten of the boathouses remain along what is known as Boathouse Row, now recognized as a National Historic Landmark.

The street on which Boathouse Row is located has been renamed Kelly Drive in honor of John B. Kelly, Jr., a member of the row’s Vesper Boat Club, a four-time Olympian, and an Olympic bronze medalist in single scull. Kelly’s father won three gold medals in sculling and was also a member of the Vesper Boat Club. Perhaps the most famous member of the family, however, is Kelly’s sister, Grace Kelly, the movie-star-turned-princess, to whom Kelly gave his bronze medal as a wedding present. John B. Kelly, Jr. would later serve on the Fairmount Park Commission and, for twelve years, as a City Councilman-at-Large.

In 1887, the Fairmount Park Commission granted approval for a lighthouse to be built near Turtle Rock – a rock formation, resembling a giant tortoise shell, located on the hill above the boathouses. Besides skaters and rowers, the Schuylkill was also home to ships of the Schuylkill Navigation Company, which transported anthracite coal from upstate Pennsylvania to Philadelphia and would benefit from a light near the dam. As part of an agreement struck with the navigation company when the dam was constructed, the city also built a canal and locks to permit navigation on the river to continue.

Turtle Rock Lighthouse was constructed in 1887 by Frank Thurwanger at a cost of $2,663 on a plot of land just west of boathouse row. The brick lighthouse supports a hexagonal lantern room surrounded by an octagonal walkway. Gas was first used to power the light, but in 1990, when the lighthouse was re-pointed and received a new wooden balustrade and newel posts, the beacon was electrified.

The Sedgeley Club, formed in 1897 as the Bicycle, Barge and Canoe Club, originally occupied boathouse #14, but in 1902, it applied for permission from the Fairmount Park Commission to build a new home at #15 Boathouse Row. The structure was completed the following year with its western end encircling the base of Turtle Rock Lighthouse. The club’s membership was initially composed of Philadelphia ladies who enjoyed canoeing on the Schuylkill River, but by World War II the club had transformed into more of a social organization. The Sedgeley Club remains an exclusive woman’s club hosting numerous social gatherings as well as fundraising events that help maintain the historic boathouse and the treasured Turtle Rock Lighthouse, which is only lit on special occasions.

You don’t have to be a Philadelphian or a female to see the inside of The Sedgeley Club (and perhaps the lighthouse), as the boathouse can be rented for private functions.

Turtle Rock Lighthouse isn’t the only navigational aid to grace the banks of Schuylkill River. In March 1875, Congress set aside $15,000 for a set of range lights to guide mariners into the mouth of Schuylkill River from Delaware River. The land chosen for the range lights was on the naval reservation on League Island, so authority had to be obtained from the Secretary of the Navy before construction could begin. Work was carried out in 1875, and the range lights were activated on December 15 of that year. The Lighthouse Board published the following description of the new lights:

Two piers have been erected on League Island Flats, near the mouth of the Schuylkill, and beacons supplied with sixth-order illuminating apparatus placed upon them to serve as range-lights for entering the mouth of the river. The piers are connected with the river-bank by plank walks. A keeper’s dwelling has been erected adjacent to the two piers, according to plans approved by the board.

On June 30, 1897, the lights were moved to a new range, about 100 feet north of the old one in order to mark a newly dredged channel over the river bar. That same year, the seawall in front of the dwelling was rebuilt, and the keeper’s dwelling was raised about five feet.

Two steel towers were erected to mark the range at a cost of $2,431 in 1921, and in 1923, a fire nearly destroyed the keeper’s dwelling. Lights atop skeletal towers were marking the river entrance in 2016. The Philadelphia Naval Shipyard closed in 1995 as part of base realignment and closure, though the Navy still maintains a presence on the property at the mouth of Schuylkill River.

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200 The Promenade At Lighthouse Point
Staten Island, NY
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The purposes of The National Lighthouse Museum shall be: ■To establish and maintain a history museum open to the public relating to lighthouses and located on Staten Island, County of Richmond, New York. ■To collect, preserve, and interpret objects related to the history and technology of lighthouses located, in the past or present, at sites throughout the United States. ■To research, document and disseminate information on the history and technology of American lighthouses. ■To create and maintain an archive of artifacts and materials related to American lighthouses. ■To foster research of American lighthouse history. ■To serve as a contact point for public inquiry and assistance with respect to American lighthouse history, research, education, collections and programs ■To celebrate American lighthouse heritage through education programs, publications, films, festivals, living history, lighthouse trails, conferences, and other such offerings. ■To support other existing and future lighthouse museums, organizations and sites. ■To establish partnerships with other organizations to attain the above goals.

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Today, August 7th is National Lighthouse Day. Here are some of my lighthouse paintings and "Thatcher Island Lighthouses on a Peaceful Day": https://fineartamerica.com/featured/thatcher-island-lighthouses-on-a-peaceful-day-matt-starr.html
“Mind the Light, Kate” The most famous occupant of New York Harbor is surely Lady Liberty, who first struck her now permanent pose in 1886, just three years after the second Robbins Reef Lighthouse was built. In the lighthouse community, Kate Walker, keeper of Robbins Reef for over thirty years, runs a close second to the torch-bearing statue that stands just over two miles north of the lighthouse. To gain an appreciation for Kate Walker, you have to travel back to northern Germany, where she was born Katherine Gortler in 1848. After finishing school, she married Jacob Kaird. The couple's only child, also named Jacob, was only seven years old when his father died. Seeking a new life, Kate took Jacob to America, where she accepted a position waiting tables at a boarding house in Sandy Hook, New Jersey. It was here where she met John Walker, assistant keeper of the Sandy Hook Lighthouse. Kate knew very little English and gladly accepted Walker's offer of free English lessons. The student-teacher relationship quickly converted into a romantic one, and the two soon married. Kate enjoyed her life at the lighthouse, where there was land for her to grow vegetables and flowers. However, this life was short-lived as John was offered the position as keeper of the recently reconstructed Robbins Reef Lighthouse. "When I first came to Robbins Reef," Kate recalled, "the sight of the water, whichever way I looked, made me lonesome. I refused to unpack my trunks at first, but gradually, a little at a time, I unpacked. After a while they were all unpacked and I stayed on." John received an annual salary of $600, while Kate was paid $350 to serve as his assistant. The couple, along with their son and new daughter Mary, quickly adjusted to their home with a 360-degree harbor view. Tragedy touched the station in 1886, when John contracted pneumonia. As he was being taken ashore to a hospital, his parting words to his wife were "Mind the Light, Kate." John never returned to his family. For the second time in her life, Kate was a widow, but she carried on, motivated by the need to provide for her two children and fulfill her husband's wish. "Every morning when the sun comes up," Kate said, "I stand at the porthole and look towards his grave. Sometimes the hills are brown, sometimes they are green, sometimes they are white with snow. But always they bring a message from him, something I heard him say more often than anything else. Just three words: 'Mind the Light.' " Although Kate had competently served as assistant keeper, the position of head keeper was only offered to her after two men had turned it down. Perhaps the Lighthouse Service doubted that a petite, 4'10" woman, with two dependent children, could handle the job - and a tough job it was. Every day, Kate would row her children to school, record the weather in the logbook, polish the brass, and clean the lens. At night, she would wind up the weights multiple times to keep the fourth-order lens rotating, trim the wicks, refill the oil reservoir, and in times of fog, she would have to start up the steam engine in the basement to power the fog signal. As her son John matured, he started to help with the tasks and was later made an assistant. Besides keeping the lighthouse in fine order, Kate also rowed out to assist distressed vessels and is credited with having saved fifty lives. Most of her rescues were fishermen whose boats were blown onto the reef by sudden storms. Kate observed, "Generally, they joke and laugh about it. I've never made up my mind whether they are courageous or stupid. Maybe they don't know how near they have come to their Maker, or perhaps they know and are not afraid. But I think that in the adventure they haven't realized how near their souls have been to taking flight from the body." After several years, Kate was more at home in the lighthouse than on land, and she was well acquainted with her nearest neighbors, the boats that frequently passed by her kitchen window. Recalling a trip she had made to New York City, Kate stated, "I am in fear from the time I leave the ferryboat. The street cars bewilder me and I am afraid of automobiles. Why, a fortune wouldn't tempt me to get into one of those things!" Upon hearing the noon whistle sound at a factory during one of her trips to the big city, she remarked, "If I hadn't known that the Richard B. Morse had been scrapped many years ago, I would have said that was that ship's whistle." It was later determined that the whistle was indeed from the Morse. After a scrap dealer purchased the ship, the whistle was salvaged and sold to the factory. Kate served at the light until 1919, and then retired to nearby Staten Island where she could still keep an eye on the beacon. Even after her retirement and eventual passing in 1935 at the age of eighty-four, captains and harbor pilots still referred to the lighthouse as "Kate's Light." When the Coast Guard assumed responsibility for Robbins Reef Lighthouse in 1939, a three-man crew lived in the lighthouse to perform the duties that not too many years prior had been carried out by the diminutive Kate Walker. In tribute to the heroic service offered by lighthouse keepers, each vessel in the Coast Guards fleet of fourteen, 175-foot Keeper Class Buoy Tenders is named after a keeper. The KATHERINE WALKER (WLM 552) was launched on September 14th, 1996, and appropriately, its homeport is in Bayonne, New Jersey, within sight of Robbins Reef Lighthouse. Katie Walker adds rescuing people to her light keeping duties At the sound of the gun and bugle on Governors Island, she climbed the stairs again to begin another night of work on the light. Despite her demanding duties as both light keeper and mother, Katie was an expert rower who managed to rescue a total of 50 people in the Robbins Reef light region, which was notorious for tidal whirlpools on the reef’s outer rocky fringe. One of her most grateful patrons was a dog. Kate Walker wearing a long dress ascends the wrought iron railing steps up to the Robbins Reef Lighthouse. Kate Walker is shown here using a brass can to fill up one of the lamps used to light the lens in the tower at Robbins Reef Lighthouse Katie Walker Rescues Scotty One frigid winter day, a three-masted schooner labored against strong winds as it tried to pass the Robbins Reef Light. It lurched, swayed, and went over on its beam ends on the reef landing. Katie let down the lifeboat and rowed out to the schooner. Five men clung to it, and she helped them hoist themselves into the boat. As the last man tumbled in, he cried, “Where’s Scotty?” Hearing a feeble whine, Katie looked down into the water and spotted a shaggy brown dog. She caught the dog between the roars as he drifted by and hauled him into the boat. “He crouched, shivering against my ankles. I’ll never forget the look in his big brown eyes as he raised them to mine”, Katie recalled. Katie and the sailors rowed against the wind for two hours before they could reach the lighthouse. Hugging Scotty inside her cloak, Katie hurried into her big kitchen. She sat him beside the stove and stoked the fire. Scotty fell over like a frozen corpse. Katie rushed to the stove and poured some coffee from the pot she always kept hot during bad weather. She forced it down Scotty’s throat, and he gasped and shivered. “Then his eyes opened and there was that same thankful look he had given me in the boat,” Katie said.
Lighthouse Digest Uncovers Statue of Liberty’s Lost History For the first time in the 132-year history of the Statue of Liberty, recently located photographs and memories of the first lighthouse keepers who staffed Lady Liberty have been published by Lighthouse Digest, the Maine-based lighthouse news and history magazine. Although most people don’t realize it, during the first 16 years of its existence, the Statue of Liberty was managed by the United States Lighthouse Board as an actual aid to navigation. It was also the first permanently electrified lighthouse in the United States operated by the lighthouse keepers using an onsite power plant. Among the never before published images in the January/February 2019 edition of Lighthouse Digest are photographs of Albert E. Littlefield, a native of Kennebunk, Maine, who was the head keeper for the entire 16 years that the Statue of Liberty operated as a lighthouse. There are also images of assistant keeper Charles Miller who, from 1890 to 1892, kept a daily journal that detailed duties, rescues, wildlife problems, and even finding dead bodies washed up on the island during morning rounds. The Lighthouse Digest article, which includes over two dozen rare photos, tells how the government also had trouble attracting reliable assistant keepers for the Statue of Liberty during its first four years of operation; 12 of the first 14 didn’t last a year. There were also some nefarious assistant keepers; one was found to be a member of the “Masked Burglar Gang” and another later served 20 years in prison for murdering his mistress. Tim Harrison, editor of Lighthouse Digest said, “There have been countless books and articles written about the Statue of Liberty, but other than briefly mentioning the Lighthouse Board, none have ever gone into any detail on the lives of the keepers and their families who lived with them at the lighthouse, let alone publish photos of them.” He continued by saying “The fact that no one has ever attempted to research, save, and then publish the history of the lighthouse keepers of the Statue of Liberty, was a national travesty, one that has now been corrected.” Harrison said that Part II of the article on the Statue of Liberty, also with many never before published photos, will be in the March/April edition of Lighthouse Digest. If you are not yet a subscriber, you can subscribe today and have your subscription start with the January/February 2019 edition, Go to www.LighthouseDigest.com/LHD or call them at 207-259-2121.