News · Passport Program

Have Passport, Will Travel

Florida Lighthouse Association member receives passport stamp at Egmont Key Lighthouse, Florida. 2017 photo by Candace Clifford

Are you a member of the U.S. Lighthouse Society’s Passport Club? If so, you recently received its most recent newsletter which includes updates on where new stamps are available and other useful information. There are now over 550 locations where you may get your passport stamped. These include not only lighthouses, but maritime museums, lighthouse vessels, and life-saving stations. (A full list of locations by state can be found online.)

If you already have a passport, consider getting one for a younger relative or friend. We need to encourage the younger generation’s appreciation of lighthouses! You can purchase a passport online or at the gift shop of any participating lighthouse.

Skip and Mary Lee Sherwood are also Society tour leaders.

When you have your passport stamped, don’t forget to leave a donation to support the site.

The Society is very fortunate to have super-charged volunteers Skip and Mary Lee Sherwood run this vibrant program. With their dedication and the help of volunteers around the country, this program has thrived and continues to grow.

Skip relies on the 16 volunteers listed below to maintain contact with over 500 locations and make sure the information about stamp availability is current. Skip cannot say enough good things about their dedication and service to the program. Several of them have taken on extra duties when volunteers had to bow out for health reasons. He’s pretty sure that the program would fall apart without the work of the volunteers.

Mid-Atlantic Region
Tedd Van Buskirk
Chris Laubach

New England Region
Wayne Cotterly
Scott Walbert
Bob Zimman
Anne Salatiello
Rick McDermott

Midwest Region
LaVon Marshall
Judy Grigg (Plus Oregon)
Sue Moffit  (Plus Louisiana & Texas)
Marge Czop
Dave Lindamood

South Region
Yvette Dills
April Lowe (Plus Washington)
Toni Collins

West Region
Marie Holley

Submitted by Candace Clifford, May 4, 2018

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U.S. Lighthouse Society News is produced by the U.S. Lighthouse Society to support lighthouse preservation, history, education and research. You can receive these posts via email if you click on the “SUBSCRIBE” button in the right-hand column. Please support this electronic newsletter by joining the U.S. Lighthouse Society if you are not already a member.

If you have items of interest to the lighthouse community and its supporters, please email them to candace@uslhs.org.

 

Keepers · Research

Researching Female Lighthouse Keepers

As every historian knows, research is an ongoing process; you are never completely finished. The story is often told and new information comes to light. So it is with my research on female lighthouse keepers. Our book, Women Who Kept the Lights, first published in 1993, keeps expanding as new information is found on these remarkable women who kept lighthouses primarily during the nineteenth century. We produced a third edition in 2013 that includes two new chapters.

So I was surprised and delighted when I noticed a postcard that Linda Keenan had scanned in the Herb Entwistle collection for inclusion in the Society Archives and digital Catalog. (Founding member of the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society, Herb amassed an amazing collection of lighthouse postcards that his family has donated to the Society’s Archives.) Linda recognized the significance of this particular postcard of Point Pinos and scanned both the back and front sides shown here.

Point Pinos Lighthouse, California, from the Herb Entwistle collection, Society Archives.
Point Pinos Lighthouse Keeper Emily Fish wrote “I have my efficiency star with commendation for the efficient and conscientious manner in which I have discharged my duties–am so pleased” to Angel Island Lighthouse Keeper Juliet Nichols. 1913 postcard from the Herb Entwistle Collection, Society Archives

The efficiency star intended “to promote efficiency and friendly rivalry among lighthouse keepers, a system of efficiency stars and pennants . . . Keepers who have been commended for efficiency at each quarterly inspection during the year are entitled to wear the inspector’s star for the next year, and those who receive the inspector’s star for three successive years will be entitled to wear the Commissioner’s star…”(Reproduction stars are available in the Keeper’s Locker),

We know that Keeper Emily Fish had a servant and employed laborers for the “heavy work” which included maintaining her large gardens and livestock. And that her son-in-law, district lighthouse inspector Lt. Cdr. Henry E. Nichols, arranged Emily’s appointment in 1893.  But Fish was a very conscientious keeper, keeping an excellent light and dealing with the after-effects of the 1906 earthquake that destroyed much of nearby San Francisco.

Emily’s step-daughter, Juliet Nichols, was the wife of the same inspector who procured Emily’s appointment. Juliet was offered the appointment as keeper of Angel Island’s light and fog signal after her husband’s death. Nichol’s correspondence with the district inspector reflected continued struggles with the fog signal, having to ring it by hand when the striking mechanism failed. Nichols, appointed in 1902, also served during the 1906 earthquake and watched San Francisco burn from her post.

Both Fish and Nichols retired as keepers in 1914, the year after this card was written.

Another female keeper, Julia Williams (pictured here), kept the Santa Barbara Light, California, from 1865 to 1905. Postcard from Herb Enwistle Collection, Society Archives

Submitted by Candace Clifford, Society Historian. Her book, Women Who Kept the Lights, co-authored with Mary Louise Clifford, is available in the Keeper’s Locker.

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U.S. Lighthouse Society News is produced by the U.S. Lighthouse Society to support lighthouse preservation, history, education and research. You can receive these posts via email if you click on the “SUBSCRIBE” button in the right-hand column. Please support this electronic newsletter by joining the U.S. Lighthouse Society if you are not already a member.

If you have items of interest to the lighthouse community and its supporters, please email them to candace@uslhs.org.

News · photography · Society Members

Deadline for SUNRISE / SUNSET submissions is April 30th

Pumpkin Island ME 2003 by William Hammond sun
Pumpkin Island ME by William Hammond — a SUNRISE / SUNSET finalist for the 2018 Calendar

Society photographers who have not already submitted SUNRISE / SUNSET images for the Lighthouse Calendar Contest must complete their entries by COB Monday. Goto https://uslhs.submittable.com/submit.

The deadline for the TECHNOLOGY category is May 30, 2018.

Submitted by Candace Clifford, April 27, 2018

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U.S. Lighthouse Society News is produced by the U.S. Lighthouse Society to support lighthouse preservation, history, education and research. You can receive these posts via email if you click on the “SUBSCRIBE” button in the right-hand column. Please support this electronic newsletter by joining the U.S. Lighthouse Society if you are not already a member.

If you have items of interest to the lighthouse community and its supporters, please email them to candace@uslhs.org.

Education · Event · News · Vessels

School children visit museum ship for “masked ball”

TIME/DATE:  Tuesday, April 24; Wednesday, April 25; Friday, April 27 from 10 AM to 1 PM

PLACE: Lighthouse Tender LILAC, Pier 25, N. Moore and West Streets

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Courtesy LILAC Preservation Project

New York, NY—The Time in Children’s Arts Initiative is bringing underprivileged children to the Lighthouse Tender LILAC this week.  After brief tours of the retired Coast Guard cutter, the children will pose with their handmade paper bag masks for photos on the ship. Inspired by the work of artist Saul Steinberg, the “masked ball” celebrates the opera Cendrillon, Massenet’s version of Cinderella, now in performance at the Metropolitan Opera.

Four classes are scheduled daily on the above dates. Each group will visit the ship  for 45 minutes. Arrival times are 10:00 AM, 10:45 AM, 11:30 AM and 12:15 PM with the last group to depart at 1:00 PM.

Time In Children’s Arts Initiative brings the city’s youngest, most at-risk public schoolchildren out of underserved classrooms and into the world of the living arts, every week of the school year, as part of their regular school day. Time In’s kids are immersed in a joyful combination of opera, literacy, the visual arts and museum visits. To learn more see timeinkids.org

LILAC is America’s only surviving steam-powered lighthouse tender. The US Coast Guard Cutter LILAC was built in 1933 and supplied lighthouses and maintained buoys until she was retired in 1972. This unique ship, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is open to the public as a free museum at Hudson River Park’s Pier 25 offering programs in the arts and maritime history. More information may be found at www.lilacpreservationproject.org.

Submitted by Mary Habstritt, Museum Director, Lilac Preservation Project

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U.S. Lighthouse Society News is produced by the U.S. Lighthouse Society to support lighthouse preservation, history, education and research. You can receive these posts via email if you click on the “SUBSCRIBE” button in the right-hand column. Please support this electronic newsletter by joining the U.S. Lighthouse Society if you are not already a member.

If you have items of interest to the lighthouse community and its supporters, please email them to candace@uslhs.org.

Kaptain's Kolumn · Keepers · News

The Kaptain’s Kolumn #5

Captain Joshua K. Card here. I told you a while back about my early days as a keeper in 1860s and ’70s at Boon Island, one of the most isolated and desolate light stations imaginable. But I learned many years ago about a light keeper who had a much more miserable life on a little slab of rock in Maine’s Penobscot Bay known as Saddleback Ledge.

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Saddleback Ledge Lighthouse in July 2013. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

Saddleback Ledge is a wave-swept outcropping at the southern entrance to East Penobscot Bay, about four miles from the southeastern corner of the large island of Vinalhaven to the west, three miles from the southwestern coast of Isle au Haut to the east, and more than seven miles to the village of Stonington to the north. The 43-foot granite lighthouse that was built on the ledge in 1839 was designed by a famous architect, Alexander Parris. It was built to last, and it has survived through some of the most brutal storms and seas you can imagine.

The first keeper, Watson Y. Hopkins, a Maine native, moved to the lighthouse with his wife, Abigail, and seven children, ranging in age from infancy to the late teens. The large family crowded into living quarters inside the tower that consisted of a living room with a cooking stove, two bedrooms, and a cellar. Hopkins’ pay was $450 per year.

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Saddleback Ledge Lighthouse circa 1859 (National Archives). The attached wooden building on the left side of the tower was added later, after Keeper Watson Hopkins had left.

In September 1843, Abigail Hopkins gave birth to a baby girl, Margaret, at the lighthouse. A week later, a boat came to the ledge to take the mother and daughter to the mainland. During the transfer to the boat, the baby was dropped briefly into the cold waves. She was quickly plucked out of the water before any serious harm was done.

saddlebackHOPKINS
Painting of Watson Y. Hopkins (Courtesy of Margo Burns)

Hopkins painted a dismal picture of the living conditions at the lighthouse for the important report to Congress by the engineer I. W. P. Lewis in 1843:

I live with my family in the tower, which is the only building on the ledge. . . . I am obliged to bring my water from shore, a distance of seven miles. . . . We are badly off for room to stow wood and provisions. I have been allowed a boat, but she is entirely unfit for this place, being nothing more than a small dory. . . . The iron railing, which was secured to the rock around the tower, has been all swept away; also, the privy, which was carried away the first storm after its erection. The windows all leak in storms, the shutters having no rebates in the stone work. . . .

 

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A woman is hoisted onto Saddleback Ledge using the landing derrick installed in 1885. (Vinalhaven Historical Society)

It would seem that there was not a multitude of candidates fighting over Hopkins’ position at Saddleback, because he amazingly stayed in the position for a full decade, living with his family in those three little rooms.

When Hopkins and his family left Saddleback Ledge in 1849, he bought land and built a home on Arey’s Neck on Vinalhaven, within sight of the lighthouse. I doubt that he ever looked in that direction. The 1850 census identified the former lighthouse keeper as a farmer.

Submitted by Jeremy D’Entremont, April 22, 2018.

 

 

 

 

News · photography

Technology Category Now Open for Submissions

Technology is reflected in light stations and other aids to navigation in so many forms — whether it be the optic, fog signal, or even the method of construction. For this category try to artistically capture some aspect of the technology that made these aids to navigation possible. Submission deadline for this category is May 30, 2018.

Here are some examples of last year’s submissions for the Technology Category:

The deadline for the Technology category is May 30th. The deadline for the Sunset / Sunrise category is April 30th.

Finalists will be chosen by a review panel for each category. Images for the printed calendar will be selected from the finalists. Each finalist will receive a free calendar. Calendars will be available for purchase in the Keeper’s Locker and will be mailed in late October 2018.

Society members can submit images at https://uslhs.submittable.com/submit.

Submitted by Candace Clifford, April 15, 2018

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U.S. Lighthouse Society News is produced by the U.S. Lighthouse Society to support lighthouse preservation, history, education and research. You can receive these posts via email if you click on the “SUBSCRIBE” button in the right-hand column. Please support this electronic newsletter by  joining the U.S. Lighthouse Society if you are not already a member.

If you have items of interest to the lighthouse community and its supporters, please email them to candace@uslhs.org.