This article is an attempt to correct some of the myths that have been perpetuated for some time concerning lighthouse locations, lighthouse structures and, most importantly, the illuminating apparatus used in them. I have little expectation that I will put an end to such tales but if I can correct any of the confusion that exists about lighthouses then this will have been a worthwhile effort.
About 1876, the Lighthouse Service decided it would be a good idea to provide a small library at isolated stations to improve morale. The Annual report of that year States, "During the past year the board has collected fifty small libraries, consisting of about 40 volumes each, for use at the more isolated light stations. It is intended that each library remain about six months at a place, when it will be exchanged for another.
The frequent visits to the light stations by the district inspector were exciting and momentous events in the life of the keeper and his family. From the 1840s, still in the days of Stephen Pleasonton’s autocratic oversight of the Light-House Establishment, a system of periodic visits by inspecting officers was established. This became a much more formal process when the Light-House Board took over supervision of the Establishment in 1852.
Transcript of a talk given by Edward Aubry Brooks to a First Baptist Church men's class about 1940, in the Everett, Washington area. About his life work, almost 40 years, as a Lighthouse Keeper. First stationed at Cape Mears Lighthouse, Oregon; then transferred to Turn Point Lighthouse, then to Point-No-Point Light Station and then to New Dungeness Lighthoues. He spent his last 12 years at Mukilteo Light Station before retiring.
The Lighthouse Board stated in 1883, “It is believed that uniforming the personnel of the service, some 1,600 in number, will aid in maintaining its discipline, increase its efficiency, raise its tone, and add to the esprit de corps.”
Emily Fish and her niece Juliet, from all evidence in and their backgrounds, were unlikely candidates to join the ranks of, the women who tended the lights. Having the advantage of education and social position, why did they become involved in work so lonely and foreign to their backgrounds?
It was plain to see the years were heavy upon him. More and more often he rested in the big reclining chair before television. Always watching it - well, not really. Many times a wistful expression crossed his face, but with eyes closing, this disappeared and a look of pure enjoyment took over. One could see that although present in body, his mind and vision were far away. Where did he go? "Tell me about it," I asked, and he did. This story - my hubsand's story, and these are the words that took me back to share his boyhood - to a time I had not known and a place I had never been.