The Dreaded Inspector

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. Regular and formal inspections continued as a hallmark of the Bureau of Lighthouses from the early days of the 1900s and continued into the Coast Guard era.