How to Use Your State & Local Resources


You should request lighthouse books about the general area.  Make sure that if you are copying an article that you copy the title page as well for reference purposes.

Some possible sources of information about lighthouses or a specific lighthouse are:

  • Books on lighthouses
  • Newspaper clipping files
  • Old county history books, especially sections on commerce or transportation.  These may contain information about why the lighthouse was built, old photos, drawings or old maps.
  • Files or books containing old postcards
  • Indexes of old newspaper articles

Local Newspapers

Look for the lighthouse in a file of photographs by subject.  The photos, if they have any, may then be marked with the dates they were published.  Then ask for the microfilmed copy of the paper for those dates and copy relevant stories on the lighthouse.

See if the lighthouse is mentioned in any indexes to old newspaper articles.  Also look for stories on shipwrecks or the Coast Guard.

Local Historical Societies

Local historical societies are a good source of information about lighthouses that were built in the area.  Determine if they have:

  • A file on the lighthouse.
  • A collection of old post cards or photographs that you can go through and copy.
  • A journal with recollections of local people.  If so, find out if anyone has written about the lighthouse.
  • Old county history books for the area and then look up the lighthouse by name or look at the section on commerce or transportation.  You may find stories about when and why the lighthouse was requested.  You may also find an old photo or drawing of the light.  Especially look for old maps in the book because they may show the lighthouse or even have a drawing of it.
  • Anyone in the society that specializes in the lighthouse.

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