The foregoing excerpts are from the 1851-52 Report of the Lighthouse Board which was convened under instruction from the Secretary of the Treasury to inquire into the condition of the Lighthouse Establishment. In this part of the report, the Board was critical of the quality and the means of delivering supplies to light stations and of the lack of inspections of the stations. In other portions of the report, the board deplored the conditions of the lighthouses in this country, noting in two cases keepers were found missing, leaving small boys in charge.
Bremen is the second largest seaport in Germany and over the years became well known to Americans, as the North Germany Lloyd Steamship Company operated a transatlantic line between Bremen and New York City. The shipping line was established in 1857 and had a good reputation among Americans traveling to Europe. The City of Bremen, founded in 765 A.D., is situated on the Weser River about 30 miles upstream from the North Sea. Bremen was a member of the powerful Hanseatic League, which controlled northern Europe from the 13th to 15th centuries.
If lighthouses and lightships are the major pieces in the aids to navigation chess set, then buoys are the pawns.
Since 1821, the Burnt Island Lighthouse has played a significant role in guiding vessels safely into one of Maine's best harbors. As described by the Secretary of Navy: "This is well known as one of the most important harbors upon the whole coast. It is easy of ingress and egress, large, safe in gales from any point ofthe compass, with good anchorage in any part of it. It is a harbor which all vessels bound east or west, when met by head winds or unfavorable weather, endeavor to make.
The morning of February 25 dawned dismal and slow. It had, in fact, been dismal long before the grayness of morning fully developed, for fog had settled about us in spite of a brisk thirty knot wind from the dreaded southwesterly sector. The fog horns had chattered incessantly from 2:30 a.m. and southwesterly seas mauled us as they pounded against the bow. The ship twisted and bobbed, back forth, up and down, back and forth, up and down. Decks moaned, rigging whistled, halyards slapped, and the anchor acted oddly as the chain emitted a shrill metallic scraping behavior.
Twenty-first century seafarers may take for granted the wealth of navigational information available to today's professional mariner, but not that many years ago, such electronic wizardry was unthinkable. Much of this highly useful information in the form of real-time digital data, colorful graphs and up-to-the-minute marine conditions is now at our finger tips thanks to trusted maritime resources on the Internet such as NOAA the US. Coast Guard and regional Maritime Exchanges.
Dec. 25, 1873 - I was suppose [sic] to have been informed when this light would be discontinued [for the winter], not a vessel since the 15th of Nov. and nothing to light for and this is such a dreary place to be all alone in.
Apr. 7, 1874 - So dull in this place it is killing me.
Apr. 15 - Oh, for a home in the sunny south, such a climate.
Apr. 16 - Such a time, everyone is despaired thinking that summer is never coming.
Situated on a rocky promontory, 225 feet above the sea, Cape Spear Lighthouse has served as an important approach light to St. John's Newfoundland for more than a century. Because this rugged area of coast presents numerous navigational hazards, the government was very early aware that there was a need for a lighthouse in the area. Around 1810 a light was established at Fort Amherst at the entrance to St. John's Harbor.
The Cape Ann Light Station on Thacher Island off the coast of Rockport, Massachusetts, is noted for some very significant firsts and lasts in the history of light stations in the U.S. It was the first lighthouse to mark a dangerous spot along the coast. The nine prior lighthouses simply marked harbor entrances. The original station was the 10th of the twelve stations built under British rule. The current towers are the last officially operating twin lights in the nation.
January 3, 1852, a maritime disaster near the entrance to Coos Bay brought the first white residents to the estuary. The Captain Lincoln, a coastal steamer carrying U.S. Army personnel to the newly established Fort Orford on Oregon's southwest coast, foundered in a storm and beached on the North Spit of Coos Bay. Although the castaways from this ship camped for nearly five months near their lonely wreck, they eventually left the region. Not until 1853 did settlers make permanent homes in the land of the Coos Indians.