Mind the Light, Katie


Mind the Light Katie: The History of Thirty-Three Female Lighthouse Keepers 

Intended for readers, aged 12 and up. 

Mind the Light, Katie: The History of Thirty-Three Female Lighthouse Keepers was created for younger readers and is a condensed version of the book Women Who Kept the Lights: An Illustrated History of Female Lighthouse Keepers

In 1880 Kate Walker was 44 years old when her son Jacob rowed his stepfather, John Walker, ill with pneumonia, to Staten Island for medical treatment. John's last words to his wife were, "Mind the Light, Katie." 

John, official keeper of the Robbins Reef Lighthouse, never returned. When he died then days later, a substitute was sent to permit Kate to arrange for his burial and attend his funeral. She was back on the job before the day ended. 

Although she was paid only a laborer's wage, Kate faithfully minded the light until she finally received the keeper's appointment in 1894. Her only communication with the mainland was by rowboat or through the periodic calls of the lighthouse tender bringing supplies. Assisted by her son Jacob, Kate kept the Robbins Reef light until 1919. 

Kate was one of only 142 women who received official lighthouse keeper appointments between 1830 and 1947, when the last female keeper retired. Kate and 32 others who have left records of their lives are included in this book. 

Written by Mary Louise and Candace Clifford and published in 2006, the book is softcover, and has 144 pages, 56 illustrations, a glossary, and an index.