Keeping it Short

Brant Point is the shortest lighthouse in New England.

Brant Point is the shortest lighthouse in New England.


Brant Point Lighthouse in Nantucket, Massachusetts has been rebuilt more than any other lighthouse in the United States. The present Brant Point Lighthouse is New England’s shortest and was constructed in 1901. Mary Chapman served as one of its first light keepers in 1907.

The island of Nantucket once known as the “Whaling Capital” of the world, is featured in Herman Melville’s classic novel, “Moby Dick.” Remnants of New England’s Whaling History are prevalent at Nantucket the site of the Nation’s second oldest lighthouse. The first lighthouse was built in 1746 after Sea Captains demanded a lighthouse to protect their investments.

Shattering the Lens exhibit Sept 24-October 20 at the National Lighthouse Museum in Staten Island, New York sheds light on the dynamic impact of female lighthouse keepers. The exhibit is inspired by the book “Women Who Kept the Light” by Mary Louise Clifford and J. Candace Clifford.

Lighthousefriends.com

For more information, visit my website at www.elainemarieartist.com

Advertisements

This One’s A Keeper

 

“Almost all of the United States’ lighthouses whose histories go back to the 1800’s at one time or another had female assistant keepers.” There are many examples of lighthouse keepers’ wives serving as assistant keepers. This saved the Lighthouse Service the expense of supplying additional quarters for another family. 

Mrs. Merrill Hussey served as Assistant Light Keeper (1868-69) while her husband served as Head Light Keeper at Cape San Blas Lighthouse.

Originally completed in 1848, the lighthouse has been rebuilt four times. The current Cape San Blas Lighthouse stands in an idyllic setting overlooking St. Joseph Bay at Port St. Joe, Florida. The City of Port St. Joe raised funds to relocate the buildings in 2012. The lighthouse and dwellings were moved on a truck convoy from Cape San Blas 12 miles away. Three cranes placed the lighthouse atop its new foundation in 2014.

Shattering the Lens exhibit Sept 24-October 20 at the National Lighthouse Museum in Staten Island, New York sheds light on the dynamic impact of female lighthouse keepers. The exhibit is inspired by the book “Women Who Kept the Light” by Mary Louise Clifford and J. Candace Clifford.

America’s Lighthouses An Illustrated History by Francis Ross Holland, Jr.

St. Joseph Historical Society, Inc.

For more information, visit elainemarie artist.com

An Enduring Light

St. Mark's Lighthouse

St. Mark’s is Florida’s second oldest lighthouse.

“Every calamity is overcome by endurance,” according to Virgil. St. Mark’s,  Florida’s second oldest lighthouse, has certainly endured its share of storms and calamities. The first lighthouse did not pass inspection and had to be rebuilt in 1831. It later fell prey to erosion. The third lighthouse was rebuilt in its present location in 1842. During the Civil War, Union forces burned the lighthouse’s stairs. 

St. Marks stairwell

If only these St. Marks stairwells could talk.


St. Mark’s Lighthouse keepers also faced many perils. The first female Lighthouse Keeper Anne Dudley, a widow, nearly lost all her worldly possessions during a storm. Unfortunately, she was never compensated by Congress for her loss. Following the death of her husband Charles Fine in 1905, Sarah Fine became the second female keeper.

National Lighthouse Museum Staten Island, New York.

Photo courtesy of the National Lighthouse Museum.


Shattering the Lens exhibit Sept 24-October 20 at the National Lighthouse Museum in Staten Island, New York sheds light on the dynamic impact of female lighthouse keepers. The exhibit is inspired by the book “Women Who Kept the Light” by Mary Louise Clifford and J. Candace Clifford.x

Stmarkslighthouse.com
For more information, elainemarieartist.com

Keeping it all in the family 

St. Augustine Lighthouse

Maria Andreu is the first Hispanic-American to serve in the Coast Guard and the first to command a federal shore installation. She was a Light keeper for the St. Augustine Lighthouse, 1859-1861.


Lightkeeping was a family affair. Families were considered assets to lightkeepers and the Lighthouse Board. 

The Colchester Reef Lighthouse was originally a two man station with families living ashore. The Lighthouse Board eliminated one position and moved a family out to join the remaining keeper. It was arduous work. Wives, daughters and sons sometimes fulfilled the duties of a light keeper without pay.  

Families filled in when the light keeper was absent or died. When Joseph Andreu fell 60 feet to his death white washing the St. Augustine Lighthouse, his wife Maria Andreu became the light keeper. 

Shattering the Lens exhibit Sept 24-October 20 at the National Lighthouse Museum in Staten Island New York sheds light on the dynamic impact of female lighthouse keepers. The exhibit is inspired by the book “Women Who Kept the Light” by Mary Louise Clifford and J. Candace Clifford. 

For more information, visit elainemarie artist.com

(America’s Lighthouses An Illustrated History by Francis Ross Holland, Jr.)

Five female light keepers may be a record

New Canal Lighthouse in New Orleans.

New Canal Lighthouse in New Orleans.


Record breaking hurricanes in New Orleans often make the national headlines. New Canal Lighthouse female keepers deserve the spotlight too. With five female keepers, New Canal may hold the record for the most female light keepers. Margaret Norvell faithfully served as a keeper for nearly 41 years.  

The lighthouse has been rebuilt several times and one was auctioned. The current New Canal Lighthouse is a replica that was built after severe damage from Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita in 2005. The wood from the 1890 lighthouse is now a part of the current 2013 lighthouse.

Shattering the Lens exhibit Sept 24-October 20 at the National Lighthouse Museum in Staten Island, New York sheds light on the dynamic impact of female lighthouse keepers. It is inspired by the book “Women Who Kept the Light” by Mary Louise Clifford and J. Candace Clifford.

For more information, visit elainemarieartist.com.

Casting out Fear

A cubist painting of the Crooked River Lighthouse.

This cubist painting of Crooked River Lighthouse is a style which the Nazis banned.

Completed in 1895, Crooked River Lighthouse is located near the site of Camp Jordan Training Center. Amphibious exercises were held at the camp during World War II. Recalling Hitler’s suppression of artists, I felt unparalleled freedom and vindication as I painted Crooked River Lighthouse. No longer afraid to try something new, I experimented with cubism a style Hitler banned and abhorred. Like the allies who freed the world from tyranny, we must cast out self imposed fears and inhibitions to be all that we were created to be. 

elainemarie artist.com

Dodging cars like a nervous pedestrian, the Biloxi Lighthouse seems to pause beside a busy highway

Traffic is a part of the scenery at Biloxi Lighthouse.

Traffic is a part of the scenery at Biloxi Lighthouse.

There is a sense of anxiety surrounding the Biloxi Lighthouse. It’s not limited to the cars speeding by on both sides of the median where the lighthouse is located. Unlike most lighthouses that evoke a sense of peace, the Biloxi Lighthouse is a reminder of turbulent times. This lighthouse has survived over 20 hurricanes, the Civil War, the Civil Rights movement and Confederate protests since it was built in 1848. 

There was a Confederate protest at when I visited the Biloxi Lighthouse.

There was a Confederate protest near the Biloxi Lighthouse when I visited.


Biloxi’s female light keepers worked heroically during most of these tumultuous years. Biloxi’s female keepers have more years of service than female keepers at other lighthouses.

A painting of the Biloxi Lighthouse.

This painting will be a part of the Shattering of Lens exhibit.


Shattering the Lens exhibit Sept 24-October 20 at the National Lighthouse Museum in Staten Island, New York sheds light on the dynamic impact of female lighthouse keepers. It is inspired by the book “Women Who Kept the Light” by Mary Louise Clifford and J. Candace Clifford.

For more information on the exhibit, visit elainemariearttist.com.