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


Head and shoulders above most lighthouses

Completed in 1887, it took over a million bricks to build the Ponce de Leon lighthouse.
Nestled in Ponce de Leon inlet, Florida’s tallest lighthouse quietly beckons you to a day of adventure. Ponce de Leon Lighthouse is the second tallest Lighthouse on the east coast. It stands head and shoulders above most other lighthouses in statue and possibly in what it offers the casual visitor. This large campus has so much to explore. 
Enjoy a delightful introduction to the lighthouse at the Woodshed Video Theater. Firewood and other supplies were once kept in this building by the Second Assistant Keeper’s family. 
Explore the original Keepers dwellings. See exhibits on the lives of the keepers and their families. Race fans will revel in the exhibits on the history of Beach racing.
 View an amazing collection of lighthouse lens. The magnificent rotating first order Fresnel lens from Cape Canaveral Lighthouse is on display here.
Brace yourself for spectacular view as you scale Florida’s tallest lighthouse.

A fallen lighthouse is more dangerous than a reef. Navjot Singh Sidhu 

After falling in the Gulf of Mexico, Cape St. George Lighthouse was restored. Be a part of efforts to save Florida’s lighthouses. Visit one of Florida’s iconic lighthouses during April for Florida’s Lighthouse celebration. Admission fees, memberships and donations help maintain lighthouses. 

St. Marks Lighthouse reopened last year after being restored.

St. Marks Lighthouse reopened last year after being restored.

Only 29 Florida lighthouses remain and five of them have been declared excess by the US Coast Guard. Lighthouses have played a critical role in Florida’s history; making it possible to explore, settle and develop Florida’s 1350 miles of coastland according to the Florida Lighthouse Association’s website. Check out events at these lighthouses. 

Ponce de Leon Lighthouse

Ponce de Leon is Florida’s tallest lighthouse.

April 6-Ponce de Leon Lighthouse Day

Celebrate Florida’s tallest lighthouse. Enjoy festivities and see a reenactor. Learn about the daily activities of lightkeepers. Explore workshops for children and families. 

Port Boca Grande Lighthouse.

Gasparilla Iskand has two Lighthouses.

April 13-Port Boca Grande Lighthouse and Gasparilla Lighthouse Climb

Double your fun on this one special day of the year when you can climb both lighthouses. Cool down with lemonade, cake and more after the climb. Reserve climbs in advance. Space is limited. 

Cape Florida Lighthouse.

Cape Florida Lighthouse is the oldest structure in South Florida.

April 13- Cape Florida Baynanza

Volunteers help landscape the grounds of Cape Florida during Miami’s Baynanza celebration. Baynanza celebrates Biscayne Bay and its significance as one of South Florida’s most important ecological systems at various locations.

Anclote Key Lighthouse

Anclote Key Lighthouse last open house celebrated it reopening.

April 20- Anclote Key Lighthouse Open House

Climb the lighthouse for a panoramic view of the pristine island. Buy a memorial brick and memorabilia to support the lighthouse. 
Visit my website for more information on Florida lighthouses.

Brush on Fire 

Every artist dips in her soul, and paints her own nature into her pictures.” Henry Ward Beecher

Unlike a brush fire that fuels wildfires, I am dipping a brush into my soul to help preserve a park. Partner with me and “Paint the Parks” to conserve nature for the enjoyment and benefit of present and future generations. 

Ten percent of the proceeds from the art on my “Paint the Parks” page will go to the Friends of St Marks Wildlife Refuge. It is a 501 (c) non profit corporation. All (100%) of your contributions go to support Refuge programs and projects.

The long and short of it 

Brant Point Lighthouse

Brant Point Lighthouse is the shortest lighthouse in New England.

New England may have some of the shortest lighthouses but its long on history. 

Portland Harbor Lighthouse.

Portland Harbor Lighthouse on Fort Constitution.

Fort Constitution where Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse is located recalls the days of Paul Revere. Reminders of New England’s Whaling History are prevalent at Nantucket, the site of the second oldest lighthouse in the United States.

Portland Breakwater Lighthouse.

The Portland Breakwater Lighthouse is inspired by the Greek Choragic Monument of Lysicrates.

Memories of WWII are present at a shipbuilding museum near Portland Breakwater Lighthouse. Surfside Life Saving Station now a hostel beckons old and youth alike. 

Surfside Life Saving Station.

The Life Saving Service is the precursor to the US Coast Guard.

Double Edge Sword 

Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse

Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse stands on guard.

Portland Harbor, Maine is the one of largest and busiest ports on the East Coast of the United States. Its fierce waters and treacherous rocks are guarded by a host of lighthouses. During a lighthouse tour, we stopped by Two Lights Road to view two of the lighthouses. Cape Elizabeth and West lighthouses were built in the same location to distinguish them from Portland Head Lighthouse. I drew Cape Elizabeth because the western lighthouse was partially hidden from the street. Both lighthouses were completed in 1832.

Connecting the Dots

Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse

Spring Ledge lighthouse was once offshore.

You may think your software has the slowest connection. But sometimes connecting the dots is the slowest thing of all. Especially when it comes to government bureaucracy.

The government refused to build a lighthouse at Spring Ledge in 1832 even though a ship had burned in clear sight of local citizens. They had watched in horror as the lime coaster Nancy perished.  The Lighthouse Board finally proposed a lighthouse in 1891 at Spring Point Ledge when Steamship captains warned of a pending disaster. It helped that there was an economic benefit. The Steamship captains transported over 500,000 passengers who vacationed in Portland. Yet despite the backing of the community and the Lighthouse Board it took Congress until 1895 to fund the project. 

Spring Point Lighthouse is a caisson or spark plug lighthouse. It stands on a pressurized chamber because it was constructed offshore. Initially painted reddish brown, it was completed in 1897. An iron canopy graces the lighthouse. The breakwater that connects the lighthouse to the shore was completed in 1951. It was almost a century after the lighthouse was built. Perhaps the slowest connection of them all.