Friday, December 23, 2011

Curious Remarks, Or Very Disagreeable Sitting

We found some interesting tidbits in The Mariner's Chronicle; or Interesting Narratives of Shipwrecks, published in 1825 (frontispiece above). They sure don't write headlines like these anymore! Two centuries later, the "Curious Remarks" are

From Losing his Vessel at Sea, December 23, 1768.

CAPTAIN KENNEDY and his crew, being twelve in number, sailed from Port Royal, in Jamaica, on the 21st of December, 1768, bound for Whitehaven; but on the 23rd, having met with a hard gale at north... they could scarcely get into the yawl, before the vessel sunk; having with much difficulty been able to take out only a keg, containing about sixteen pounds of biscuit, ten pounds of cheese, and two bottles of wine…

Between the seventh and fourteenth days of their being in the boat, they were most miraculously supported…having nothing to eat or drink. The wild sea-fowls, hovered over their heads in the evening, and lighted on their hands when held up to receive them. Of these the sailors at the flesh, and drank the blood, declaring it to be as palatable as new milk. The captain ate twice of the flesh, and thought it very good….

During this distressing voyage, Captain Kennedy, had recourse to the following efficacious expedients, which he had learned from the perusal of a treatise written by Dr. Lind, and which beneficial circumstance should certainly be known to all sea-faring people in case of similar calamities—this was soaking his clothes twice a day in salt water, and putting them on without wringing. It was a considerable time before he could prevail upon the crew to follow his example; but when they witnessed the good effects which this measure produced, they afterwards practiced it twice a day of their own accord; and to this may be attributed the preservation of their lives.

There is another remarkable circumstance, which is, that they daily made the same quantity of urine, as if they had drank moderately of any liquid; this must be owing to a body of water having been absorbed through the pores of the skin. The saline particles remaining in their clothing, became incrusted by the heat of their bodies and that of the sun, which cut and wounded their posteriors, and from the intense pain, rendered sitting very disagreeable….

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Lost in Alaska: Only Castles Burning

Sitka in 1867. Baranof Castle is between the peaks at far right.

Baranof Castle, as it came to be called, was the only Russian lighthouse transferred to the United States when Alaska was acquired in 1867. The light was deactivated in 1877; the massive building burned down in 1894.

The below passage is from Appleton’s Guide-book to Alaska & the Northwest Coast (1893) by Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore (1856-1928). The first female trustee of the National Geographic Society, who made several trips to Japan, is best remembered for hatching the idea of planting Japanese cherry trees in Washington, DC.

Sitka & Vicinity: Makhnati (Rugged) Island is the landmark for ships from the ocean. It was chosen for a light-house site in 1867, and Captain Beardslee’s wooden beacon on the seaward bluff is often taken for a shaman’s grave. Signal Island was the place for bonfires to light and lead ships in Russian days. The firing of a gun caused the beacon on the citadel roof to flash out, and men were in waiting to light the signal-fires that marked the course into the harbor. Departing ships were blessed by the Russian bishop in full canonicals, and deck, mainmast, flag, and boats rowed three times round, singing a farewell, and nine cheers sped the ship as the sails filled….

A long flight of steps leads to the Castle, as Americans have called it since 1867, crowning a rocky eminence 80 ft. in height. Baranof first occupied a leaky two-roomed cabin at the foot of Katlean’s Rock, where the barracks of jail kitchens stand. Later he built a block-house on the height, which was burned. Governor Kupreanoff built a large mansion, which was nearly completed at the time of Sir Edward Belcher’s visit, 1837. It was destroyed by the great earthquake of 1847, and rebuilt on the same plan….

Castle Hill in 1827, from Old Sitka, Alaska by Postels.

It is a massive structure, measuring 86 x 51 ft., built of cedar logs, joined with copper bolts and riveted to the rock. It is three stories in height, with a glass cupola, which was formerly the light-house of the harbor, the lamp standing 110 ft. above the sea. It was richly furnished and decorated when transferred to the U.S. military commandant in 1867, but after the departure of the troops was looted of every belonging, wantonly, stripped, and defaced. No repairs were made until 1893….

Detail of Russian Castle (undated), from Univ. of Washington Libraries.

Two young officers of the U.S.S. Adams and the purser of the Idaho manufactured a ghost story to meet the demands of the first pleasure travelers in 1883, who insisted that the deserted and half-wrecked castle must be haunted. A Lucia di Lammermoor, condemned to marry against her will, killed herself, or was killed by a returned lover, in the drawing-room, the long apartment on the second floor, north side, adjoining the ball-room, where she walks at midnight.

Baranof Castle burning, from Univ. of Washington Libraries.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

December 1861: The Occupation of Ship Island

A sandy barrier island sited about 15 miles SW of Biloxi, Miss., offered the only deep-water anchorage between Mobile Bay and the Mississippi River. Thus Ile aux Vasseaux, or Ship Island, had great commercial and strategic importance. The US built a conical brick lighthouse (left) there in 1853. Its pyramidal wooden 1886 replacement burned down in 1972. A reproduction of the latter was dedicated in 1999, only to be washed away--along with the eastern half of the island--by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Fort Massachusetts, begun in 1859, still stands.

Harper's Weekly
(via described what happened at Ship Island, Miss., 150 years ago this week:

The United States steamer-transport Constitution, Captain A. T. Fletcher, arrived at Fortress Monroe on 15th, where she called for orders, on her return from Ship Island, Mississippi Sound, having safely landed at the latter place, December 4, the two regiments (Twenty-sixth Massachusetts, and Ninth Connecticut), which embarked on her at Boston, the 18th and 21st of November. In this southward expedition, after proceeding to Portland for the Twelfth Regiment of Maine, which did not embark on her, the Constitution proceeded to Fortress Monroe, November 23, where she arrived on the 26th. She coaled, and left on the 28th, and, after a pleasant passage, arrived at Ship Island, Mississippi Sound, December 3.

Her arrival here was as gratifying as it was unexpected by the little fleet and small garrison which have been holding the place against constant threats, and occasional attacks from the rebels. By the assistance of two large river steamers, which had been captured in Mississippi Sound only a short time previous to her arrival, the troops and material of war, and subsistence stores, were landed between the 4th and 8th of December—a single accident only occurring, by which one of the steel rifled guns belonging to Captain Manning's Light Battery was lost overboard. The two regiments were comfortably encamped on the island, near the light-house, and the Salem Battery near the fortification. On the 8th the last of the cargo was landed on the beach, and was taken charge of by Commissary Butler, brother of Major-General Butler, who will probably join the expedition in a short time with a large accession to the force.

Learn more about Ship Island--the "Plymouth Rock of the Gulf Coast"--and Fort Massachusetts at and Wikipedia.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Early 19c U.S. Lighthouses: The Original Tallies

In the course of doing research for our lighthouse maps, we came across widely varying estimates as to the number of lighthouses in early 19th century America. Which to believe?

We were stumped. Then after months of exhaustive Googling, we hit the jackpot: THE AMERICAN STATE PAPERS: Documents, Legislative and Executive of the Congress of the United States, from the First Session of the First to the Third Session of the Thirteenth Congress, Inclusive: Commencing March 3, 1789, and Ending March 3, 1815.

Above: Sandy Hook, NJ (1764), the oldest standing U.S. lighthouse. Illustration by Peter M. Mason, from Mid-Atlantic Lighthouses: Illustrated Map & Guide.

From an 1804 report in THE AMERICAN STATE PAPERS:
Our own Government has attended to the erection of light houses, with a vigilant eye. Already their number on our extended sea coast amounts to thirty-one...
Those lighthouses, listed north to south, were in a statement "shewing" expenses:
New Hampshire: Portsmouth; Massachusetts: Boston, Nantucket, Nantucket Beacon, Cape Roge [Cape Pogue], Thatcher's Island, Plum Island, Plymouth, Seguin Island [now in Maine], Baker's Island, Cape Cod, Wigwam Point [Annisquam], Gayhead; Rhode Island: Newport; Connecticut: New London, Faulkner's Island, Lynde's Point; New York: Montauk, Sandy Hook, Eaton's Neck; Delaware: Cape Henlopen; Virginia: Cape Henry, Smith's Point, Old Point Comfort; North Carolina: Cape Fear, Cape Hatteras, Shell Castle [off Ocracoke Island]; South Carolina: Charleston, George Town; Georgia: Tybee.
In 1811 Winslow Lewis won a contract to outfit all U.S. lighthouses with his patented lighting system, which was a cheap imitation of the Argand system used in Europe (an example of the need for international copyright protection). He listed 45--in no discernible order, whether geographical, alphabetical or financial:

New Bedford
Gay Head
Cape Page [Cape Pogue]
Chatham, 2 lights
Cape Cod
Plymouth, 2 lights
Baker Island, 2 lights
Cape Ann
Wigwam Point
Newburyport, 2 lights
Franklin Island
West Quoddy
St. Simonds
Sapelo Island
Charleston, S.C.
Georgetown, S.C.

Cape Fear
Cape Lookout
Cape Henry
Cape Hatteras
New Point Comfort
Old Point Comfort
Smith’s Point
Cape Henlopen
Sandy Hook
Montauk Point
Little Gull Island
Eaton’s Neck
New London
Faulkner’s Island
Lynde Point
Five Mile Point
Fair Weather Point
Watch Hill
Point Judith
Wood Island

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Building St. George Reef Lighthouse: "The Dragon"

Left: St. George Reef, from California & Hawaii Lighthouses: Illustrated Map & Guide, coming in summer 2012.

St. George Reef Lighthouse, in the Pacific about 8 miles NW of Crescent City, CA , remains a marvel of engineering. The construction superintendent was Alexander Ballantyne, who in late 1880 completed the light station at Tillamook Rock, OR (aka "Terrible Tillie") in just 575 days. He brought the job in under budget, which must have brought great joy to the perpetually underfunded Light-House Board.

Perhaps the Board and Congress thought Ballantyne would repeat his performance at Northwest Seal Rock, as the site was originally called. (Later it became known as "The Dragon.") Instead the project ground on from April 1883 to November 1891, delayed by storms and rough seas; but most of all by Congressional penny-pinching.

From Ancient & Modern Light-Houses by David Porter Heap: View from the South-West, showing the Rock as it appeared at the end of the Working Season, and the Method of Landing Men from the Schooner “La Ninfa”.

In a final report dated Jan. 1, 1893, Ballantyne wrote:
In four years only one working season of about one hundred working days was utilized advantageously on the rock. During a part of this four years other attempts were made to work on the rock, but on account of small and insufficient appropriations expensive plant had to lie hired, property and plant which we had and which for lack of appropriations could not be used, deteriorated by exposure, rot, and rust, all of which combined to make the first four years of the work unduly expensive.
Ballantyne also reported:
The weather this season [1889] was more severe than in 1888, but rather an improvement over 1887. The men's quarters, although strongly built, were smashed in during a gale about 2 o'clock one morning in May. No one was injured, but some of the men were washed out of their bunks.
To get a further idea of the horrendous working conditions, here are passages from
Ancient & Modern Light-Houses by Major David Porter Heap, Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army (Ticknor & Co., Boston, 1888):
There was much parting of lines and tackle, and the men often had to be taken hastily off the rock just after they had been put on, but in spite of many narrow escapes and some dangerous accidents, there was no serious injury to any one. Work on the north low bench was the most difficult, though it was twenty-five feet above the sea; the men there were almost constantly drenched with spray, and hardly a day passed when the sea did not break upon it at high water.

During a gale on the 29th and 30th of September [1883] stones, over a ton in weight, which had been rolled overboard from this bench, were swept like chips up along its whole length and over again on the east end. On September 10, while two quarrymen were drilling a hole on the lee side, just below the top of the rock, a tremendous sea swept completely over it, washing them down the steep south slopes nearly thirty feet, where they fortunately lodged on the south bench, none the worse save for a few bruises.

Breeches buoy, from Ancient & Modern Light-Houses

At first the men were hauled to and fro singly in a breeches-buoy, but the cage was found much more convenient as it permitted the transport of at first four, and later of six men at a time, and allowed them to easily extricate themselves should any accident happen. The whole arrangement worked perfectly, and by the aid of the engine a round trip, taking off six men, and return, could be made in three minutes. The shore end of the cable being some sixty feet above the sea, and the lowest point of its curve not over fifteen feet, the cage, when released from the rock ran down this slope with great speed. Taking advantage of this, and standing by to haul in with the engine, the men were often taken on board dry, when every sea went over the low part of the cable; such confidence did they gain in this moans of retreat that they did not think of leaving the work till the sea began to run continuously over all the working levels; then, lashing their tools to ring-bolts prepared for the purpose, the cage was put in use and in twenty minutes all hands would be in safety. But one accident occurred with it, and that was the parting of the traveller-rope in a heavy sea just as four men were being swung off the rock, but, luckily, they had only started, and so fell unharmed on the east bench. Whenever the sea would permit, the men were taken to and from the rock in a surf-boat to save the costly item of water and also time. It was extraordinary to see how, little by little, they became more venturesome, till, at the end, they would jump out one by one from the boat, holding to a life-line from the rock, with the sea rising and falling fully fifteen feet on the nearly vertical east face.

Monday, November 7, 2011

All Hands Lost in Buffalo (1913); Lighthouse Reopens (2011)

Buffalo, Light Vessel No. 82, in Buffalo Harbor (Michael Vogel Collection).

From the Lighthouse Board Annual Report of 1914:
On November 10, 1913, Light Vessel No. 82, on Buffalo Light Vessel Station, was wrecked in storm and sunk in Lake Erie near her station, with her entire crew of six men. The vessel was valued at $50,000.
Read the story of LV 82 at

The good news is that the Buffalo Lighthouse, which was closed after the Sept. 11 attacks, has been restored and reopened to the public. Here's the story:

Lighthouse restored, open to public:

Monday, October 31, 2011

Postcard from Stella DuBois

Postcard of New Canal Lighthouse, New Orleans, from Klaus Hülse's website of vintage lighthouse and light vessel images from around the world. (Don't visit unless you have time to spare; before we knew it an hour had gone by--and we only looked at US lighthouses.)

Caption: Light House, West End, New Orleans, La.


N.O. 18 Jan. 1906
Chère cousine--Merci beaucoup de votre jolie carte et de vos bons souhaits. Tous deux m'ont fait grand plaisir--Stella

Translation: Dear [female] cousin--Many thanks for your pretty card and for your good wishes. They both gave me great pleasure--Stella

Stella DuBois Kowalski would have been born in the 1920s. But we can imagine that she was named after her grandmother, who left Belle Reve for a winter jaunt to New Orleans.

New Canal Lighthouse which appears out of plumb in the picture above, was badly damaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and collapsed in November 2005. The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation is seeking donations for rebuilding.

Monday, October 24, 2011

New Lighthouse for Rondout Creek, NY or Inside the Congressional Sausage Factory

Rondout Creek Light by Diana Hertz, from U.S. Lighthouses Illustrated Map & Guide. Available as a giclée print; contact Bella Terra to order.

Below are excerpts from Feb. 1910 proceedings of the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce of the 61st Congress, chaired by Illinois Republican James R. Mann, author of the (in)famous Mann Act. Congressman George W. Fairchild (R, NY) had introduced a bill for the lighthouse two years previously, requesting $20,000 less (see Feb. 1908 Kingston Daily Freeman clipping here).

Maybe we've been reading too many old documents, but we were amused by the exchange between Frederick Clement Stevens (R-MN), William Henry Stafford (R, WI), Admiral Marix (photo) and Colonel William E. Craighill (Army Corps of Engineers) at the end.

NB: Kingston is across the Hudson River from Bella Terra World HQ.

February 1, 1910.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that a light-house and fog-signal station be established at the mouth of Rondout Creek, Hudson River, State of New York, together with a suitable building, under the direction of the Light-House Board, and that the sum of fifty thousand dollars, or so much thereof as maybe necessary, be, and the same is hereby, appropriated therefor out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated.

Statement of Hon. George W. Fairchild, A Representative From The State of New York.
I desire to present to the committee the matter of the proposed light-house at the mouth of Rondout Creek, in the Hudson River, and I should like to have Captain Van Keuren. who is present with me, make a statement relative to the same...

Statement Of Capt. W. S. Van Keuren
...A good many years ago they built a light-house at Rondout Creek, which is now maintained by the Government, but which has...become absolutely obsolete....

...the channel of the creek has been changed by a government survey and diked, so that as the present light-house stands it is absolutely of no use; nobody pays any attention to it; the only protection we have there to get in and out of that creek is a stake light on the upper side, which is some 1,200 or 1,300 feet from the present light-house, which stands in only about 4 feet of water, and if a boat attempted to be guided by it, it would be sure to go aground....

The volume of business in a day at Rondout immense. The largest steamboat ownership on the Hudson River has its headquarters in Rondout Creek. We have all sorts of interests there that produce marine commerce—coal, bluestone, cement, and various other things.... And to get into the creek, at the town of Kingston, they have to go at least three-quarters of a mile after they leave the river proper, and in getting into this creek they are guided by this stake light...which is but a small lantern....

Mr. Stevens. Is there any navigation at night?

Captain Van Keuren. Yes, a great deal; we have boats coming in and out at all times.... We now want a light-house there with a fog bell and a flash light, in order that people will not have to lie outside, whether it be a tow, a passenger vessel, or the ferry. A ferry runs there after dark. And for three months in the year the light is not available at all, for the reason that they can not get to the light-house to light that light, and can not get to this stake light unless some different means are provided on account of the ice.

The Chairman. Just where is Rondout Creek?

Captain Van Keuren. It is 16 miles north of Poughkeepsie... It is the water front of the city of Kingston...

The Chairman. Mr. Fairchild, may I ask you a question? You introduced the bill originally for $40,000 and subsequently introduced one for $50,000?

Mr. Fairchild. Yes, sir.

The Chairman. Was there any examination made, so far as you know, as to the cost, except this report of the Light-House Board or their statement?

Mr. Fairchild. That is the only statement so far as I know. I took the matter up with them and they told me that $30,000 would be insufficient, and therefore I reintroduced the bill and called for $50,000.

Mr. Stevens. Now, we have a bill to erect a light-house and fog-signal station at Rondout Creek, Hudson River, New York. Have you given any consideration to that bill?

Admiral Marix. I think we made a report on that.

Mr. Stevens. I can not find any report on that.

Admiral Marix. On February 12 the Assistant Secretary addressed a letter to Representative Mann in regard to this bill, and stated that the proposed light and fog signal would be a good adjunct to the navigation of the Hudson River. It is apparent from the locality that the construction of the dike at Rondout, extending about a quarter of a mile toward deep water, has diminished the usefulness of the main light at this point, and in fact the light will not now serve to mark the entrance, to indicate the channel. He then went on to state that the increasing importance of Rondout and the growing river trade have rendered it necessary, and recommends that an appropriation be made for the establishment of the main light to be established on Boon Point, immediately outside of the end of the present dike, and that it be provided with a fog bell. It is estimated that $50,000 mentioned in the bill will cover such a structure rather than $30,000.

Mr. Stafford. Why was $30,000 mentioned in that connection?

Admiral Marix. They thought they could build it where the present dike was, but these dikes extend out into the river and make a more expensive structure necessary.

Mr. Stafford. What is the reason for putting a fog bell there rather than a fog horn?

Colonel Craighill. The bell is sufficient up there. The river is narrow, you know; and the bell is cheaper, and it does not disturb the neighbors as much, either.

Mr. Stafford. I was thinking that it was more a convenience to the dwellers rather than an aid to navigation.

Admiral Marix. It is a secondary bell. A fog signal is much better, of course, but it is more expensive.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Lights Kept Burning in the Civil War

From National Almanac and Annual Record for the Year 1864:

All the lights on the coast of the United States from Cape Henry, Virginia (entrance to Chesapeake Bay), to the Rio Grande, Texas, except those at Naval Hospital (Norfolk), Craney Island Shoal, Cape Hatteras and Beacon, Ocracoke, Cape Lookout, N.W. Point, Royal Shoal, Roanoke Marshes, Brant Island Shoal Light-Vessel, Long Shoal Light-Vessel, Croatan Light-House, Wade’s Point Light-House, Martin’s Industry Light-Vessel, Carysfort Reef, Dry Bank, Sand Key, Key West, Dry Tortugas, Pensacola, Ship Island, Chandeleur Island, Merrill’s Shell Bank, Pleasanton’s Island, West Rigolets, Port Pontchartrain, New Canal, Pass à L’Outre, South Pass, Head of Passes, and Southwest Pass, have been extinguished or destroyed by lawless persons during the past year, but will be relighted as soon as practicable after being repossessed by the Government. The lights above named are now in operation.
Office Light-House Board, Washington City,

July 1, 1863.

Illustration: Pensacola Light (FL) by Gerald C. Hill, from United States Lighthouses Illustrated Map & Guide.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Creating a Spectacle in the 1870s

Spectacle Reef Light, in northeastern Lake Huron near the Straits of Mackinac, was begun in 1870 and first lit in June 1874. The masonry tower is still considered a feat of engineering. How'd they do it?

Funny you should ask...

From “The Light Houses of the United States” by Charles Nordhoff* in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, March 1874.

The light-house on Spectacle Reef [illustration above], on the coast of Lake Huron, cost $300,000.... The following account of the difficulties encountered in preparing for its construction will give an idea of what natural obstacles have often to be overcome in this kind of building. The account is taken from the official report:

The site of the tower being determined, and the proper soundings and surveys made, a crib ninety-two feet square was built, having a central opening forty-eight feet square to receive the coffer-dam which was to form the pier of protection, as well as the landing-place for materials. This huge crib was floated to its place.

In order to get accurate soundings to guide in shaping the bottom of the crib, and to fix with a degree of certainty the position of these soundings and that to be occupied by the crib, four temporary cribs, each fifteen feet by twenty-five feet, of round timber, were placed in from eight to ten feet of water, in a line corresponding with the proposed eastern face of the pier of protection, and filled to the level of the water with ballast stone. These four cribs were then decked over and connected together. Upon the pier thus formed about seventy cords of ballast stone were placed, ready at the proper time to be thrown into the crib forming the pier of protection.

The lower two complete courses of the pier of protection having been fastened together by screw-bolts, forming a raft, constituting a ground-plan of the pier of protection, were then towed from the harbor where framed to the reef, and moored directly over the position to be occupied by the finished pier. Its position was marked upon the temporary pier referred to above, and soundings taken at intervals of two feet along each timber in the raft, thus obtaining accurate contours of the surface of the reef within the limits of these timbers. The raft was then towed back to the harbor, hauled out upon ways, and by means of wedges of timber the bottom was made to conform to the surface of the reef. The raft, now become the bottom of the pier of protection, was then launched, and additional courses of timber built upon it, until its draught of water was just sufficient to permit its being floated into position on the reef, at which time it was estimated that the top of the pier would be one foot out of water.

The depth of water on the reef at the points to be occupied by the four corners of the pier of protection was found to be as follows: At northeast corner, ten feet six inches; at northwest corner, thirteen feet; at southwest corner, fourteen feet six inches; and at southeast corner, nine feet six inches—the position to he occupied by the pier of protection having been so chosen that the sides would correspond to the cardinal points of the compass. Meanwhile five barges at the harbor had been loaded with ballast stone, making, together with those on the temporary pier at the reef, 290 cords (about 1800 tons) at command, with which to load the pier of protection and secure it to the reef as soon as it should be placed in position.

On the evening of the 18th of July, 1871, every thing being in readiness, and the wind, which had been blowing freshly from the northwest for three days previously, having somewhat moderated, at 8 P.m. the tugs Champion (screw-propeller) and Magnet (side-wheel) took hold of the immense crib and started to tow it to the reef, fifteen miles distant, followed by the Warrington (screw-propeller), having in tow the schooner Belle, the two having on board a working force of 140 men, the tug Stranger (screw-propeller), with barges Ritchie and Emerald, and the tug Hand, with two scows of the Light-house Establishment. The barge Table Rock, with fifty cords of stone on board, was left in reserve at the harbor. The construction scow, with tools, etc., on board, was towed with the crib. At 2 A.M. next morning, six hours after starting, the fleet hove to off the reef, awaiting daylight and the abatement of the wind, which had again freshened up. At 6½ A.M., it having moderated, the pier, with considerable difficulty, was placed in position, and after being secured to the temporary pier and the moorings previously set for the purpose, all hands went to work throwing the ballast stone into the compartments, and by 4 P.M. succeeded in getting into it about 200 cords, or 1200 tons. By this time the wind was blowing freshly, and the sea running so high as to make it necessary to stop work for the time, but early next morning all the reserve stone was put into the compartments.

After the pier was in position the schooner Belle was moored on the reef to serve as quarters for the working force, which proceeded to build up the pier to the required height above water (twelve feet). On the 12th of September the pier had been built up to its full height, and by the 20th of September quarters for the workmen had been completed upon it, which were at once occupied, and the Belle returned to the harbor.

By means of a submarine diver the bedrock within the opening of the pier was then cleared off, and the work of constructing the coffer-dam was taken in hand. The coffer-dam itself consisted of a hollow cylinder, forty-one feet in diameter, composed of wooden staves, each four inches by six, and fifteen feet long. The cylinder was braced and trussed internally, and hooped with iron externally, so as to give it the requisite strength. It was put together at the surface of the water, and when complete was lowered into position on the bed-rock by means of iron screws.
As soon as it rested on the rock (which was quite irregular in contour), each stave was driven down so as to fit as closely as it would admit, and a diver filled all openings between its lower end and the rock with Portland cement. A loosely twisted rope of oakum was then pressed close down into the exterior angle between the coffer-dam and rock, and outside of this a larger rope made of hay. The pumping machinery having meanwhile been placed in readiness, the coffer-dam was pumped dry, and on the same day (14th October) a force of stone-cutters descended to the bottom and commenced the work of leveling off the bed-rock, and preparing it to receive the first course of masonry.

The bed-rock was found to consist of dolomitic limestone, confirming the previous examinations, highest on the western side, toward the deepest water, and sloping gradually toward the eastern. In order to make a level bed for the first course of masonry it was necessary to cut down about two feet on the highest side, involving a large amount of hard labor, rendered more difficult by the water forcing its way up through seams in the rock. But the work was finally accomplished, the bed being as carefully cut and leveled as any of the courses of masonry.

The first course of masonry was then set, completing it on the 27th of October. While setting this course much trouble was caused by the water, already referred to as forcing its way up through seams in the rock, which attacked the mortar-bed. For this reason water was let into the dam every evening, and pumped out next morning, to give the mortar time to harden during the night. This mortar was composed of equal parts of Portland cement and screened siliceous sand. Specimens of it obtained the following spring, after being in place under water for seven months, were quite as hard or harder than either the bed-rock or the stone used in building the tower.
The weather having now become very boisterous, with frequent snow-squalls, often interrupting the work, and the setting of any additional stone requiring the removal of a portion of the most important of the interior braces of the coffer-dam, it was deemed prudent to close the work for the season. This, too, would give ample time for the hardening of the mortar used in bedding the stone, and the concrete used for filling cavities in the bed-rock, as well as the space between the outside of the first course and the coffer-dam, which was solidly filled with concrete to the top of the first course. Therefore the coffer-dam was allowed to fill with water, the process being hastened by boring holes through it to admit the water, and it was secured to prevent its being lifted by the ice during the winter.

The machinery was laid up, and on the last of October all the working force, except two men, was removed. These two men were left to attend to the fourth-order light which had been established on the top of the men's quarters, and the fog-signal, consisting of a whistle attached to one of the steam-boilers. At the close of navigation they were taken off the pier by the lighthouse tender Haze.

The degree of success of this novel coffer-dam may be inferred from the fact that although prepared with pumps of an aggregate capacity of five thousand gallons per minute, not more than a capacity of seven hundred gallons was used, except when emptying the coffer-dam, and then only to expedite the work. Once emptied, a small proportion of this capacity was ample to keep the coffer-dam free from water; and this at a depth of twelve feet of water, on rock, at a distance of nearly eleven miles from the nearest land. Every person connected with the work may well feel a just pride in its success. All the stone which had been delivered at the harbor, consisting of the first five courses (each course two feet thick), having been cut by this time, the work there was also closed.

The season opened a month later in 1872 than in 1871, consequently work was not resumed at the harbor until the 3d of May, and upon the reef until the 20th of the same month. On the 13th of May the ice in the coffer-dam was still a compact mass, of some feet in thickness. Masses of ice still lay on top of the pier itself. As soon as any thing could be done, the ice still remaining was cleared out of the coffer-dam, the machinery put in order, the braces removed from the interior of the coffer-dam, and then the work of setting additional courses began.

The work upon the tower was carried on at such a rate that one entire course of masonry was set, drilled, and bolted complete every three days.

The Spectacle Reef tower was founded upon a rock the highest part of which was ten feet under water.

Photo of Spectacle Reef Light from

*German-born American journalist. Per Wikipedia: Ojai, CA was named after him until WWI anti-German sentiment caused it to be changed.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Scathing News from 1852 Scientific American

Some hot tidbits in the Oct. 2, 1852, issue of Scientific American. (We added paragraph breaks.)

Image: Carysfort Reef Light, by Gerald C. Hill, from Florida Lighthouses Illustrated Map & Guide.
The Fresnel Light and the Old System.
It was well, we think, for the honor of our country and the benefit of our great and rapidly increasing commerce, that the last Congress changed the old Light-house System, and established a new one upon a far superior basis.

Some years ago a Fresnel lens was purchased in France by our old Light-house Board, but so inefficient and careless was said Board, that, after its arrival here, although it cost $10,000* and was intended for the Iron Lighthouse on Carysfort Reef, Florida, it was suffered to remain in the New York Custom House, like a corpse, and was laid among the old lumber and unclaimed baggage.

At last it was sold for old iron and such-like trumpery, nobody about the Custom House having the gumption to know that such a valuable apparatus was anything more than some wheels, pieces of glass, and so on. It was purchased for $300, and no sooner was this done than up awakened the Rip Van Winkles of the Lighthouse Board, and a writ of replevin was issued to reclaim it for the Government, as having been sold by a mistake. This led to a long law suit between the purchasers and the blundering officials; but at last it was obtained by government, and has been taken to Philadelphia, where it was exhibited on the 16th ult., at the monthly meeting of the Franklin Institute, by Lieut. Meade, U. S. Navy, who has put it together for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not it was perfect in all its parts.

It is stated that those who witnessed the exhibition were almost overwhelmed with the mass of concentrated rays, and were nearly blinded. It is a Fresnel of the first magnitude and perfect in all its parts, excepting a few fractures which can easily be repaired and which were caused by the clumsy application of a crow-bar in opening one of the boxes. It will be set up in the Carysfort Light-house, where it should have been long ago, had our light-houses been under better management.** The workmanship is excellent, and all the machinery is beautifully executed.

Miscellaneous News of the Week.
The Fresnel apparatus selected for the light-house on Sand Key, Fla., will be a brilliant flash light of the first magnitude, and may be expected to be lighted by the 1st of June.***
*$10,000 in 1852 would be nearly $260,000 in today's money. Carysfort Reef was finished in 1852, but didn't get a Fresnel lens until 1858. Before then it had the inefficient system of lamps and reflectors patented by Winslow Lewis, who had a sweetheart deal to outfit all U.S. lighthouses. The wrought-iron skeleton tower tower was designed by Lewis's nephew, IWP Lewis, a civil engineer.

**A dig at Stephen Pleasonton, who as 5th Auditor of the Treasury was in charge of lighthouses 1820-1852.

***Navy Lt. George Gordon Meade, who supervised the completion of Carysfort Reef, was sent to finish Sand Key in January 1853. In July its 1st-order Fresnel lens went into service, with a hydraulic lamp designed by Meade. Exactly ten years later he was a victorious major general at the Battle of Gettysburg.

Monday, September 26, 2011

News from 1838: Slave Traders & The American Diver

Consecutive features in the Army & Navy Chronicle of 1838:

SLAVE TRADE.—Her Britannic Majesty's ship Snake captured on the 23d Nov. the Portuguese brig Arraganta, from Gallinas, with 330 slaves; she had lost 140 during her passage, from dysentery. The prize was taken to Montego Bay. The British brig Sapo took off the east end of Jamaica, in the early part of December, a Spanish schooner with 260 Africans on board, and carried her into Port Royal. The British schooner Ringdove [pictured above] arrived at Kingston on the 21st, having taken off Mantanzas, Spanish brigs La Vincedora and Vigilante, with Bogal [in present-day Senegal] negroes on board, and sent them into Havana and Matanzas, where they were given up to the Governor.
EXTRAORDINARY LEAP FROM A SHIP'S MAST —Upward of 100,000 persons lately assembled at the Waterloo Dock at Liverpool, to witness an extraordinary feat by a man named Samuel Scott*, a native of Philadelphia. For a considerable time before the event took place, bets run high, and much doubt and speculation were abroad, the affair being considered a hoax practised by the publicans, to get together a crowd of persons in the neighborhood. At twelve o'clock however, the hero, for so indeed he was, ascended the rigging, and amidst the shouts and cheers of thousands, plunged head foremost into the basin from a height of 193 feet. At half past two he announced another leap which was accomplished without accident. A considerable sum of money was collected among the spectators.

*Samuel Scott (b. 1818) gained renown as "the American diver." His last feat was a dive off London's Waterloo Bridge in 1841, during which he was literally hung by his own noose in front of an incredulous crowd. Then he was known as "the unfortunate American diver," per caption below.

Monday, September 19, 2011

A "Pretty Little" Lost Lighthouse Ballad

In the course of doing research for our forthcoming California & Hawaii lighthouses map, we delved into an engaging and informative book: Ancient and Modern Light-houses, by Major David Porter Heap, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, published in 1889 by Ticknor & Co., Boston.

Appendix C contains the following, which should be of interest to folksong enthusiasts and fans of New Jersey's "Old Barney" (left, by Peter M. Mason, from Mid-Atlantic Lighthouses Illustrated Map & Guide).
Researches as to the origin of words and names have great interest for the philologist, so I append a ballad giving an ingenious explanation how Barnegat Light-house came to be so named, Si non e vero ben trovato.*

Air—"The Pretty Little Rat-Catcher's Daughter."**

In the Bay of Barnegat sailed a jolly, jolly tar,
And he watched like a cat o'er the water,
Till he spied from the main-top-gallant-forward-mlzzen spar
The pretty little light-keeper's daughter.

Then he landed on the land, did this jolly, jolly tar,
And he chased her o'er the sand till he caught her.
Says he, "My pretty miss, I've got to have a kiss
From the pretty little light-keeper's daughter."

But she squealed a little squeal at the jolly, jolly tar,
And said she didn't feel as if she'd ought to;
Then she scooted up the bar and hollered for her ma, —
Oh, the pretty little light-keeper's daughter!

"Sure my name is Barney Flynn," said the jolly, jolly tar,
"And at drinking Holland gin I'm a snorter."
Then a tub of washing-blue—soap suddenly she threw —
Did the mother of the light-keeper's daughter.

"Now, Barney, git!" she spat, at the jolly, jolly tar;
And you bet that Barney gat for the water.
Thus the place from near and far was named by the ma
Of the pretty little light-keeper's daughter.

— Adam Clark.
*Translation: If it's not true, it's a good story.
**See an animated snippet of the original Cockney "air" here.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Live & In Person!

Our Publisher and Mostly Silent Partner will venture out from Bella Terra Publishing World HQ to make rare public appearances next weekend. Please come and say hello.

Saturday, Sept. 24.
[CANCELED due to endless rain]
Lighthouse Day
Stony Point Battlefield State Historic Site

Sunday, Sept. 25, 2-4pm
U. S. Lighthouses Map
Launch Party

Celebrate our Magnum Opus, the United States Lighthouses Illustrated Map & Guide--9 months and buckets of blood, sweat and tea in the making.

At 2:30 Our Publisher will give a presentation on U.S. lighthouse history and mapmaking, followed by a reception. The map and original watercolor prints of Rondout Creek Light, Kingston NY (featured on map; see below), and Stony Point Light (top) by Diana Hertz will be available for sale.

Location: Beacon Institute Gallery, 199 Main Street, Beacon NY.
Event page with directions.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Lighthouse Traveling Libraries

From the February 1885 issue of The Library Journal (still in print, minus The):
From the Christian Union.

Out of our seven hundred and fifty-five lighthouses and twenty-two lightships, fully one-third have each a library of about fifty volumes. The case for the books is so arranged that it "has a double debt to pay." Let it be shut, locked, and laid on its back, and it is a brassbound packing-case, with hinged handles by which it may be lifted ; stand it on a table and open its doors, and it becomes a neat little bookcase, two shelves high, each twenty-one inches long, one adapted to hold ten octavos of the size of a bound volume of the "Century," and the other the right height for holding good-sized twelvemos. As a matter of fact many of these cases contain on the lower shelf ten volumes of bound magazines, and on the upper a judicious selection of biography, history, popular science, and good novels—from twenty-five to thirty volumes, according to thickness. A little space above the second shelf, about an inch and a half high, is utilized on one side by a copy of the New Testament, with Psalms, the octavo pica edition of the Bible Society, and on the other by the octavo edition of the Prayer Book, with hymnal attached, published by the Protestant Episcopal Publishing Society, but now out of print, as the Lighthouse Establishment took up the remainder of the edition.

Each book-case has two doors, opening outward. On the inside of the left-hand door is a manuscript catalogue of the name and number of each book. On the right-hand door is tacked a blank form, properly headed, on which is entered the name of each lighthouse to which the library was sent, together with the date of its arrival and its departure. Among the smaller books is a little blankbook. In this, when a library reaches a station, the name of each reader is entered at the top of a page, and under his name is entered the title of each book he takes out, and the date it is taken and returned. The case is examined by the Lighthouse Inspector on his quarterly round, and its condition is reported. Any reader who loses or injures a book is required to replace it, if possible, in kind, and it is one of the rules that the books shall not be lent from the stations, so that none but actual residents of lighthouses and lightships, the keepers and their families, shall have the use of them.

It is the policy of the Lighthouse Establishment to put a library into every lightship, lighthouse tender, and isolated lighthouse, and to supply the latter in the order of their respective phases of isolation, the work going on simultaneously in each of the fifteen Lighthouse Districts. There are now about 380 such libraries in use, and as each lighthouse has an average of five readers, it can be readily seen how many people are affected.

The coasts of the Atlantic, Pacific, the Gulf of Mexico, the Great Lakes, and the Great Rivers are divided, as before said, into fifteen Lighthouse Districts. Over each district an inspector is placed, who is an experienced officer of the navy. As such, he is responsible for the maintenance of all those aids to navigation in it, and for the discipline of its personnel, including the light-keepers. He visits every light-station quarterly, makes a formal inspection and report as to its condition, and pays each keeper. To care for the buoys and inspect the lighthouses he has a steam tender of some 300 tons. When he visits a lighthouse that has a library he takes it away and replaces it with the one on the tender. Thus each library changes its station quarterly, and four libraries find their way to each station in the course of a year. Among the more than 150 light-stations in one district, about one-third are entitled to the use of libraries, and about fifty book-cases are working their way around among them, and will, in the course of twelve years or so, visit each of these stations. When a library has spent three months at each station in a district it is transferred to the next district. So, under this plan, it is possible that a library may start from the light-station at Eastport, Me., and work its way clear round the coast, stopping at every large lighthouse in every Atlantic and Gulf State to the Mexican frontier; then, after visiting every large lighthouse on the Lakes, finally makes a tour of the lights on the Pacific coast. So the problem is presented, How long will it take for 380 libraries to spend three months each at 4oo different lighthouses?

This system of peripatetic libraries is a growth rather than a creation. One of the lighthouse officers, seeing the avidity with which light-keepers seized on any reading matter that came in their way, sent to individual keepers such spare books and odd magazines as he himself had, and then he pillaged the shelves of his friends for the same purpose. Finally the Lighthouse Board, which had no funds under its control from which it could buy books, found that book-cases could be properly paid for as furniture, and twenty-five of the pattern now used were supplied, it being understood that the books to fill them were to be provided by private funds. Then a systematic raid was made through the press, on everyone within reach, for books, odd numbers of magazines, and paper-covered novels, it having been found that they could be bound at the Government bindery. The friends of seamen responded readily, especially as the Lighthouse Establishment paid the expressage on packages of reading matter received. All was fish which came into the net, and the first twenty-five cases were filled with a mixture of theology, science, mathematics, novels, and odd magazines, and each case was sent to a lighthouse as soon as it was filled.

After awhile the aid of Congress was invoked, as it was found that light-keepers were made more contented and better satisfied with their lot by having reading matter supplied them ; and so it has come to pass that now, each year, the words, "books for light-keepers' reading " find their place among the "oil, wicks, chimneys," and other lighthouse supplies in the Sundry Civil Appropriation Act, which provides for the purpose some $300,000 en bloc, and though no amount is specifically named for books, it is understood that not more than $1000 per year is to be spent for them from this appropriation, and not that much unless it can be spared after every other requisite has been supplied.

Of course no such sum as this would have bought the 19,000 volumes and more now distributed among the lighthouses of the country, if retail prices had been paid for them. The fact is, the officer having charge of the matter made the money go so far that it almost seems as if he had plundered the trade, as he previously had the dear public. Joking aside, he not only was permitted to buy at the lowest rates given the trade itself, but he received large donations of rubbed and unsalable copies of good books in strong, though defaced, binding. These blemishes were hidden by the stout brown paper covers with which all the books were invested.

The earlier filled cases, which contained a mixture of matter, much of which was naturally unattractive to the average light-keeper, have since been somewhat winnowed. Fresh books have been sent the inspectors, with orders to put them into certain cases, in place of books specified by name and number, and to present the books taken out to certain light-keepers. Then, too, when a book is disabled for active use by frequent reading, the inspector may condemn it, and put in its place a volume from the reserve stock sent him for that purpose.

The Lighthouse Board, which has its headquarters at Washington, keeps a watchful eye on these libraries. It has a list of the books in every case, and it keeps up with the changes in their catalogues. It knows at what lighthouse each library is placed, how long it stays, when it got there, when it left, and the condition of its contents when it was taken away. The Board also knows how many times each book is taken out, where, when, and by whom, and how long it was kept out.

The average light keeper is on a plane, as to taste, education, and culture, with the average mechanic. The books provided for him are not always the best for the purpose, but they are the best that could be had under the circumstances, and the Lighthouse Board is to be congratulated on the success it has attained, not only in obtaining books, but in getting light-keepers who will read them.
For more information, including lists of some of the titles in the traveling libraries, see Michigan Lighthouse Conservancy, Milwaukee County Historical Society (photo above right) and Wisconsin Library Heritage Center.

Lighthouse Establishment bookplate (left: Carysfort Reef FL; right: Minot's Ledge MA).

Monday, September 5, 2011

Civil War Lighthouse Report

Lighthouses were key to protecting and controlling shipping, hence they were of vital strategic importance in the Civil War. Confederates dismantled or sabotaged many lighthouses to keep them out of Union hands, with varying success.

Per the 1863 Journal of the Franklin Institute: "this wicked rebellion has extinguished 125 lights [out of 556], many of them of the highest importance."

Below are some noteworthy excerpts from a "report of the operations and condition of the light-house establishment for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1863" submitted to the Secretary of the Treasury:
In the fifth light-house district, embracing the coasts from Metomkin inlet, Virginia, to New River inlet, North Carolina, including Chesapeake bay and tributaries, Albemarle and Pamplico sounds, circumstances have not permitted the board to make many improvements...

The new illuminating apparatus ordered for Cape Hatteras main light, combining the latest and highest improvements, has been placed in its position

The light-houses at Roanoke marshes, northwest point of Royal Shoal, Croatan, Cape Lookout, and Ocracoke [NC] have been refitted and the lights re-exhibited.

The light-house at Wade's Point [NC] was also re-established, but early in May last it was visited by a guerilla force from the main land and again destroyed....

The light-houses at Craney Island shoal, Back river, and Cape Henry [VA] have been repaired, renovated, and refitted, and are now in operation, the important light at Cape Henry being protected from the enemy by a military guard detailed by the general commanding at Fortress Monroe....

A new fog-bell, frame, and machinery has been placed at Old Point Comfort light-house, and extensive general repairs made at that station....

The light-vessels in this district have received careful attention, and with but one or two exceptions have remained securely at their stations. The light-vessel built under contract for Frying Pan shoals, off Cape Fear, North Carolina, has been sent to her station, but the lights have not been exhibited in compliance with the wishes of the naval authorities....

In the sixth light-house district, embracing the coasts from New River inlet, North Carolina, to Cape Canaveral light-house, Florida, inclusive, the same reason which called for a brief summary of operations in the last annual report still exists, i.e., the slow recovery of the territory by the United States military forces.

Congress, at its last session, having made an appropriation for the establishment of range lights to facilitate the entrance into Port Royal harbor, early measures were adopted to secure the designed end. The necessary preliminary examinations were made, the plans and estimates of the engineer approved, and the construction of the buildings completed at Portland, Maine.

When ready they were sent out to Port Royal and put up. These ranges consist of two lights on Hilton Head island, one light on Bay Point, and a light-vessel anchored on Fishing Rip. Through the courtesy of the general commanding the United States forces at Port Royal, the necessary details of soldiers were made to assist in opening a vista through the woods for the inner range on Hilton Head, and by the kindness of the admiral commanding the South Atlantic Gulf squadron, a suitable vessel for Fishing Rip was placed at the disposal of the board. These lights have been completed and lighted, to the great benefit of the increasing commerce seeking that port.

Early in the year a competent engineer was sent to this district to make, as far as possible, a detailed examination into the condition of the light-houses, &c., on this coast, and the damage done by the enemy thereto. He performed the duty confided to him with marked promptitude and ability, and his report conveys the intelligence that the following named lights have been more or less completely destroyed:
  • St. Helena sound [SC] light-house, blown up.
  • Hunting Island [SC], undermined and thrown down.
  • Combahee Bank [SC] light-vessel, removed and burnt.
  • St. Simon's Island [GA] light-house, blown up.
  • Wolf Island [GA] beacons, blown up.
He reported the almost total destruction or removal of the buoys by the enemy, and a large number of suitable sizes and kinds, with the necessary accessories, was promptly forwarded from the buoy depots of the north. Upon their arrival at Port Royal [SC; captured in 1861] they were, as far as required, placed in position under the direction of the officers of the Coast Survey on duty on that station.

In addition to the light-vessel for Fishing Rip [Port Royal Sound, SC], placed at the service of the board, the kindness of Admiral DuPont secured the services of a small schooner, a prize to the naval forces, as a tender for the district. She has been officered, manned, and placed in commission, and has proved of the greatest possible assistance in the performance of various works in the district, such as buoyage, transporting materials, supplies, &c.

The seventh light-house district embraces the coast of Florida from St. Augustine to Egmont key. The lights in this district have been maintained in useful operation.

Cape Florida light has not been re-exhibited. The necessary materials for its repair, and a suitable illuminating apparatus to replace the one destroyed by the enemy, have been provided and stored at Key West, so that the work may be prosecuted to early completion whenever it may be found safe and prudent to do so.

The eighth and ninth light-house districts have received the especial attention of the board, and in view of the many serious difficulties to be overcome in the re-establishment of the various aids to navigation, it has reason to congratulate itself upon having accomplished so much.

The important light at Pensacola has been repaired and re-exhibited, showing temporarily a fourth order, instead of the first order lens, which is allotted to that station, and the placing of which is not deemed advisable until the occupancy of a greater portion of the surrounding country by the United States forces shall have placed the station beyond risk of damage and spoliation.

Extensive repairs to the light-house at Ship island [MS] (whose re-establishment was stated in the last annual report) have been made, and further needful renovations are in progress.

The screw-pile structure at Merrill's Shell Bank [Pass Marianne, LA] was found in measurably good condition. A new illuminating apparatus was provided, the necessary repairs made, and the light re-exhibited.

Pleasanton's island [LA] light-house has been repaired, refitted temporarily, and the light exhibited.
West Rigolets light-house [LA] has been repaired temporarily, and the light reestablished.

The light-houses at Port Pontchartrain, Bayou St. John, and New Canal [LA] have been refitted and the lights put into operation.

Pass à 1'Outre [LA] light-house has been thoroughly repaired, a new keeper's dwelling erected, and the light exhibited.

The old light-house at the head of the Passes [LA] was burned at the commencement of the rebellion. A new structure has been erected, and the light shown.

South Pass and Southwest Pass lights [LA] have been renovated, extensive repairs being made to the latter, and the lights re-exhibited.
Illustration: Price's Creek, NC, lighthouse ruin by Gerald C. Hill, from Southeast Lighthouses Illustrated Map & Guide.

Friday, September 2, 2011

All in a Day's Work for the Lighthouse Service

A hurricane hit the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Sept. 2 & 3, 1913.

With the damage inflicted by Hurricane Irene fresh in our minds, below are some noteworthy excerpts from the Lighthouse Service Annual Report of 1914.

Illustration: Ocracoke Island Light by Gerald C. Hill, from Southeast Lighthouses Illustrated Map & Guide.


Vessel or employee rendering service.

Nature of assistance.

Tillman F. Smith, keeper, Washington, N.C., lighthouse depot.

Saved buoys from going adrift from lighthouse depot in storm.

Daniel T. Paul, laborer in charge, Rumley Marsh Light, N.C.

Recovered lighthouse property after a storm.

Robert H. Bertram, master, Light Vessel No. 80.

Kept light displayed on light vessel with proper characteristics during storm.

Mumford Guynn, keeper, and James O. Casey, assistant keeper, Pamlico Point Light Station, N,C.


Wesley Austin, keeper, Ocracoke Light Station, N.C.

Saved the Government property in his charge and gave shelter to the residents of Ocracoke Island during storm.

John T. Shipp, keeper, and Thomas Quidley, assistant keeper, Neuse River Light Station, N.C.

Saved the Government property in their charge during storm.

Alexander T. Loss, mate, and crew of Light Vessel No. 71. [Stationed at hazardous Diamond Shoal, off Cape Hatteras, torpedoed by a German submarine in 1918.]

Kept light vessel near her station during storm.

Herbert R. Brownley, first officer, tender Juniper.

Rendered assistance to 3 men on board the power boat which had become disabled near Beaufort Inlet, N.C.

Tender Maple, Thomas J. Miles, commanding.

Took wrecked schooner in tow and beached her on Cedar Point, Md.

Randolph Scarborough, master, Light Vessel No. 80 and crew.

Efficient service in handling light vessel and quickly returning her to station after she had parted moorings in hurricane.