Master and Keeper
Shown here is Andrew Jackson Sandsbury (1830-1902) who was the Master of the South Shoals Lightship from 1867 to 1869 and again from 1872 to 1892, and then he was the lighthouse keeper of the Brant Point Lighthouse on Nantucket Island from 1892 to 1898. Note the emblem on his hat was the old style pin that featured a granite style lighthouse tower with a crossed spar and whistling buoy.
The Ravages of War
If you look very closely, you will notice a large number of people standing on the outside walkway about half the way up the tower of the1838 Cap Ferrat Lighthouse at the southern tip of the French Rivera on the Mediterranean Sea near Nice, France. Little could these spectators have realized, as they watched in awe a newfangled flying machine give a demonstration, that the day would come when the world would be thrown into two world wars that would cost millions of lives and destroy the lighthouse, which happened in the Second World War. Although the first Cap Ferrat Lighthouse is now but a memory saved in a few old photographs, at the conclusion of the war it was rebuilt and stands today as a monument to saving the lives of those at sea.
At Michigan Island
Shown here are children playing on the dock in 1901 at Michigan Island Lighthouse in Lake Superior, Wisconsin. They might have been the children of Charles Brown, who served as the keeper at the 1857 tower from 1898 to 1902.
Surrounded by Big Guns
The Fort Point Lighthouse guarding San Francisco Bay is shown here surrounded by 32-pounder sea coast cannons atop Fort Point in San Francisco, California. Although the days of the lighthouse keepers and soldiers here are long gone, what remains is now a National Historic Site.
Cleaning the Lens
Ray E. Dunson, shown here cleani+ng the 4th order Fresnel lens at Alki Point Lighthouse in Seattle, Washington, spent most of his life living at lighthouses. His father Joseph, was a lighthouse keeper, and he followed in his father’s footsteps. Ray Dunson was the keeper at Alki Point Lighthouse from 1920-1923. During his career, he also served at Cape Arago Lighthouse, Smith Island Lighthouse, Yaquina Head Lighthouse, and Mukilteo Lighthouse.
Appointed by President Lincoln
In 1861, President Abraham Lincoln appointed Benjamin Ellsworth as the lighthouse keeper of the Ipswich Range Lighthouses in Ipswich, Massachusetts. He would remain at the Ipswich Range Lighthouses until his death in 1902 at the age of 89. For a number of years, he was believed to be the oldest serving keeper in the United States. In one photo, he is shown on the walkway at Ipswich Range Lights and on the other photo he is shown on the deck of one of the early range lights, standing in the middle, with another lighthouse keeper to his right along with another man, who was perhaps a laborer.
This story appeared in the
May/Jun 2018 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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