Digest>Archives> Nov/Dec 2021

Forgotten Lamp Lighter

A History Mystery


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This image, with its accompanying caption, appeared in the September 5, 1926 edition of the Courier Journal newspaper of Louisville, Kentucky, as part of a full-page story titled “Unsung Heroism of Lighthouse Keepers.” With the exception of this image, the story dealt mostly with the common stories about well-known lighthouses and lighthouse life.

To sensationalize the story, it also had a dramatic sub-headline to entice one into reading the story, which stated, “Danger and Hardship Faced by Men and Women Who Show the Way to Safety Over Storm Swept Seas.”

The caption claims that Elizabeth Greene was the keeper of America’s smallest lighthouse at the entrance to Kinse Cove on the coast of Maine, which, as shown in the image, probably meant that she was a lamplighter of a post light that had to be lighted every night and extinguished every morning.

There were once many small post lights in the United States and there is no way that one of them could have been listed as “America’s smallest lighthouse,” especially since it was not an actual lighthouse.

We have been unable to locate a Kinse Cove in Maine, or a record of Elizabeth Greene as an employee of the U.S. Lighthouse Service. Perhaps one of you has the answer. If so, we’d love to hear from you to help solve this “History Mystery.”

This story appeared in the Nov/Dec 2021 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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