A renewed spirit was breathed into the memory of lighthouse Keepers with the launch of the Ida Lewis, the lead vessel of the U.S. Coast Guard's Keeper class of coastal buoy tenders.
For a brief moment, it seemed time stood still as an actress portraying Ida Lewis came via horse drawn carriage to the shipyard at Marinette Marine Corporation, in Marinette, Wisconsin, to witness the launching of the new vessel.
Ida Lewis took over as Keeper at Rhode IslandÕs Lime Rock Lighthouse, after her father's stroke in 1858, and served until her death in October 1911.
At the launching ceremonies U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak said. "As Ida Lewis risked her life for others, it seems only fitting that the most important mission of this ship we're launching is search and rescue." Ida Lewis is credited for many historic rescues and numerous articles were written about her making her a legend in her own time.
The next three Keeper class vessels to be built by Marinetta Marine and named after famous lighthouse Keepers will be the Katherine Walker, the Marcus Hanna and the Anthony Pettit.
This story appeared in the
February 1996 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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