Digest>Archives> July 2010

Book reviews

Lighthouses of the Golden State

By Timothy Harrison


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It’s hard for us to image in this day and age that many of California’s lighthouses were once considered remote locations. It’s also hard to believe that California, our third largest state, had as few lighthouses as it did. But the ones they had all have great stories associated with them about why they were built, how they were built and the hardships experienced by the people who built them and their early keepers.

The book, Lighthouses of the Golden State, California’s Shining Beacons, by Kent Weymouth provides the reader with a concise history of California’s lighthouses that does not bore the reader with the inconsequential details that some lighthouse books tend to do. Weymouth keeps the text flowing in a way that encourages the reader to read the full chapter on each lighthouse before flipping the pages to the next lighthouse.

It is obvious from Weymouth’s web site, www.CALIGHTS.net, which is a companion to the book, that he did his homework on the book before writing and publishing it.

However, it was disappointing not to see more historic photos of the lighthouses in the book, especially since they are available on the book’s web site. Adding a few more pages with historical images would have surely enhanced the book. Additionally, the book should have included more photos of lighthouse keepers to give the reader a more personal attachment to the lighthouses, which, without the keepers and their memories, are nothing but cold architecturally significant historic structures.

However, the book is well researched, well written and we believe this book is a “must have” for any lighthouse aficionado or anyone interested in California’s maritime history. Although I wish the book would have given us a little more, I can assure you that you will not be disappointed in your purchase of the book.

Lighthouses of the Golden State by Kent Weymouth is available for $19.95, plus shipping, from www.LighthouseDigest.net or by calling (207) 259-2121 or at P.O. Box 250, East Machias, ME 04630.

This story appeared in the July 2010 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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