This past August 31st commissioned metal artist Dawn Barr and local citizens unveiled a sculpture of Anna Garrity who was a lighthouse keeper at Michigan’s 1840 Old Presque Isle Lighthouse.
Debbie Trelfa, who spearheaded the funding and vision for the project, said, “I thought we should honor a woman lighthouse keeper as we had honored men in the past, so we organized a large garage sale and received private donations from two anonymous individuals to cover the cost of Dawn Barr’s commission. We are exceptionally pleased with the final sculpture and even more thrilled that it was created by a woman artist,” boasted Ms. Trelfa.
Ms. Barr estimates the steel sculpture took approximately 250 hours to construct. It weighs over 400 pounds and is six feet tall. Dawn has been working in metal art for seven years and completed her first lighthouse keeper sculpture of Patrick Garrity, Anna’s father, in 2012.
“After the tremendous toll the Patrick Garrity sculpture took on my body, (including a broken wrist), I vowed never to do another large sculpture again,” said Barr. She continued by saying, “When Debbie Trelfa approached me about creating Patrick’s daughter Anna, I initially declined. However, Debbie is very persistent. The more I thought about the project, and what it was like to be a woman at that light station in the early 1900s, the more I wanted to do the sculpture as a tribute to her and her dedication to the Lighthouse Service. I hope that this work will honor her memory and encourage other women to persevere,” expressed Barr.
The unveiling ceremony was held in conjunction with the Annual Township Picnic in Garrity Hall at the New Presque Isle Lighthouse.
This story appeared in the
Sep/Oct 2013 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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