Rare Photo of Female Lighthouse Keeper in Uniform
Craig Durgan sent us this photo of his great grandfather Edward Durgan (1858-1919) that was taken at Semiahmoo Harbor Lighthouse, which once stood near Blaine, Washington. Shown with him is his wife Estelle who was the mother of 13 children and was the assistant keeper at the lighthouse. If you look closely, you will notice that Estelle is wearing a lighthouse keeper’s uniform, which is rare in itself. Photos of women lighthouse keepers wearing a Lighthouse Service uniform are almost nonexistent. Women lighthouse keepers almost never wore a uniform. Before coming to Semiahmoo Harbor Lighthouse, Durgan had served at Turn Point Lighthouse, Patos Island lighthouse, and Coquille River Lighthouse. This photo was taken shortly before his death on March 21, 1919 when he suffered either a heart attack or a cerebral hemorrhage while hoisting the boat up on the davits to the light station’s deck. Estelle then assumed the position of head keeper. In 1951 their daughter, Helene Glidden, wrote the book The Light on the Island, which was a fictional book, based on fact, of the sometimes harrowing life on a remote island lighthouse.
Gone But Not Forgotten
In 1944 the Coast Guard, as part of an austerity program, demolished the 1909 Semiahmoo Lighthouse that stood on the eastern part of Semiahmoo Bay near the Canadian border in Blaine, Washington. (Lighthouse Digest archives.)
Beams of Hope
Florida’s Amelia Island Lighthouse sends out its beams of hope for a troubled world. The 1838 Amelia Island Lighthouse is located at the entrance to the St. Mary’s River in Fernandina Beach, Florida. This beautiful photograph was taken by Harry Pettit.
Before Electric Lights
In the days before electricity, the lighthouse keepers had to use a lantern to light their way up the pitch- dark spiraling stairs of the tower to check on the beacon in the lantern. This staged photo, taken at Maine’s Seguin Island Lighthouse, was taken on the same night when this month’s cover photo was taken by Pete Lerro of www.LerroPhotography.com.
Fog Horns at Point Judith
Dave Dewhurst shared his recent find of the twin steam-powered fog horns at the Point Judith Lighthouse in Rhode Island. From other photos found with the group, the photo is believed to be circa 1910-1915. The photo helps interpret the history of the lighthouse. If you discover old photos of lighthouses at yard sales or antique shops, we ask that you share them with us to help preserve the history. High resolution images can be e-mailed to Editor@LighthouseDigest.com.
2000 Year Old Mosaic
While visiting Italy last year, Lighthouse Digest subscriber Stephen Cloonan discovered this lighthouse mosaic at the archeological site of Ostia Antica, which was a port city of ancient Rome. It was here that he discovered this mosaic of a lighthouse that was authorized by Emperor Claudius (41-54AD), which means that this lighthouse mosaic could be 2,000 years old!
Close Up of Twin Lenses
Shane Daniel Wright, a Trinity House Deck Cadet, sent us this rare close-up photo of the 3rd order catadioptric spectacle lenses in the lantern of the Longstone Lighthouse on Longstone Rock, one of the Staple Islands on the northeast coast of England. Built in 1826, the Longstone Lighthouse is notable because of the famous rescue that took place there in 1838 by lighthouse keeper William Darling and his daughter Grace. The action made Grace Darling famous.
Lighthouse Digest subscriber Mike Oliviere found this old post card that shows a replica of California’s Old Point Loma Lighthouse that had been made from ice. Because it had a sign on the front of it that said “San Diego County,” it may have been built for a state fair or perhaps even a national exhibition of some kind. However, we have no idea when and where this replica of Old Point Loma Lighthouse was used. Perhaps one of our readers has the answer.
This story appeared in the
Jan/Feb 2016 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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