Arlington National Cemetery recently honored famous lighthouse heroine Ida Lewis as the very first woman to have a street named after her at the cemetery’s new $82 million section of the cemetery. Previously, all streets named at the cemetery were named after men. However, the honor is more of a symbolic gesture as the average person visiting the cemetery will never know that the street is named after a woman. That’s because only last names are used on the signs.
Ida Lewis, born as Idawalley Lewis on February 15, 1842, took over her father’s duties at the Lime Rock Lighthouse in Newport, Rhode Island in 1857 after he suffered a stroke at the lighthouse. Although her mother, Zoradia Walley Lewis, was appointed keeper in 1872, Ida Lewis performed many of the lightkeeping duties. Ida was officially appointed the keeper of the light in 1879 and served until 1911. Credited with saving many lives, she is one of the most celebrated female keepers in U.S. lighthouse history. In 1924, in her honor, the name of the Lime Rock Lighthouse was changed to the Ida Lewis Rock Lighthouse.
This story appeared in the
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