Alexander Hamilton and Lighthouses

Source: Record Group 26, National Archives, Waltham, Massachusetts (Click on image for larger version.)

Source: Record Group 26, National Archives, Waltham, Massachusetts (Click on image for larger version.)

While working in my digital research library, I recently revisited several letters written by the Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton. As you know, the Secretary of Treasury oversaw lighthouses in the early years of the new republic, with frequent oversight from President Washington.

These letters were written to Benjamin Lincoln, the first customs collector in Boston, who, as the letters indicate, became the first superintendent of lighthouses for the state of Massachusetts. Copied from Record Group 26 during a 2001 visit to the Boston Regional Branch of the National Archives, the first letter is dated March 10, 1790, and the second July 14, 1790. In the March 10th communication Hamilton described Lincoln’s new duties as “keeping in good repair the Light houses, beacons, buoys and public piers in your State, and for the furnishing of same with necessary supplies.”

The letter also instructed Lincoln to confirm the appointments of four keepers who were already keeping the lights at Boston Harbor, Cape Ann, “Plumb” Island, and Nantucket. Hamilton mentioned the “widow of the late General Warren” as keeping the lights at Plymouth. I believe he was actually referring to Hannah Thomas, widow of John Thomas. When General John Thomas went off to fight in the Revolution he left his wife Hannah in charge of the twin lights at the entrance to Plymouth Harbor. Our book Women Who Kept the Lights begins with a chapter on Hannah, the first known female lighthouse keeper in the U.S. The July 14 letter shown here indicates that Hannah’s son John Thomas, Jr., received the appointment at Plymouth. He set their salaries based on what the Colony of Massachusetts had been paying them. The Boston keeper received $400, Plymouth $240, Cape Ann $400, Plumb Island $220, and Nantucket $250.

In his correspondence to Lincoln, Hamilton also touches on Portland Head, then part of Massachusetts. That lighthouse was under construction when the letter was written. Photo copyright Candace Clifford

Here is the March 10th letter in PDF format: Hamilton’s letter of March 10 1790

Candace Clifford, May 9, 2015

U.S. Revenue Cutter Service Celebrates 225th Anniversary

Copy of letter from Alexander Hamilton authorizing the construction of five revenue cutters. National Archives, Record Group 26 Entry 143

Copy of letter from Alexander Hamilton to Philadelphia Customs Collector regarding construction of early revenue cutters. National Archives, Record Group 26 Entry 143A (Click on image to view larger version)

As most of you know the U.S. Coast Guard is an amalgamation of five agencies–the Revenue Cutter Service, the Life-Saving Service, the Lighthouse Service, the Steamboat Inspection Service, and the Bureau of Navigation. Established as the Revenue-Marine Service in the Department of the Treasury under Secretary Alexander Hamilton on August 4, 1790, the Revenue Cutter Service collected taxes and tariffs, enforced maritime laws, and suppressed piracy.

The Revenue Cutter Service also frequently worked with the early Lighthouse Establishment. Before acquiring vessels to tend lighthouses and other aids to navigation (primarily buoys) the Lighthouse Establishment often relied on revenue cutters to assist them in this work.

As the number of aids to navigation increased during the first half of the 19th century, it became apparent that the lighthouse service could no longer rely on revenue cutters to willingly perform tasks associated with tending buoys. In addition to contracting pilots and other mariners to take charge of these responsibilities, Pleasonton acquired two sailing vessels to help with this work thus confining the duties of cutter officers “to an occasional examination of the Light Houses.” (National Archives RG 26 Entry 17K, 1843)

Completed in 1854 Seahorse Key Lighthouse was designed and constructed under the district lighthouse engineer Lt. George Meade of the U.S. Army Topographical Engineers. (National Archives photo)

Completed in 1854 Seahorse Key Lighthouse was designed and constructed under the district lighthouse engineer Lt. George Meade of the U.S. Army Topographical Engineers. (National Archives photo)

Stephen Pleasonton, administrator of lighthouses from 1820 to 1852, depended on revenue cutter captains for reports on conditions at the stations and the effectiveness of their lights in aiding navigation since local lighthouse superintendents had little opportunity to view the lights they oversaw. In 1851 Captain RIchard Evans of the U.S. Revenue Cutter Campbell was called upon to recommend a site for a potential lighthouse along the gulf coast of Florida.

Seashore Key, the south one of a group called Cedar Keys, appears to have been formed by nature as a site for a Light House, having a high bluff on its southern extremity about 30 feet above the level of the sea, from which a shoal extends southwest fifteen miles and deep sandings close to it, thereby rendering approach in the night dangerous. I understand that the Cedar Keys have considerable commerce, being the depot for cotton brought down the Suwanee River amtg. to over 3000 bales per ann., and on the increase. I would therefore recommend a Light House on said Key, and would add in my opinion that the Lantern should be 100 ft. above the level of the sea. (National Archives RG 26 Entry 35)

1922 radio address lores

Edward Clifford (seated) gives radio address to commemorate the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service’s birthday on August 4, 1922.

 

On a more personal note, my grandfather, Edward Clifford, oversaw Coast Guard activities as a Treasury Department official almost a century ago. (This was before the Coast Guard oversaw lighthouses.) I occasionally come across his correspondence while working on projects in the National Archives. Recently I came across a script of a radio address he made on August 4, 1922, commemorating this anniversary. I had a family photo of him giving the address so was delighted to find a copy of his remarks.

On August 4, 1790, George Washington, President of the United States, approved an Act which included, among other provisions, authorization for the construction of not exceeding ten revenue cutters and specified how the cutters should be officered and manned and what should be the compensation of their officers, mariners, and boys. This was an Act of the second session of the First Congress and it is of interest to note that this entire session was held in the city of New York.

After the freedom of the American colonies had been won through the War of the Revolution the Continental Navy was disbanded. There was then no sea force available for the protection of the coasts and the maritime interests of the newly constituted United States until the organization of the Revenue-Cutter Service, effected under this Act of August 4, 1790. The cutters formed the only armed force afloat belonging to the young Republic until a Navy was authorized a few years later. The officers of the first cutters were appointed largely from the officers who had served in the old Continental Navy. It is interesting to know that the first commission granted by President Washington to any officer afloat was issued to Captain Hopley Yeaton of New Hampshire in the Revenue-Cutter Service.

August 4, 1790, was, therefore, the birthday of the Revenue-Cutter Service which was merged, in 1915, with the Life-Saving Service to form the United States Coast Guard. So, today, August 4, 1922, we are observing the 132rd birthday anniversary of the Coast Guard.

It is a source of gratification to me that there has been issued a General Order directing that August 4th shall be observed each year as a holiday in the Coast Guard. It is a wise thing for us all to pause occasionally and reflect and take an account of stock as it were; to recall the past, to contemplate the present, and to anticipate the future with hope, confidence and zeal; and a birthday seems a most appropriate time in which to do this.

The dominant thought in your minds today should be an intense pride in the long and honorable record of the Service. The Coast Guard is no mushroom growth. Founded at the very outset of our national history, it has served the country faithfully and well for 132 years, in peace and in war. The Service has played a distinguished part in every war in which this country has been engaged, with the exception only of the War with Tripoli; and, with a notable military history, it has also established a record that is unequaled for humanitarian accomplishment in affording succor to those in distress at sea. It has behind it a long and honorable past before many of the public eye were even dreamed of. The Service was an arm of the Government when the young Republic, just setting out on its career of destiny, had yet to convince the World of its permanence; it played its part through all the vicissitudes of our national growth until today when it is a valuable and highly respected instrumentality of the greatest nation that the world has ever seen.

I will not attempt to recount now anything of the history of the Coast Guard. Officers of the Coast Guard should know the history and traditions of the Service and should see that the men under their command are conversant with them. It seems to me that it must be a source of great pride and satisfaction to any officer or man to consider that he belongs to a military organization with such an exceptionally long and honorable record of accomplishment, with such traditions and with such high standards of duty. There is not, to my knowledge, any other organization under our Government which may so properly and accurately be called “The Peace and War Service.” It is also the “Silent Service” whose record and work are not known as widely throughout the land as they should be.

There is just one danger to an organization that lies in the possession of a long and distinguished history and that is the temptation for the personnel of today to rest content with what has been accomplished, to view with complacency the standing of, and respect for, the Service that their predecessors have won, and to feel that there is no great necessity to endeavor to add thereto. I am pleased to say that I have seen no tendency of this sort in the Coast Guard and I trust that such will never exist. We must not rely solely on our past record but must go forward. Today we may contemplate with pride and extreme satisfaction the proud record of the past. Tomorrow we must set our faces resolutely to the front with an earnest determination that the Coast Guard shall attain even higher standards of accomplishment and be even more efficient in wider fields of usefulness to the nation. (Source: National Archives RG 26 Entry 97A-1)

The U.S. Coast Guard was a very young agency when these remarks were written; this year they celebrate 100 years as a service, or should it be 225?

Candace Clifford, May 7, 2015

Bodie Island Keepers: Oral and Family Histories

lighthousehistory:

May 2015 update – Cheryl Roberts has copies of BODIE ISLAND KEEPERS available for purchase. Contact her at cherylrbrts22@gmail.com

Originally posted on Lighthouse History :

Bodie book

Cheryl Shelton-Roberts and Sandra MacLean Clunies have produced a unique book based on the genealogical research they did for the Bodie Island Keeper Descendants Reunion that took place at Bodie Island Light Station last October. Published by the Outer Banks Lighthouse Society, the book features short essays on the keepers with lots of photos of them and their families. The reunion attendees must have been delighted to learn so much about their ancestors. There may still be copies available for purchase through the Society.  Email Diana Chappell –diandmanda at aol.com — for more information.DSCN1123

Record Group 26 in the National Archives includes only a few sources for letters from keepers. You can sometimes find them as attachments to letters written by custom collectors and district inspectors and engineers to their superiors in Washington.  A few letters from keepers also survive in field records.  The letter pictured above is part of…

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Los Angeles Lighthouses

Apart from a few more trees, Point Fermin Lighthouse has not changed significantly since its construction in 1874.  Photo by Candace Clifford

Apart from a few more trees, Point Fermin Lighthouse has not changed significantly since its construction in 1874. Photo by Candace Clifford

Point Fermin in 1893. Herbert Bamber photo courtesy U.S. Coast Guard

Point Fermin in 1893. Herbert Bamber photo courtesy U.S. Coast Guard

I recently attended the Council of American Maritime Museums conference hosted by the Los Angeles Maritime Museum. Upon arrival in Los Angeles I went directly from the airport to the Point Fermin Lighthouse, where historic site manager Kristen Heather gave me a delightful tour.

The tower was designed by Paul J. Pelz, A U.S. Light-House Board draftsman who designed six stick-style lighthouses. Pelz also worked for the U.S. Life-Saving Service and designed several their stations.

The tower was designed by Paul J. Pelz, a U.S. Light-House Board draftsman. The stick-style design was used for six lighthouses. Pelz also worked for the U.S. Life-Saving Service and designed several of their stations.

Front parlor at Point Fermin Lighthouse. The station is now a museum run by the City of Los Angeles.

Front parlor at Point Fermin Lighthouse. The station is now a museum run by the City of Los Angeles.

The visit was especially meaningful because the first keepers of Point Fermin Light, when it was established in 1874, were sisters Ella and Mary Smith. Although I realize these women had challenges living in such a remote location, I think it would have been a rather plum assignment when compared to many other light stations of that period. The interior exhibits interpret the lives of the station’s four keepers and their families. The fourth-order Fresnel lens is on display in one of the ground floor rooms and visitors can climb to the top of the tower for a spectacular view.

Kristen Heather, the historic site manager, has worked with the property for over a decade.

Kristen Heather, the Point Fermin’s historic site manager, has worked with the property for over a decade.

Lovely gardens surrounding the property are maintained by volunteers. For more information on this wonderful station, visit the Point Fermin Lighthouse website or read Point Fermin Lighthouse Families by Henrietta E. Mosley. The next morning I ventured further down the coast to Point Vicente Light Station. Unfortunately it was closed. Although generally open on the second Saturday of the month, April was the exception. Apparently it was open the previous weekend for a whale watching festival. However I enjoyed walking along the cliffs capturing views of the lighthouse at a distance.

Completed in 1926, Point Vicente used reinforced concrete in the construction of the tower.  A material adapted after the 1906 earthquake. Photo by Candace Clifford

Completed in 1926, Point Vicente used reinforced concrete in the construction of the tower–a material adapted after the 1906 earthquake. Photo by Candace Clifford

The lantern plan for Point Vicente.  Note the diagonal astragals.

The lantern plan for Point Vicente. Pointe Vicente had a larger lens than Point Fermin so could be seen at greater distances. Note the diagonal astragals.

Marking the entrance to San Pedro Harbor, the San Pedro Breakwater Lighthouse was completed in 1913. Photo by Candace Clifford

Marking the entrance to San Pedro Harbor, the San Pedro Breakwater Lighthouse was completed in 1913. Photo by Candace Clifford

Fortunately the CAMM conference included a narrated cruise of the harbors of San Pedro and Long Beach so I was able to capture the San Pedro Breakwater Light, also known as the Los Angeles Harbor Light and locally as “Angels Gate.” Still an active aid to navigation, the tower is located at the end of two-mile breakwater. It welcomes all types of vessels into the nation’s busiest container port. In 1928, Los Angeles Harbor Light Keeper Frank Weller described his duties as consisting of: Standing watches and upkeep of station and grounds, illuminating apparatus, fog signal engines, motors and generators, radio beacon apparatus, aga beacons, oil beacons, gas buoys, motor launch, sail and rowboats.

The Fresnel lens from the Los Angeles Harbor Light is on display at the Los Angeles Maritime Museum.

The Fresnel lens from the Los Angeles Harbor Light is on display at the Los Angeles Maritime Museum.

The watches average eight or more hours a day. The first watch is from sunset to 11 p.m. . . . The man on watch starts to light up I.O.V. lamp by heating up the lamp with alcohol; keeps a good light at all times; sees that clockwork and lens is on time; keeps watch on the weather; operates radio beacon for fifteen minutes every hour from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.; and in foggy weather or smoky weather operates fog signal continuously. . . .  Weller had started out as an assistant keeper in 1916. He became keeper around 1922. In 1928 he had two assistants–James E. Dudley and Herman L. Francis. Apparently life at this “bachelor station” was challenging for the assistant keepers. Their high turnover rate indicates that it was not a popular assignment. The Los Angeles Harbor Light was manned until the light was automated in 1973.

The Los Angeles Maritime Museum is located in the old ferry terminal on the San Pedro waterfront.

The Los Angeles Maritime Museum is located in the old ferry terminal on the San Pedro waterfront.

Researching Lighthouse Keepers

Keepers generally did not write their superiors in Washington but confined their correspondence to the  local superintendent of lighthouses before 1852 and the district inspector after 1852. This letter from Elizabeth Williams, keeper at Little Traverse Lighthouse, is an exception.  She is thanking the U.S. Light-House Board for a recent commendation. (RG 26 Entry 48 File 8645)

Keepers generally did not write their superiors in Washington but confined their correspondence to the local superintendent of lighthouses (before 1852) and the district inspector (after 1852). This letter from Elizabeth Williams, keeper at Little Traverse Lighthouse, is an exception. She is thanking the U.S. Light-House Board for a recent commendation. (RG 26 Entry 48 File 8645)

I receive a number of queries about researching lighthouse keepers so I’d like to devote a post to some of the resources available in the National Archives. Since it’s still Women’s History Month, I will illustrate this piece with records used in creating Women Who Kept the Lights: An Illustrated History of Female Lighthouse Keepers. (Please note that you can click the images to enlarge them for easier reading.)

Unless noted, all of these records are located at the downtown Washington, D.C. facility.

Registers of Keepers

It is fairly easy to compile lists of keepers for lighthouses between 1848 to 1912 by using the Registers of Keepers available on microfilm. M1373 consists of 6 rolls, arranged geographically. All registers include an index; later registers are indexed by both the station and last name of the keeper, so if you know the keeper’s name it is fairly easy to find where he or she served.

Detail of microfilm showing Miss Hiern's approintment as keeper on 18 October 1844. (M1373)

Detail of microfilm showing Miss C.A. Hiern’s approintment as keeper of Pass Christian on 18 October 1844. (M1373)

Note Juliet Nichol's marginal notation about the San Francisco earthquake in her log for April 1906.

Note Juliet Nichol’s marginal notation about the San Francisco earthquake in her log for April 1906. (RG 26 Entry 80 (NC-31) )

Keepers’ Logbooks

Finding keepers after 1912 is more challenging. I look first at any surviving logbooks. (Keepers were required to keep logs starting in 1872.) Logs generally indicate when a keeper reported for duty. Some logs are very detailed, others very cursory. After 1939, when the Coast Guard took over the administration of lighthouses, the log changed from a two-page format for every month to a two-page format for every day so finding personnel changes can be very time consuming. Some commanding officers provided a “crew list” at the front of the monthly log listing all personnel. The commanding officer signed each page so they are easy to spot. (Logs are found in RG 26 Entries 80, 330, P-65 and 159)

1928 Job Description

In 1928 keeper salaries were reclassified. To help facilitate this process, each keeper filled out a two-page form providing their job description. They also provided the date they entered the lighthouse service and the date they were appointed to that station.  (RG 26 Entry 111 (A-1))

Most of the keeper letters in the field records are generally about routine matters--supplies, leaves of absences, requests for transfer, care of station or machinery, etc . (RG 26 Entry 6 (NC-63)

Most of the keeper letters in the field records are generally about routine matters–supplies, leaves of absences, requests for transfer, upkeep of station or machinery, etc . (RG 26 Entry 6 (NC-63))

Field Records

Letters from keepers are rather rare. If your keeper served in the 5th, 7th, 9th, or 12th districts around the turn of the 19th century, there may be letters written by the keeper to his or her boss, the district inspector. These letters were bound into volumes by the district office. Some have an index at the back of the volume; others are indexed in a separate volume. Found in RG 26 Entries 3, 5, 8, and 9 (NC-63). See my RG 26 finding aid for more information on these entries.

USCG Retirement Cards

There are nine boxes of retirement cards organized by the employee’s name. These include all types of employees — keepers, depot workers, lightship and tender crew, and district office staff. Each card gives a summary of the employee’s service. The cards appear to cover the time period between the two world wars. (RG 26 Entry 7 (A-1))

Sample letter from RG 26 Entry 82

Sample letter from RG 26 Entry 82

Nominations and Appointments

The National Archives staff put together a database of lighthouse keepers mentioned in correspondence found in RG 26 Entries 82, 85, 16, 17I and 259. It also includes ship crew, inspectors, and lifesaving service personnel. You can access the database with the help of a maritime archivist in the finding aids room or see a modified version as this searchable PDF.

You can also find letters regarding appointments and personnel changes during the U.S. Light-House Board (USLHB) period in the correspondence from district inspectors in RG 26 Entry 24 (NC-31). The original letters were bound into letterbooks, many of which burned in the 1922 fire. There is an index of these letters in RG 26 Entry 38 that provide summaries of each letter received.

Form letter from district inspector informing the USLHB of the transfer of Margaret Norvell from Head of Passes to Port Ponchartrain.  (RG 26 Entry 24)

Form letter from district inspector informing the USLHB of the transfer of Margaret Norvell from Head of Passes to Port Ponchartrain. (RG 26 Entry 24 (NC-31))

RG 26 Entry 32 (NC-31) “Letters Sent by Treasury Dept. & USLHB, 1851-1907″ also include correspondence regarding nominations and appointments. Some volumes contain press copies of appointment letters. Note there is a gap between 1877 and 1905.

There are notices of appointment for the 1849-1873 time period in RG 26 Entry 99 (NC-31).

Keepers before 1848

For keeper appointments before 1848, I rely on RG 26 Entry 18 (NC-31) “Letters Sent Regarding the Light-House Service, 1792 – 1852.”  These volumes record every outgoing letter sent by the administrator of lighthouses, starting with the Commissioner of the Revenue. He would correspond with the local collector of customs who served as superintendent of lighthouses for his region. The collector would be notified whenever a new keeper was appointed. The volumes are indexed.

Stephen Pleasonton notifies the local Superintendent of Lighthouses that the appointment of Ann Davis as keeper of Point Lookout Lighthouse has been approved.

Stephen Pleasonton notified the local Superintendent of Lighthouses that the appointment of Ann Davis as keeper of Point Lookout Lighthouse has been approved. (RG 26 Entry 18 (NC-31))

Conversely, the collector would send letters to the lighthouse establishment in Washington notifying them of the need for a keeper, suggesting keepers to be considered for appointment, or any other issues concerning the keepers under their employ. Occasionally the collector would forward a request or report from an individual keeper as attachments. The collector would also submit accounts for paying the keepers. These original letters are organized by the port at which the collector served in RG 26 Entry 17C (NC-31).

The local superintendent reports a fire at Point aux Barques Lighthouse where Catherine Shook was keeper. (RG 26 Entry 17C)

The local superintendent reported a fire at Point aux Barques Lighthouse where Catherine Shook was keeper. (RG 26 Entry 17C (NC-31))

You can also find keepers in the Federal Registers of Employees that were issued every two years for most of the 19th century.  Look under the section for the Treasury Department. It also lists the collectors of customs and USLHB members, engineers, and inspectors. Those volumes belonging to the National Archives can be found in the library at the Archives II facility in College Park, Maryland. I understand that some of these volumes are available online.

Letters to the Secretary of the Treasury

Early on, appointments had to be approved by the Secretary of the Treasury. Gradually it appears that he was merely informed of changes in keepers. Entry 31 (NC-31) “Letters Sent to the Secretary of the Treasury, 1852-1908″ confirm appointments made during most of the U.S. Light-House Board period, 1852-1908.

Oath of Office for Mary Reynolds, keeper at Pass Christian. (RG 217 Entry 282)

Oath of Office for Mary Reynolds, keeper at Pass Christian Lighthouse. (RG 217 Entry 282)

Oaths of Offices

Every keeper was required to sign an oath of office during the U.S. Light-House Board period. RG 217 Entry 282 includes oaths of offices for all types of Treasury Department personnel, including keepers from 1865 – 1894.

Personnel File

If the keeper served after the Lighthouse Service became part of the Civil Service in 1896, there should be a personnel file at National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. See <http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/archival-programs/civilian-personnel-archival/> for more information.

Online Resources

Kraig Anderson includes lists of keepers for each lighthouse on his comprehensize webiste <www.lighthousefriends.com>.

Jeremy D’Entremont does the same on his website <www.newenglandlighthouses.net> for New England Lighthouses and Terry Pepper for western Great Lakes lighthouses at <www.terrypepper.com/lights/index.htm>.

~ Created by Candace Clifford, March 2015

Ice and Lighthouses

Screwpile lighthouses were very vulnerable to icy conditions.  After many were damaged or swept away in ice flows, they were replaced with lighthouses built on caisson foundations.

Screwpile lighthouses were very vulnerable to icy conditions. After many were damaged or swept away in ice flows, they were replaced with lighthouses built on sturdier caisson foundations.

On February 11,1936, H.D. King, Commissioner of Lighthouses, wrote the Secretary of Commerce:

The extremely critical conditions due to prolonged and severe cold and resulting ice conditions along the North Atlantic seaboard have placed in serious jeopardy many aids to navigation, both fixed and floating, particularly in Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries . . . 

King goes on to mention that the Janes Island Lighthouse, near Crisfield, Maryland was destroyed; however, the keepers had previously abandoned the station for their safety. Personnel were evacuated from Tangier Island, Point No Point, Ragged Point, Tue Marshes, Love Point, and York Spit Lighthouses. Sixty-one minor lights had been destroyed before the end of January.

Article from the Washington Herald on the same day King wrote his communication.

Article from the Washington Herald on the same day King wrote his his memo to the Commerce Secretary.

King noted below the article shown here that a plane had been in contact with Solomon’s Lump Station and arrangements made for a distress signal that the keeper could display in an emergency. Also that “attempts are being made to reach station, both from Bay & over ice from land to take off the keeper.”

An article in the Baltimore Evening Sun, also dated February 11, reported that “Five Eastern shoremen tied together with ropes, yesterday crossed the ice to the Love Point light to bring the keeper ashore.” The lighthouse tender Violet  was able to reach Seven-Foot Knoll and remove its keeper but had to return to Baltimore before nightfall without visiting any other lights.

A press release dated February 12, 1936, reported that on February 9th, the War Department sent a plane to survey conditions and communicate with keepers still at their stations. At that time a supply of food had been dropped for Keeper H.C. Stirling at Solomon’s Lump Light. Conditions were described as the worst since 1918, when several stations were swept away.

Source: National Archives Record Group 26 Entry 50, File 3655.

Minneapolis shoal lores

A USCG tender services Minneapolis Shoal Light Station in Lake Michigan in 1944. Keepers were taken off offshore lighthouses in the Great Lakes when navigation closed for the season. National Archives photo.

The USLHS web site redesign goes online, with grant program

Originally posted on American Lighthouse Council:

After months of hard work by a U.S. Lighthouse Society design team, the new USLHS web site went live late yesterday. You owe it to yourself to check it out, because it’s as comprehensive a lighthouse site as we’re likely to see. And, it’s important to note, it also rolls out the USLHS preservation grants program.

It’s at http://www.uslhs.org , the same address as the old site design it replaces.

As a board member and one of the beta testers, I had a glimpse of just how much work went into this revamping of the Society’s internet presence. That workload was amazing, and the site reflects that.

The grants program accessed through the site will start out modestly and build as the fund behind it grows and more investment interest is available for distribution. But if you have a project in need of funding this season, check this out —…

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