Keeper’s Last Entry
On March 26, 1876, Herman Dill, who had been the lighthouse keeper of the Billingsgate Lighthouse in Massachusetts since 1872 wrote in the station’s log book, “the very worst storm for winter was last night.” It was the last thing he ever wrote. The very next day his dead body was found floating at sea in the lighthouse dory. It is speculated that he feared the lighthouse would be washed away and when he tried to escape in the lighthouse dory that the strain of the oars caused his heart to fail.
Shown here is the Ponce Harbor Range Front Light in Puerto Rico as it appeared in November of 1916. It no longer stands.
St. Joseph North Pierhead
Shown here on a vintage post card is the passenger steamer City of Chicago in the early 1900s as it travels past the St. Joseph North Pierhead Lighthouse in St. Joseph, Michigan. Large steamers like this were once very popular excursion vessels on the Great Lakes. Both the ship and lighthouse no longer exsist.
In 1886 F. A. Cloudman of Rondout, New York proposed building these structures 500 miles apart across the ocean that would link an underwater communications cable from North America to Europe. These “floating” lighthouses would be anchored to the ocean’s floor. He also suggested that these structures could replace lightships. How many do you think were constructed?
The 1909 Point Cabrillo Lighthouse in Mendocino, California as it appeared in 1955. Note the diaphone fog signal on the back of the building and the curtains inside and around the lantern to protect the Fresnel lens from the harmful rays of the sun. Today the lighthouse is managed by the Point Cabrillo Lightkeepers Association.
In its day, New Jersey’s Mantua Creek North Jetty Light, shown here in 1933, saved many a vessel. The structure no longer stands.
This story appeared in the
Jan/Feb 2018 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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