Lee P. (copiousreader) reviewed Women Who Kept the Lights: An Illustrated History of Female Lighthouse Keepers on
Now in an updated and expanded second edition, Women Who Kept The Lights: An Illustrated History Of Female Lighthouse Keepers continues to be a unique and informative contribution to Lighthouse histories and studies.
In an occupation dominated by males, Mary Louise and Candace Clifford reveal the names of 141 women who received official keeper appointments in the lighthouse service. More than twice that number received appointments as assistant keepers. Most of this number were wives, widows or daughters of former keepers, beginning with Hannah Thomas at Plymouth Light on the Massachusetts coasts in 1776 (her husband went off to fight the British), and ending with Fannie Salter, who tended the Turkey Point Light on Chesapeake Bay after her husband's death in 1925 until she retired in 1947. It was only with the introduction of automated lights by the U.S. Coast Guard in the 20th Century that the lighthouse keepers became obsolete.
This will be a worthwhile addition to any library, especially if the reader enjoys American history and the role of women in one part of America's culture.
I especially enjoyed the stories that went with the lighthouse. For example, Ida's story was intriguing. Ida and her mother tended the Lime Rock Light for her father from 1857-1872, when he died. Her mother was appointed keeper until 1879, although Ida continued to do the keeper's work. Then Ida received the official appointment and her own salary [$500 a year] and continued at her post until her own death in 1911.