We are sad to announce that our dear friend J. Candace Clifford died this morning at her home in Alexandria, Virginia, after a battle with brain cancer. Our heartfelt condolences go out to her mother, Mary Louise Clifford, and all her family and friends.
Ask anyone deeply involved in lighthouse preservation to name the nation’s top lighthouse researcher and you’ll hear one name – Candace Clifford. With unparalleled knowledge of the National Archives lighthouse section, she was a critically important consultant to the National Park Service Maritime Heritage Program from 1988 to 2001, and was primarily responsible for its databases, resource surveys, and inventories, ultimately producing the first Historic Lighthouse Preservation Handbook.
A publisher and author of lighthouse history books, often with her mother Mary Louise Clifford, Candace documented the role of women in the lighthouse service, among other topics. Honored as well for other types of maritime history services, she was an officer of the American Lighthouse Council and a recipient of the lifetime Ross Holland Award for distinguished service in lighthouse preservation.
Most recently Candace worked closely with the U.S. Lighthouse Society as its historian assisting with the creation of, among other things, the largest lighthouse related research archive in the nation, to be named in her honor.
Executive Director Jeff Gales of the U.S. Lighthouse Society said, “We have lost a dear friend and colleague . . . she will truly be missed.”
Candace was the US Lighthouse Society historian from 2016 until she passed away in August 2018. For 30 years, her work involved lighthouse history. She worked with the National Park Service and the Council of American Maritime Museums. She was a noted author and was considered the most knowledgable person on lighthouse information at the National Archives. Books by Candace Clifford include: Women who Kept the Lights: a History of Thirty-eight Female Lighthouse Keepers , Mind the Light Katie, and Maine Lighthouses, Documentation of their Past.