Light Hearted

Light Hearted ep 49 – Katie Brydon, living history performer at Burnt Island Light Station, Maine

Katie Brydon greeting visitors at Burnt Island. Courtesy of Maine Department of Marine Resources.
Katie Brydon and husband Jesse Gauthier at Burnt Island. Courtesy of Maine Department of Marine Resources.

Living history performances are utilized at many museums and lighthouses, but few light stations have utilized the concept of living history to the extent that Burnt Island Light Station in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, does. The Maine Department of Marine Resources acquired the Burnt Island Light Station in 1998 as part of the Maine Lights Program. Burnt Island’s restored light station buildings and grounds have been transformed into a living history museum where interpreters in period costume portray a historic lighthouse family.

Visitors arrive by tour boat from Boothbay Harbor and disembark at the island, where they learn about life on the island from Keeper Joseph Muise, his wife Annie, and their children as they recount their daily activities and share their stories of joy, sorrow, dedication, and survival.

Katie Brydon,courtesy of Maine Department of Marine Resources.

Katie Brydon started playing the role of one of the daughters of Keeper Joseph Muise at Burnt Island while she was a drama major at Emerson College in Boston. A few years later, she and her husband played the keeper and his wife for a while. In this interview, she talks about the experience and the value of living history programs at historic sites.

Today, Katie is the national director of programs for Best Buddies International, a nonprofit organization that consists of volunteers who create opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Burnt Island Light Station

Keepers of Burnt Island Light

Best Buddies International

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