Light Hearted

Light Hearted ep 52 – Mary Habstritt, Lighthouse Tender Lilac

Lighthouse tenders were ships that were specifically designed to maintain, support, or tend to lighthouses or lightships by providing supplies, fuel, mail, and transportation. The tender Lilac was launched in Wilmington, Delaware, in 1933.

Lilac in 1939. U.S. Lighthouse Society archives

Nearly 175 feet long, Lilac was equipped with a steam-powered boom that could lift buoys weighing 14 tons or more. Lilac was assigned to the Fourth Lighthouse District covering Delaware Bay and its approaches, north to Trenton, New Jersey. 

Lilac was a Coast Guard cutter 1939-72. Courtesy of the Lilac Preservation Project.
Mary Habstritt

Today, Lilac is a museum ship at Pier 25 in the Tribeca section of Hudson River Park in New York City. The ship is now open to the public on a regular basis. Mary Habstritt is the museum director and president for the Lilac Preservation Project. She also works as a freelance historical consultant, interpreting and telling the stories of America‚Äôs manufacturing and engineering past. 

Lilac Preservation Project

2 thoughts on “Light Hearted ep 52 – Mary Habstritt, Lighthouse Tender Lilac

  1. I just found the Light Hearted blog online yesterday and listened to the blog about the Lilac this morning. I enjoyed it very much! I’ve been interested in lighthouses for years, and was one of the volunteers instrumental is saving the Round Island Lighthouse in the Mississippi Sound, which was severely damaged by two hurricanes in 1998 and 2005, and and was eventually moved to nearby Pascagoula, MS.

    1. Thanks so much for your nice comment, Brenda. The relocation of Round Island Lighthouse is certainly a potential subject for the podcast in the future.

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