Light Hearted

Light Hearted ep 94 – Desiree Heveroh, East Brother Island Light Station, CA; FL lighthouse history with Ralph Krugler

In March 1871, Congress appropriated funds for a lighthouse on the east side of California’s San Pablo Strait. It was decided that East Brother Island, about 1000 feet offshore on the east side of the strait, would be a good location. The style chosen was the handsome Stick Style design developed by architect Paul Pelz and used for several other West Coast lighthouses around the same time; a square wooden tower was attached to a six-room keepers’ dwelling. On March 1, 1874, a fourth-order lens was put into operation for the first time.

East Brother Light Station
Desiree Heveroh

The light station was automated and de-staffed in the summer of 1969. The building deteriorated for a decade until the Coast Guard granted a license for restoration to a new nonprofit organization, East Brother Light Station, Inc. The lighthouse was lovingly restored with the help of much volunteer labor, and by late 1980 the doors were opened for overnight guests. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the bed and breakfast operation to close down at the end of June. The resident caretakers left and a longtime board member, Desiree Heveroh, interviewed in this episode, moved in as the resident “keeper.”

Hillsboro Inlet Light Station, Florida, in 1920. (National Archives 26-LG-28-17)

Next is another installment of Florida Lighthouse History with Ralph Krugler. Ralph is the historian for the Hillsboro Lighthouse Preservation Society, and also a volunteer for the U.S. Lighthouse Society. Today’s subject is the interesting life of Alfred Alexander Berghell, the first keeper at Hillsboro Inlet.

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