History Videos

USLHS Historian Video #8: The first Minot’s Ledge Lighthouse

Minot’s Ledge—about a mile offshore, near the border between the towns of Cohasset and Scituate on the south shore of Boston, Massachusetts—is a 25-foot-wide rock ledge that is part of the dangerous Cohasset Rocks. In 1847, Congress appropriated funds for a lighthouse on Minot’s Ledge. Capt. William H. Swift of the Corps of Topographical Engineers… Continue reading USLHS Historian Video #8: The first Minot’s Ledge Lighthouse

History Videos · Keepers

USLHS Historian Video #7: Keeper William C. Williams at Boon Island, Maine

Boon Island is a desolate pile of granite several miles off the southern Maine towns of Kittery and York. The present lighthouse, the third built on the island, went into service on New Year’s Day in 1855. It’s the tallest lighthouse in New England at 133 feet tall. Captain William Converse Williams, a native of… Continue reading USLHS Historian Video #7: Keeper William C. Williams at Boon Island, Maine

History Videos

USLHS Historian Video #6 – Destruction Island, Washington

The federal government considered putting a lighthouse on Destruction Island, about three miles off the Washington coast, as early as the mid-1800s. As shipping along this part of the coast increased, there were several shipwrecks around Destruction Island in 1888-1889 alone. A lighthouse was built between 1889 and 1891. Here is its story. Wickie from… Continue reading USLHS Historian Video #6 – Destruction Island, Washington

History Videos

USLHS Historian Video #5 – Race Rock Lighthouse, New York

The four-mile long stretch of water between Little Gull Island and Fishers Island to the northeast — known as The Race — marks the place where Long Island Sound, Block Island Sound, and Fishers Island Sound all meet. The Race develops currents in excess of five knots and has been treacherous to navigation for centuries.… Continue reading USLHS Historian Video #5 – Race Rock Lighthouse, New York

History Videos

USLHS Historian Video #4 – The Storm Child at Boston Light

Boston Light Station on Little Brewster Island in Boston Harbor, Massachusetts, was the site of the first lighthouse on the North American continent (1716). No child was born on the island until 1932, when a daughter was born to Josephine and Assistant Keeper Ralph Norwood. This is their unusual story, which was the inspiration for… Continue reading USLHS Historian Video #4 – The Storm Child at Boston Light

History Videos · Keepers

USLHS Historian Video #3 – Kate Walker at Robbins Reef

Kate Walker, who would become one of the most famous lighthouse keepers in the world, was born Katherine Gortler in Germany in 1846. She was appointed keeper at Robbins Reef Lighthouse off the northern tip of Staten Island in New York Harbor after her husband died in 1886. By her own account, Kate saved fifty… Continue reading USLHS Historian Video #3 – Kate Walker at Robbins Reef

History Videos · Keepers

USLHS Historian Video #1 – Joshua Card at Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse, NH

Captain Joshua Kenney Card served 35 years as keeper at Portsmouth Harbor Light Station in New Castle, New Hampshire. It was his hometown lighthouse; he was born a short distance away on the banks of the Piscataqua River. He retired at the age of 86 and was believed to be the oldest keeper in the… Continue reading USLHS Historian Video #1 – Joshua Card at Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse, NH