Lighthouse Directory


Presently a light breeze sprang up, rolling the fog before it, and then dying away, leaving the lighthouse enshrouded.... The two great fog-bells of the lighthouse were therefore set agoing, and they rang out their slow deep-toned peal all that day and all that night... ~R.M. Ballantyne



It was as if she lived only on clear, salty air, and when the day came for her to pass away, she would probably do exactly that. Just take a step to one side. Dissolve into a north-westerly wind as it whirled around the lighthouse at North Point, then out across the sea. ~John Ajvide Lindqvist, Harbor, 2008, translated from the Swedish by Marlaine Delargy, 2010



There is a lighthouse—no matter where. It was built—no matter when. It stands on a wild and rocky coast, and has been shaken by many a storm. It bears a red light, revolving at intervals of thirty-five seconds. Many a despairing heart has been cheered, and many a home-sick soul made joyous, as the little red speck appeared in the horizon, and told it that home was near, and the dangers of the voyage almost over. The crew of the great warship rejoiced as she passed within hail of the tower, labouring under her heavy canvas, and making a foaming way through the calm and mighty waters. They felt that now indeed their burning watch in the tropical regions was over; that, for a time, at least, they might rest in their homes, and revel in the delights of Old England; and fathers, brothers, sons, greeting with eager eyes the first dawn of morning, which should prove to them the red light had spoken truly. ~Elizabeth Harcourt Mitchell, The Lighthouse: A Novel, 1860



There are times when the ocean is not the ocean—not blue, not even water, but some violent explosion of energy and danger: ferocity on a scale only the gods can summon. It hurls itself at the island, sending spray right over the top of the lighthouse, biting pieces off the cliff. And the sound is a roaring of a beast whose anger knows no limits. Those are the nights the light is needed most. ~M.L. Stedman, The Light Between Oceans, 2012



He seemed to live only for his lantern. He was generally known amongst the fishermen and others as "John of the Lighthouse," and was nicknamed by them, "Jack-o'-Lantern." There he lived, silently, watchfully, his eyes ever fixed on the vessels going or returning; isolated from his fellow-beings; above life, and yet below it; above its affections, its hopes, its fears, its sympathies, and yet only half alive; dead to the world, and yet a world to himself; a fiery human soul in the midst of a waste of waters. ~Elizabeth Harcourt Mitchell



Shining brightly through the misty twilight air, Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse is the first beacon mariners encounter as they navigate the treacherous route up Delaware Bay. Perched at the end of the longest breakwater in the United States, it is accessible only by boat. During its manned years, keepers' daily lives were ruled by the uncertainty of weather. "Seas running" meant no boat could dock and shore leave was cancelled. Men were sometimes marooned on the tower for weeks. ~Elinor DeWire



The light was maintained 365 days a year in all manner of weather... Men missed their wives and children on holidays, birthdays, or anniversaries, giving total allegiance to the light. In many respects, the Coast Guard era was no different than the days of the old "wickies," the nickname given to lightkeepers prior to electrification when oil lamps illuminated the beacon and wicks had to be trimmed. ~Elinor DeWire

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