Kindly Lights: A History of the Lighthouses of Southern New England

Sarah C. Gleason, Author, John Casey, Foreword by Beacon Press (MA) $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8070-5106-1
Gleason, former director of exhibits at Beavertail Lighthouse Museum, R.I., gives a splendid account of southern New England lighthouses and the development of navigational aids. Boston Light, built in 1716, was the first and remains permanently staffed because of its historic value. Despite their charm, Gleason notes, the early lighthouses were ineffective since technology was slow to reach America. She introduces major figures in lighthouse history: Winslow Lewis, inspector of lighthouses, a successful bidder on contracts for construction and repair who also sold whale oil; Edmund March Blunt and his sons, publishers of the American Coast Pilot and critics of Lewis; David Melville, pioneer in gas lighting. Gleason also portrays the keepers and their families in the later days of staffed lighthouses. She includes a catalogue of existing lighthouses in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. Maritime history buffs will find this book to their taste. Photos. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1991
Release date: 08/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
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