Great Lakes Lighthouses Encyclopedia

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9781550463996: Great Lakes Lighthouses Encyclopedia

The lighthouses of the five Great Lakes -- a comprehensive collection with full-color photographs.

This comprehensive, full-color encyclopedia features more than 650 lighthouses located on all five of the Great Lakes. These lakes may appear easy to navigate, but swift currents, hidden reefs and shoals, shifting sandbars, uncharted passages and fierce, fast-moving storms made early navigation a mariner's nightmare. Thousands of sailors' lives were lost before the network of lighthouses was established, and tales of tragedy and triumph abound.

All manner of stone, brick and wooden lighthouses were erected to light the night and guide the captains of schooners, steamers, brigs, barks and sloops. Too many of these noble structures have now fallen into disrepair or have been torn down in the name of progress, but hundreds survive as monuments to an exciting period in history and points of pilgrimage for millions of maritime enthusiasts.

Great Lakes Lighthouses Encyclopedia includes lighthouses in both the United States and Canada. For each there is a description of its history and construction material. For many that are either open to the public or accessible through state or provincial parks, points of access are given.

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About the Author :

Writer Patricia Wright and photographer Larry Wright collaborated on two previous books, Bonfires and Beacons and Bright Lights, Dark Nights.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. :

Preface

Created over a span of fifteen years, this book provides a fascinating look at the lighthouses that encircle the Great Lakes, from the St. Lawrence River to Duluth and the Lakehead. While not every light that ever existed is featured, most have been accounted for. We gathered this information from a wide range of resources: national archives, state and provincial archives, county and municipal archives, museums, university and public libraries, special collections, newspapers, periodicals, navigational guides, the internet, historical societies, port authorities, keepers and their families, other lighthouse authors and enthusiasts, the Canadian Coast Guard and the United States Coast Guard.

Although many people and groups have written in greater detail about their favorite lights or those with which they are most familiar, our hope is that this volume will accurately present the whole circle of Great Lakes lights and lend further impetus to their preservation. We traveled the lakes repeatedly to get an understanding of the distinct regions. We visited most of the existing lights on the lakes and are fortunate to have visited and photographed a number of lights that are now gone. Compiling and organizing the materials in this book was a labor of love.

Because so little is known about some of the lights, and because many lights on the lakes have similar names or have had multiple names over the years, it became a researcher's nightmare to sort out the data. Locations were sometimes vague, contradictions were abundant, and dates and names in government agencies and documents varied. It was a constant challenge to fit the available information into a proper timeline for the evolution of construction and to establish an accurate chronology for the lists of lighthouse keepers. What's more, lighthouse groups and museums on every lake seemed to have their own claim to fame for their local lighthouse ("the oldest light," "the tallest light," or perhaps "the last light to have a keeper"). We have done our best to respect shared knowledge and historical accuracy. Our hope is that people who have additional information about these lights will join us in our attempt to preserve the lighthouses and share their histories.

We hope that you enjoy this book.

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Larry Wright; Patricia Wright
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