Some Other Good References

The photo above shows most of the triangular “Pennant” that was the official flag of the Bureau of Lighthouses, when it was created in 1910 as an agency of the federal Dept. of Commerce and Labor. This pennant was not routinely flown at light stations. Only the top rated keeper in the whole lighthouse district based on each year’s inspections got to fly the pennant at his/her station. This flag was always flown from the masts of both Lightships and Lighthouse Tenders.

There are many excellent sources, especially books and websites, out there you should explore. Some of these are me also ntioned on the first page of this Lighthouse section. Please consider joining the U. S. Lighthouse Society, and you will receive their excellent quarterly magazine the “Keeper’s Log.” You should also consider subscribing to the “Lighthouse Digest,” our nation’s premier magazine of lighthouse history and information.

The following books and websites are a great trove of lighthouse history and information.   


 This last includes a “Chronology of Aids to Navigation and the United States Lighthouse Service from 1716 to 1939,” compiled by Truman R. Strobridge, the former U.S. Coast Guard historian. It is a marvelous document.

In addition to the NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, there are several other Federal land management agencies who are now the caretakers of lighthouses. The U.S. FOREST SERVICE, and the BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT are just two of these. Seek out their websites for additional information.


Cooking Lighthouse Style by Frederick Stonehouse   Avery Studios Gwinn, MI 2003. Yes it is a cookbook, and a good one, but it also contains a great amount of lighthouse history and lore.

The Lighthouse Encyclopedia, The Definitive Reference by  Ray Jones. By the Globe Pequot Press, Guilford CT 2004       

The Golden Age of American Lighthouses by Tim Harrison and Ray Jones. Also by the Globe Pequot Press, Guilford CT 2002

Lighthouses of Cape Cod – Martha’s Vineyard – Nantucket Their History and Lore, by Admont Clark, Parnassus Imprints East Orleans MA 1992

Instructions To Light-Keepers and Masters of Light-House Vessels This is a Reproduction of the 1902 edition of the Light-House Board Instructions To Light Keepers, printed in 1989 by the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Assoc. (GLLKA)

Women Who Kept the Lights – An Illustrated History of Female Lighthouse Keepers, By Mary Louise and J. Candace Clifford, Cypress Communications Alexandria VA 2000

The Modern Light-House Service   by Arnold Burges Johnson, Chief Clerk of the Light-House Board   U.S. Govt. Printing Office 1889

But if you only have time to peruse a few books, I definitely recommend these:

“The Lighthouse Keeper’s Wife”, by Connie Small, the “First Lady of Light.”

“A Lighthouse In My Life,” by Philmore Waas, who grew up a lightkeeper’s son on Maine’s Libby Island.

“Guardians of the Lights”, by Elinor Dewire.