Lighthouse Keeper

Last week I went to Tybee Island, Georgia to research for a new cozy mystery series. We toured Tybee Island Lighthouse.

There’s a lot to share about the lighthouse, but today I want to focus on an item I discovered in the light keeper’s house.

I asked the guide about this box. He told me the federal government sent inspectors to the different light stations periodically. Many light keepers were alone at first and grew bored and turned to drinking too much. The government decided to encourage men with families to apply for the jobs.

Another way to avoid boredom was to deliver boxes of books. You can see this box is numbered. The inspector would deliver boxes of books from station to station. When the books had been read by all of the light keepers, they’d replace the books.

Have you ever visited a lighthouse? If you were a light keeper, what kind of books would you want to find in you box?


Tybee Island Light Station

Tybee Island Light Station was the first lighthouse I visited years ago. Recently, Tim and I decided to visit it again.

We climbed 178 steps to reach the top. The steps go around and around, and thank goodness there are landings where you can catch your breath on the way up.

Before the lighthouse ran on electricity, the station was manned by three Light Keepers. These men carried fuel to the top multiple times a day to keep the light shining.

Light Keepers also had to be able to supply their own food by gardening, raising chickens, and fishing for food. There are buildings on the property where keepers lived, there was a seperate building for storing the fuel, and there was a summer kitchen.

The Tybee Lighthouse was built in 1773 and has seen many changes over the years.

If you have the opportunity to visit the Tybee Light Station, I’d love to encourage you to go. The views from the observation deck are breathtaking.

I’d love to hear if you’ve ever visited a lighthouse. Do you have a favorite?

I think Tybee will always be my favorite because it was my first. (However, I have seen some spectacular lighthouses in Maine. But that’s a story for another day.)