Great Genes! Lighthouse Keeper Catherine Moore Lived to 95, Father Lived to 100, at Black Rock Harbor Lighthouse in Connecticut
It must be those genes!
Black Rock Harbor lighthouse was built in 1808 and is sheltered by Fayerweather Island, making the location an ideal place to mark the harbor entrance.
Stephen Moore, who replaced the first keeper, John Maltbie, after his death, along with his daughter Catherine (Kate), tended the lighthouse between 1817 and 1878, for over 70 years. Catherine (Kate) Moore took over full duties of the lighthouse when her father became disabled in 1819. Her father still remained the official Keeper until 1871 while Catherine remained as his assistant to tend the lighthouse until his death at the age of 100. Yes, the lighthouse was tended by both father and daughter for over 70 years! A similar situation also happened with Rhode Island’s lighthouse keeper, Ida Lewis, of Lime Rock light.
Catherine Moore was appointed Keeper to secede him when she was 66 years old, and remained at the station for an additional 7 years. During the total 62 years she spent tending the light for her father and as keeper, Kate is credited with her involvement in saving 21 lives at the lighthouse.
Many survivors were brought to the lighthouse and provided food and shelter, but neither Kate nor her father were ever reimbursed for their expenses. She and her father, as was the case for most keepers in those days, also had the daunting, emotional, and exhausting task of recovering bodies of those that had perished in the wrecks.
In addition to tending the lighthouse, Catherine cared for a flock of sheep, carved and sold duck decoys, and had a little oyster business. She had no problem flaunting a shotgun to those that might trespass on her oyster beds, claiming that as a representative of the United States Government, that the oyster beds were her property.
She lived to be 95 years old, and spent her remaining years living at a cottage across from the local yacht club, where she had a relaxing view of Fayerweather Island.
Exploring Black Rock Harbor Lighthouse and Surrounding Area
Black Rock Harbor (Fayerweather Island) Light is connected by a mile long jetty from Seaside Park in Bridgeport, providing scenic views of the area within Seaside Park. The views along the jetty as you walk out to the lighthouse include a distant view of Penfield Reef Lighthouse. You can walk around the lighthouse and explore, but the tower is closed to the public. Seaside Park is beautifully maintained with clean beaches.
Put this lighthouse on your list of fun places to visit, the walk along the jetty is breathtaking and you’ll love the beach of Seaside Park.
My 300-page book, Lighthouses and Coastal Attractions of Southern New England: Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, provides special human interest stories from each of the 92 lighthouses, along with plenty of indoor and outdoor coastal attractions you can explore. These include whale watching excursions, lighthouse tours, windjammer sailing tours and adventures, special parks and museums, haunted lighthouse stories, and lighthouses you can stay overnight. You’ll also find plenty of stories of shipwrecks and rescues. Lighthouses and their nearby attractions are divided into regions for all you weekend explorers.
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