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.
After his death, Stephen Moore, who replaced the first keeper, John Maltbie, along with his daughter Catherine (Kate), tended the lighthouse between 1817 and 1878 for over 70 years. Catherine (Kate) Moore took over the complete duties of the lighthouse when her father became disabled in 1819. Her father 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 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. As was the case for most keepers in those days, she and her father also had the daunting, emotional, and exhausting task of recovering the 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, 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. As you walk out to the lighthouse, the views along the jetty 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.
Here are some photos of Black Rock (Fayerweather Island) Lighthouse.
Put this lighthouse on your list of fun places to visit, the walk along the jetty is breathtaking, and you’ll love the beach at Seaside Park.
The Rise and Demise of the Largest Sailing Ships: Stories of the Six and Seven-Masted Coal Schooners of New England. In the early 1900s, New England shipbuilders constructed the world’s largest sailing ships amid social and political reforms. These giants were the ten original six-masted coal schooners and one colossal seven-masted vessel, built to carry massive quantities of coal and building supplies and measured longer than a football field! This book, balanced with plenty of color and vintage images, showcases the historical accounts that followed these mighty ships. Stories involve competitions, accidents, battling destructive storms, acts of heroism, and their final voyages.
My 300-page book, Lighthouses and Coastal Attractions of Southern New England: Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, provides memorable 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, and even lighthouses you can stay overnight. You’ll also find plenty of stories of shipwrecks and rescues and about many keepers like the one above. Lighthouses and their nearby attractions are divided into regions for weekly and weekend explorers. You’ll also find plenty of stories of hauntings around lighthouses.
My 300-page book, Lighthouses and Coastal Attractions of Northern New England: New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont, provides special human interest stories from each of the 76 lighthouses, along with plenty of indoor and outdoor coastal attractions you can explore and tours. Lighthouses and their nearby attractions are divided into regions for weekly and weekend explorers. Attractions and tours also include whale watching tours, lighthouse tours, windjammer sailing tours and adventures, special parks and museums, and lighthouses you can stay overnight. There are also stories of haunted lighthouses in these regions.
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