Female Lighthouse Keeper

February 11, 2016 § Leave a comment


Charlotte Ann Mason in 1815, from the National Park Service

Wishing my sisters and I had known about Charlotte Ann Mason when we used to visit Cape Lookout lighthouse as girls.  This article at Coastal Review Online tells a little about her.

Mason was just 18 years old when she was made second assistant keeper of the lighthouse. She did the job from 1872 to 1875.  And if I’m reading this correctly, it may be a rare time when a woman was paid as well as (or even better than) her male counterpart.

From the Coastal Review story:

Male or female, uniform or no, a lighthouse keeper’s job was physically demanding. Duggan said Charlotte and the other keepers were expected to stand one watch in three. While on watch, Charlotte devoted her full attention to the light. She was also expected to keep the daily logbook; haul oil up 216 steps, sometimes more than once; clean the lens and other equipment; trim wicks and polish brass; and keep the tower, grounds and support buildings clean and “in shape.”

As compensation for her work, Charlotte received an annual salary of $425. In comparison, her father was paid $700 as head lighthouse keeper. Benjamin P. Davis, first assistant lighthouse keeper, earned $400 annually.

Book worth seeking out: Women Who Kept the Lights: An Illustrated History of Female Lighthouse Keepers.


Photos on Wikipedia

February 9, 2016 § Leave a comment

Not sure if this is a recent update or if I’d just not noticed before, but the Wikipedia entry on Core Banks has some good photos, including this one:

core_banks_beach_-_2013-06_-_14Really takes me back to the days of playing on that beach while my dad fished.

In the News: ATVs on Core Banks

November 15, 2014 § Leave a comment

There’s a proposal to require people to purchase permits in order to drive their all-terrain vehicles on Core Banks:

Fishers, visitors object to off-road rules

Fall Fishtravaganza–Cape Lookout

October 15, 2014 § Leave a comment

Here’s video of mullet running off Cape Lookout–and, apparently, a bunch of sharks that showed up for dinner.

I can remember my dad and his friends going on fishing trips in the fall and talking about the tremendous numbers of fish in the water. Am thinking they did most of their fishing this time of year at Drum Inlet.

‘Abandoned things, buried in the sand’

June 29, 2014 § Leave a comment


I came across this poem by Marjory Wentworth when I was attending the S.C. Book Festival a month ago.  Wentworth is the S.C. poet laureate. This poem is published in the book New and Selected Poems.  I also discovered that Wentworth had collaborated with Mary Edna Fraser for an exhibit about barrier islands.

The Clam King: Elmer Willis

April 17, 2014 § Leave a comment

Elmer Willis. Photo: Nancy Lewis Collection, Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center

Elmer Willis. Photo: Nancy Lewis Collection, Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center

Here’s a story about the clam king, and the effort to preserve Willis’s clam house and the surrounding marsh:

In the end, it will likely take the Marines and a bunch of ding-batters – local parlance for people who ain’t from around here – to make it happen, but so be it.”

Surf Fishing

November 26, 2013 § Leave a comment


Dick Jones, writer and surf fishing enthusiast. This is the photo he ran with an article on surf fishing at Core Banks.

Fishing is the reason my father started going to Core Banks, so that also means it’s the reason we were squatters.  I remember quite a few days spent digging a hole to China with my sisters while my dad fished from the beach.

Here’s an article from the High Point, N.C., newspaper by a man who’s done some surf fishing at Core Banks. Lots of details about the what/when/where.  Also, he happens to look like (and apparently also identify with) Santa–so that’s a bit of extra fun.