|Raspberry Island Lighthouse Bookcase|
Pottawatomie Lighthouse Bookcase
Promoting the appreciation, enjoyment, and preservation of our library heritage
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Posted by Larry T. Nix at 10:08 AM
Labels: librariana, library collectibles
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The Light House Establishment has slightly murky beginnings going back to 1789 when the federal government assumed responsibility for light houses. The Secretary of the Treasury was nominally in charge although the main work seems to have fallen on the 5th auditor who was referred to as the "general superintendant of the Light-House Establishment." The Light-House Establishment was reorganized into the Light-House Board, temporarily in 1851, permanently in 1852. The Light-House Board remained in the Treasury Department until 1903, when it was moved into the Commerce and Labor Department. Publications of the Establishment are located in Superintendant of Documents classification T25, and after transfer to the C&L department C9. The Coast Guard was not established until 1915, and the Light-House Board became part of the Coast Guard in 1939. About a third of the way down this page http://www.uscg.mil/history/h_index.asp there is a link to a history of the Light-House Service. I did not find any publications in the 1909 Checklist relating directly to the library program, although there is mention of an 1861 publication relating to Charles Babbage's method of distinguishing light-houses that I am going to have to look at.
Thanks AncientOne for this nice summary of the history of the Light House Establishment and its successors.
If you've not visited Split Rock Light on the North Shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota, please do so! It's a State Park, and the visitor center is great, the film they show about the light is great, the setting is beautiful, the light and environs also really lovely.
I totally agree with all you said about Split Rock Light. The Lake Superior lakeshore in Minnesota is fantastic.
It is my recollection that William Law started the idea of building and circulating library boxes around the lighthouses. He selected the contents based on the wide range of family ages that would be reading them There's a wonderful book by John Kotzian about him, "Sky Pilot of the Great Lakes: A Biography of the Reverend William H. Law".
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