Few images are as evocative as a lighthouse standing sentry on a rocky shore, the guardian of mariners and passengers as they navigate the formidable currents, fierce storms, and shifting shoals of America’s coastal and inland waterways. Since the establishment of the first lighthouse in America at Boston Harbor in 1716, lighthouses have played a critical role in providing safe passage for all maritime activities. Although their form and appearance vary according to region or the body of water they guard, the lighthouse remains one of the most recognizable images of the maritime world.

This site is dedicated to providing information you will need to visit and research lighthouse including, photographs, directions, and histories of lighthouses visited in the United States and around the world.

The Light-Keeper

The brilliant kernel of the night,
The flaming light room circles me:
I sit within a blaze of light
Held high above the dusky sea.

Far of the surf doth break and roar
Along bleak miles of moonlight shore,
Where through the tides the tumbling wave
Falls in an avalanche of foam
And drives its churned waters home
Up many an undercliff and cave.

The clear bell chimes: the clockwise strain,
The turning lenses flash and pass,
Frame turning within glittering frame
With frosty gleam of moving glass:
Unseen by me, each dusky hour
The sea-waves welter up the tower
Or in the ebb subside again;
And ever an anon all night,
Drawn from afar by charm of light,
A sea bird beats against the pain.

And lastly when dawn ends the night
And belts the semi-orb of sea,
The tall, pale pharos in the light
Looks white and spectral as may be.
The ebb is out: the green
Straight belt of seaweed now is seen,
That round the basement of the tower
Marks out the interspace of tide;
And watching men are heavy-eyed,
And sleepless lips are dry and sour.

The night is over like a dream:
The sea-birds cry and dip themselves:
And in the early sunlight, steam
The newly bared and dripping shelves,
Around whose verge the glassy wave
With lisping wash is heard to lave;
While, on the white tower lifted high,
The circling lenses flash and pass
With yellow light in faded glass
And sickly shine against the sky.

Robert Louis Stevenson

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