I started collecting lighthouses back in the 1980's. It started one summer when my husband and I went to Rockport, Mass.
I bought my first lighthouse in Salem, after touring the House of The Seven Gables. We saw the ground where they burned the witches, the chambers where they kept them and the church that ousted them. It was quite interesting to hear all the facts.
They were all over the area, beautiful, prestigious lighthouses.
Back then we could go inside and climb up all of the steps of the lighthouse to look out the windows. I could not do that today, but I could very easily ride up in an elevator!
Families use to make their homes in lighthouses, because the man would have to climb the steps a couple times a day and at night. He had to make sure that the light was revolving & blinking at the right time to show the boats the way into shore. There was no way he could live any where but there. In the early years the lighthouse shone it's light by candles.
Today the light houses are run by electricity. No one is forced to live there. They even have a very informative Lighthouse Club and Newsletter, This keeps everyone up to date as to what is happening to all of the lighthouses.
We have visited so many places just to see different lighthouses and find out the history about them. Some of the places we went to see lighthouses are relatively close. There is the lighthouse in Erie, Pa, Marble Head, Ohio, Hilton Head, S.C., Outer Banks, Rocky Neck in Gloucester, there are just to many to mention.
I wear a lighthouse charm around my neck, My husband bought it for me in Gloucester. We love to visit there also. It is not commercialized, except for a fast food chain. It looks totally out of place in the small fishing town. Gloucester is the first place we stayed when we arrived.
We stayed at Bass Rocks. A beautiful hotel that looked like it belonged on the set of Gone With the Wind. Our room had an awesome view of the ocean right across the narrow road of the hotel, and we could see the Twin Lighthouses blinking. The waves would hit sharply and splash up against the large boulders that were off the road. The lights would blink on the twin lighthouses, somehow they looked forlorn.
We could walk across the narrow road and sit on one of the high rocks and just gaze at the beautiful sight. It was pristine, and so beautiful, but I felt lonely at the same time, even though I knew that the ships constantly looked for the shining light in order to reach home safe.
My husband had to travel to this area a lot for business, and I would go with him when I was able to. During the day I was on my own until he was done working. In Rockport it was no problem being alone during the day, because of all the quaint stores and restaurants I could walk to. In Gloucester I had a beautiful view, but could not go anywhere. I mainly sat on the deck overlooking the ocean and read a book of poems written by a local native. I can't think of the title at the moment, but I still have the book somewhere among my treasures.
Rockport is a old fishing village that had been turned into an artist colony. The fishing shacks were made into quaint little shops and restaurants. Rockport use to be a dry town and you had to bring your own bottle, until a few years ago. In Rockport there is a favorite restaurant of ours named "Our Place." We truly consider it "Our Place," as we would eat there once or twice a week sitting at a table overlooking the inlet that looked out onto the ocean. There is also a restaurant in Gloucester called "Schooners," it is across the street from the statue of the "Man of The Sea." This restaurant was used by the locals and we felt a part of them when we ate there.
In Rockport, there is an old lobster shack called The Motiff, it is most famous for artists that go there for the sole purpose of painting it. Years ago it burned down and that was devastating to the town. The people raised the funds so that it could quickly be rebuilt. It is as popular today as it was back then.
Needless to say, the seafood is out of this world and we never said the word beef when we stayed there. We had friends that lived in the area who would invite us for dinner and the hostess would say, "I went down to the docks and picked up this seafood for dinner." How great to be able to do that everyday! The fish or seafood was succulent and delicious, you never wanted to eat anything else.
We would sometimes stay at a place called "Cape Ann", it was a charming old hotel with a boat dock. They also had a small restaurant that served the most delicious home made Morning Glory muffins. I can still taste them if I let myself.
Cape Ann also took people out on whaleboats to see the whales. What a memory we have of that, but that will have to be another story to write.
I have a fine collection of lighthouses, all different shapes and sizes. They hold a lot of history and memories for me.Lighthouses are in my bedroom, my kitchen, dining room and living room. I have so many because once people found out that I collected them, they gave them to me for gifts. Most are packed away, there are only so many light houses or pictures you can put out. I have one beautiful picture that my third son bought for me that hangs above our dresser in our bedroom. It is a comfort to gaze at it.
There are many other items I collect, but that will be for another time.