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Museum Talk: Women Lighthouse Keepers

March 28, 2021 @ 2:00 pm

March is Women’s History Month and to celebrate the Henry L. Ferguson Museum is co-hosting Women Lighthouse Keepers, a virtual talk led by Historian Mary Rasa, this coming Sunday, March 28th, at 2 PM.

An 1876 woodcut rendering of Ida Lewis rowing to a rescue in treacherous seas.
Courtesy of Phebe Ann Hanaford out of Women of the Century.

In this program, Ms. Rasa explores the U.S. Lighthouse Service and takes a look at five remarkable women keepers. In fact, hundreds of American women have kept the lamps burning in lighthouses since 1776, when Hannah Thomas’s husband, the official keeper of Gurnet in Plymouth, Massachusetts, left to join the battle for American independence. Most of these women served in the 19th century, including three in our local area.

Before the U.S. Coast Guard took over for the U.S. Lighthouse Service in 1939, families lived and worked at lighthouses. The keeper’s family learned to tend the light and some wives and daughters became the official keepers or assistant keepers. This was the second national paid position given to women in the U.S. besides that of clerk: lighthouse keeper.

Ms. Rasa is a historian who worked as a museum curator and park ranger for the National Park Service for 16 years.  She holds a BA in Historic Preservation and a Masters in Library Science. She currently conducts historic programs as well as completing grants, research, and exhibit work as an independent contractor. Women Lighthouse Keepers is the first of a series of talks Ms. Rasa will give on the three organizations that merged in 1915 to create the United States Coast Guard.

Women Lighthouse Keepers
Illustrated Talk by Historian Mary Rasa
This Illustrated Talk is co-hosted by the New London Maritime Society – Custom House Maritime Museum (New London, CT).

Date: Sunday, March 28th, 2021
Time: 2:00 pm – 2:40 PM
No Advance Registration Required

Please click the link below to join the webinar:

Or iPhone one-tap :
US: +16465588656,,86937899309#  or +13126266799,,86937899309#
Or Telephone:
Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 646 558 8656  or +1 312 626 6799  or +1 301 715 8592  or +1 346 248 7799  or +1 669 900 9128  or +1 253 215 8782

Webinar ID: 869 3789 9309

International numbers available: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/k0stVG4tJ

Please note that there is no registration confirmation email for this Illustrated Talk. On Sunday, March 28, before 2 PM, just click the link above, enter your name and email, and you will be joined into the Talk.


March 28, 2021
2:00 pm-2:40 pm
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HL Ferguson Museum