Greetings! I’m excited to be your guest author today on the Petticoats & Pistols blog! I write inspirational romance, both historical and contemporary. It is my hope that my books will encourage you and warm your heart!
I live in the Pacific Northwest, on the coast of western Washington. My upcoming book, A Child’s Faith in the Keepers of the Light series is loosely based on the Browns Point Light Station that marks the hazardous north entrance to Commencement Bay, located outside of Tacoma. In writing this story, I became curious about the history of lighthouses and their development in America, particularly along the Pacific coastline.
Before the development of clearly defined ports, mariners were guided by fires built on hilltops. They realized that by raising the fires up high, they would be more visible to sailors out at sea and began lifting the fires onto platforms. In antiquity, the lighthouse functioned more as an entrance marker to ports than as a warning signal for dangerous promontories and reefs. The first lighthouse, a stone column with a fire beacon regularly maintained to guide mariners, was built in Athens sometime during the 5th century BC.
The first lighthouse in America was the Boston Light, built in 1716 at Boston Harbor. In 1851, the U.S. Congress passed “An Act Making Appropriations for Light House, Light Boats, Buoys, &c.”, leading to the creation of the United States Lighthouse Board to replace the Department of Treasury’s Lighthouse Establishment as the governmental agency responsible for the construction and maintenance of all lighthouses and navigation aids in the United States.
The intermittent flashing mechanism was developed in 1870 and used clockwork to time the gas supply. A Swedish engineer, Gustaf Dalen, helped commercialize gas as an illuminant and his equipment was used as the predominant light source in lighthouses from the early 1900s to the 1960s when electricity became dominant.
The Northern Pacific Railroad reached western Washington in 1873 and the Lighthouse Board recommended that Point Brown be marked with a light; however, it wasn’t until 1887 that Browns Point Light Station was marked with a post lantern. The light at a height of 12 feet was built on tideflats, about 50 yards offshore and at high tide could only be reached by rowboat. A contract lightkeeper was hired to row from Tacoma once per week to clean the glass, replenish the fuel tank, and trim the wick.
Unfortunately the channel from Commencement Bay to Elliott Bay was treacherous, renowned for its thick fog blankets. Mariners complained that the light at Browns Point couldn’t be seen.
A wooden tower finally replaced the post in 1903 to house a brighter light as well as a fog signal. The beacon and fog signal are still in use as navigational aids today, and both the lighthouse and keeper’s cottage are on the Washington State Heritage Register and the National Register of Historic Places.
Have you ever visited a lighthouse before? Where?
Let’s talk about lighthouses, and I’ll give away an ebook from my backlist to one lucky winner!
My book, A Child’s Faith, is set in 1892 in Tacoma, WA. Elin Kristiansen has her hands full as a single mother following the tragic death of her husband in a shipwreck off the rocky coast of the Pacific Northwest. Thankfully, the U.S. government has recognized the need for a lighthouse at Brown’s Point, and Elin couldn’t be more pleased when her father accepts the position of Keeper. However, she just can’t seem to bring herself to accompany him on his weekly rowboat trips to the station to tend the lamp – and what’s more, the mere thought of Finn, her son, setting foot on board sets her insides churning.
Elin knows her father keeps hoping she’ll get over the terror that washes over her every time she considers braving the waters, but she’s starting to have doubts. When she gets into an argument with Finn over his adamant wish to learn how to swim, she can’t possibly trust the handsome captain who offers to instruct him and vows to keep him safe – or can she?
PreOrder/Buy link to the book on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3uFy0We
Amazon Author page: https://amzn.to/3Fgbk3Y
My website: https://www.anneejones.com/
Annee Jones is an inspirational romance novelist who enjoys sharing her heart and imagination with others. She is passionate about writing stories that offer hope and encouragement and likes to think of her books as “romance filled with faith and a sprinkle of fairy dust!”
Annee is also a professional book reviewer for Publishers Weekly in the genre of faith-based fiction (fun tidbit: she drafts many of the editorial reviews you see on Amazon).
Professionally, Annee works as a disability counselor where she helps her clients navigate through complex medical and legal systems while rediscovering their wholeness in Spirit.