I have always loved lighthouses. When my husband and I took vacations to the east coast we always visited the lighthouses.
Recently moving to Michigan I was so happy to find out the state, with 3,288 miles of shoreline, is home to more lighthouses than any other state in the USA. Although Old Man Winter is showing up this week with a snow storm and we will not be able to do much traveling right now, come spring I’m heading out to check out these lighthouses. As the maps below show that will probably keep me busy for a long, long time.
In the meantime, thought you might enjoy some interesting facts about lighthouses:
- A person who likes lighthouses is said to be a pharophisle. (Not really sure about that one – the word is not in the dictionary but there are plenty of lighthouse lovers who insist this is a word. Collins English Dictionary says it is a word “pending investigation”.)
- The United States has more lighthouses than any other country – 37 states have lighthouses.
- The tallest lighthouse in the USA is Cape Hatteras Light on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. It stands 193 feet tall.
- The tallest lighthouse in the world is in Saudi Arabia. Jeddah Light is 436 feet tall.
- The east coast of the USA has 391 lighthousesas opposed to only 94 on the west coast.
- A lighthouse keeper was sometimes called a “wickie” because in the days before electricity the oil lamps were used for a light. The lighthouse keeper was responsible for keeping the wicks trimmed and the light burning.
I think one reason I love lighthouses so much is the very idea of their existence. They were created to serve as a navigational aid and to warn boats of dangerous areas. As a girl I loved the song “Jesus is The Lighthouse.” The Bible also talks quite a bit about Christians being lights in the world.
Here’s the song sung by the Heritage Singers. Note that it is from 1976 – but I hope you will take time to listen to it.
And you can bet come spring I’ll be posting about the lighthouses of Michigan.