A special woman
in the history of lighthouses.
|In 1853, Abbie's father,
Sam Burgess, was appointed Lighthouse Keeper at Matinicus
Rock. Abbie was one of ten children. She had two older sisters,
one older brother; five younger sisters; her youngest sibling was a boy.
She married Isaac Grant, son of Capt. John Grant, the keeper of Matinicus
after her father. They had four children: Francis, Melvina, Mary Louise
|Although her father and
father-in-law held the title of Lighthouse Keeper at Matinicus Rock, it
was Abbie that was in charge of the work. In 1873, Isaac was appointed
Keeper at White Head Light Station and
he and Abbie tended the lights there. Abbie received the appointment of
assistant keeper at White Head in 1875. She retired from there in 1890
due to illness.
|Born in Maine in 1839 and
with a limited education, Abbie tended the lights faithfully for most of
her life. One week after her father received his appointment as lighthouse
keeper at Matinicus Rock, Abbie inherited the lamps. Her career as a lighthouse
keeper spanned 38 years and saw her work at Matinicus and White Head Light
Stations. Abbie was a heroine upon several occasions. She risked her safety
and well being for the sake of her family and "those that go down to the
sea ships" It was not until she married Isaac Grant, bore four children
and moved to White Head Light, that Abbie receive proper recognition and
a salary for her lighthouse duties.
A Great Childrens Book
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Keep The Light
by Peter Roop