CHARACTERS Õ Miss Colfaxs Light


Ce there were very few female lighthouse keepers in the country at that time For 43 years until the age of 80 Harriet kept her light burning through storms harsh winters and change. Narrative biography told in chronological order Details bring the reader right into the lighthouse with her and the illustrations pull us even closer to the passion dedication and determination of Miss Colfax We also feel her acceptance of the end of her life time work But Harriet understood She was 80 years old It was timeAuthor's note and Glossary of Lighthouse Terms give details Occasional inserts of her diary entries help show the faithfulness of Bissonette's narratives

FREE READ Miss Colfaxs Light

Miss Colfaxs LightS in technology This true story focuses on Harriet's commitment and determination to fulfilling her charge and living life on her own terms Excerpts from her actual log are include. I generally prefer spare short picture books so I blanched when I saw the amount of text on each spread But I was uickly drawn into the dramatic story of this female lighthouse keeper in the 1800s and all the physical and dangerous work she did Lovely by turns dramatic and detailed pen and ink art by Eileen Ryan Ewen complements this story of determination and bravery A compelling way to learn a bit of history

Aimée M. Bissonette Í 1 CHARACTERS

CHARACTERS Õ Miss Colfaxs Light ã In 1861 at the age of 37 Harriet Colfax took on the job of lighthouse keeper for the Michigan City lighthouse off Lake Michigan It was a bold and determined endeavor especially since there were very few female lighthouse keepers in the country at that time For 43 years until the age of 80 Harriet kept her light burnIn 1861 at the age of 37 Harriet Colfax took on the job of lighthouse keeper for the Michigan City lighthouse off Lake Michigan It was a bold and determined endeavor especially sin.  This was a pretty inspirational story and would be good for kids especially young girls to read to show them they can do anything they want The phrase I can do this was said throughout and would be a good thing for kids to incorporate into their own lives to get them through difficult things in lifeIt didn't say how Harriet Colfax went from living with her brother to becoming a lighthouse keeper There was no background on that and the book starts out with her moving into the houseThis was a uniue lighthouse for sure not what I was expecting I was surprised that this lighthouse was attached to the house unlike most other lighthouses Although probably better and easier for the keeper to manage not walking outside in all types of weather to go to the light And it wasn't attached on the side either It looked like a regular house with just the light attached on the roof They didn't say how tall it was and I wish they had It can't be too talk since it's attached to the house and the top was only a little higher than the roof It's amazing what this woman did how long she was a lighthouse keeper 43 years and what she did to have her freedom in the place she loved After her brother moved she wanted to stay behind and moved into the lighthouse with her friend Ann It's crazy what all she had to do how she went up and down the stairs twice a day at night to light the lamp and again in the morning to turn the lamp off And then when they added a beacon light on the pier and she had to walk across a catwalk 1500 feet onto Lake Michigan and then moved it to another spot she had to row to and go across the shore to walk a catwalk that went 500 feet further than the last one It's like they wanted to make her job miserable It's amazing she wasn't cussing mad about all of this The lights and catwalks would get damaged during storms Lighthouse keeping was definitely not glamorous or as romantic as it seemsSometimes the Lighthouse Inspector would let Harriet hire an assistant to help with the beacon light and other times he wouldn't During this time work was hard to come by for frontiersmen so it seemed like the Lighthouse Board was trying to make her uit by making her job even difficult Well she got them because she didn't uitIt was also interesting to see how technology changed throughout history how the lamp was lit with whale oil and then later replaced with lard oil which was cheaper and easier to get But the lard oil had to be heated up on the stove and could freeze over on the walk to the beacon and would have to be reheated Boy that would suck And in 1904 it was replaced by a modern light ran by a steam engine and boilers and a fog whistle It had coal fired furnaces and needed several keepers to run That ended Harriet's era Which is a shame I like the older lighthouses not the modern onesShe was 37 when she first became the keeper and 80 when she retired She sold some things from the household packed her bags and left and she says I can do this as she has throughout her lifeIn some of the images it made it look like Harriet lived alone but her friend Ann also lived there I wondered with all the chores she had to do if Ann ever helped I know she was a teacher but it seemed like she would have helped with some of the tasks Harriet had to do each day When she leaves the house after she retires it didn't mention anything about Ann leaving tooAt the start there were very few female lighthouse keepers but in the Author's Note it said there were many women lighthouse keepers throughout our history Most became lighthouse keepers because their husbands or fathers were and I guess they took over for them if they died or something and couldn't do it any Her cousin Schuyler Colfax was a Congressman and eventually Vice President and was probably the reason she got her jobDuring the Author's Note it says Harriet was better educated than most keepers and I was surprised to read that Harriet’s logs are famous for the details she gave because I thought they were very simple and bare bones Straight to the facts no personal opinions or anything It mentions how when President Garfield was shot in 1881 she draped the lighthouse in mourning but not exactly what that meant Did she put black cloth on the windows Drape black cloth on the lighthouse Then how on July 4th 1896 she floated to the breeze the new US flag with 45 starsThose were much interesting logs and I'd rather read those than the ones about the weather that were used in the bookShe worked every single day around the clock for forty years She told a reporter she loved the lamps the lighthouse and the work that it was home and she'd rather die there than live anywhere elseShe died on April 16 1905 only six months after retiring and less than three months after Ann died They're buried near each other in Michigan The light never failed while she was in service I found the story to be a tad disjointed The logs weren't as revealing as I would have hoped I wanted them to be like a diary not just strictly what she did or about the weather At one point it felt like the story was about to end and then it kept going It's really nice this was a true story and that the house has been turned into a museum that you can visit I would love to see this Inspirational though a tad on the simple side Not as good as I thought it would be