By Beverly Hicks Burch
In 1986 I began a love affair that continues to this day. Although I had seen the object of my affection before, my passion came to fruition in the state of Maine. It was in that state that I became hopelessly and totally enamored with…lighthouses.
There is just something about the symbolism of the silent sentinel that captures me and holds a special mystery for me. In Maine I toured, sought out and visited tens upon tens of lighthouses…probably many that most Mainers have never seen. Standing in the shadow of those great lights and looking out toward the powerful force of the sea it’s not hard to imagine the life of isolation…and solitary beauty many of the lighthouse keepers and their families had to live.
Some lighthouses were miles off the mainland, reachable only by boat. Most had seen their fair share of violent storms that threatened the existence of the life and soul of the personnel manning the light and in some cases the lighthouse itself. Some lights are rumored to be haunted by poor wretched souls who met tragic ends on their isolated watch. Some tales even weave sad stories of wives who took their own lives because they couldn’t take the isolation any longer. It would be rare to find a lighthouse that had never stood watch over a shipwreck, giving hope to survivors and guiding them safely to shore.
My favorite symbolism of the lighthouse is their representation of the guiding light. Those lighthouses offered guidance to seafarers amid storms, rocky shores and misty, foggy conditions. Sounds a lot like life in general, doesn’t it? Just like those ships and boats of old we need a Guiding Light or Force in our daily life.
Over the years I have made it a personal mission to seek out and visit any lighthouse that I possibly could. This past summer I visited Tybee Island Light near Savannah, GA. I have visited lighthouses in the South, in Hawaii and on the Great Lakes.
It was in 1987 I first became familiar with Split Rock Lighthouse on the North Shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota. It is without a doubt one of my favorite lighthouses. The beauty that surrounds it is unsurpassed and I think the architecture is unique and special. The lighthouse was completed in 1910 and cost a whopping (in 1910 dollars) $75,000.
As I mentioned the other day Tall & Handsome and I were visiting his family in Minnesota last month. I was very happy to have the opportunity to share some of my favorite “spots” with him when we took a quick jaunt up that way before we headed home. Happily we discovered a few new places on our own, including Two Harbors Lighthouse which is the oldest operating lighthouse in Minnesota and possibly the US.
I hope you enjoy the rest of this blog which is a picture journey of our stay on the North Shore.
Burch by the Birch
You can see just a tad of Lake Superior on the horizon between the trees in the middle of the picture…
Gooseberry Falls, MN
Split Rock Light…from a distance…
See the split in the rock?
T & H meets the lighthouse…
© 2009 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.