A spectacular collection of America’s most iconic and stunning lighthouses. Through gorgeous photography, this book celebrates these unique and magnificent beacons and their history. The construction of lighthouses began as this new nation’s first public-works project in 1789 and established the United States as a maritime world power by making ports safe for navigation. These structures—many still active and serving their original purpose even in the era of global positioning systems—are living museums, yet they often prove difficult to access for visitors due to their necessary remoteness. From Maine’s West Quoddy Head on the easternmost headlands to the iconic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, and the West Coast lighthouses from New Point Loma to New Dungeness and Michigan’s Grand Haven Pier Lighthouse, the images here will delight both the armchair traveler and those who have taken the back roads or trekked across sandy beaches to visit these special and often artful buildings. This is a great gift for lovers of lighthouses, boaters, and those who live or dream of living on the seashore.
About the Author
Lieutenant Commander Tom Beard, USCG (Retired), split his military flying career between a Vietnam tour as a Navy carrier pilot and work as a Coast Guard rescue pilot, after which he received academic training as a historian specializing in American maritime history. The United States Lighthouse Society is a nonprofit historical and educational organization incorporated to educate, inform, and entertain those who are interested in lighthouses.
"A new book looks at nearly 150 ‘castles’ of the coast. Lighthouses have exchanged their once-crucial role in shipping and American coastal security for a new one as maritime monuments. A new book, Lighthouses of America by former Coast Guard rescue pilot Tom Beard in collaboration with the U.S. Lighthouse Society, showcases nearly 150 of what some historians have called 'America’s castles.' Organized into geographical areas, including New England, the Great Lakes, and the West Coast, the book describes lighthouses’ changing role as automated lights took over from people. Even in the era of boats guided by GPS, some sailors still appreciate the welcoming glow of that distant beam.” —The Wall Street Journal
"Lighthouses of America, produced in association with the United States Lighthouse Society, is the next best thing to a tour of the real things. Not only do the stunning photographs transport you instantly to the harbors, bluffs, cliffs, and dunes of America’s coastlines, the accompanying narratives reveal the 300-year history of these iconic spires. It’s a trip through the past from a maritime perspective. …From cover to cover, it’s a pleasure to hold and peruse—not just once, but again and again—whenever it’s time for a retreat into the beauty and historic import of these charming towers. I loved learning about Fresnel lenses, too, those amazing works of glass art that gave lighthouses the ability to keep ships from harm. It’s informative, beautiful, inspiring, and just the right size to live permanently on my coffee table in Las Vegas, Nevada. The nearest lighthouse is 250 miles away, but thanks to this book, I can escape into the romance and history of 'America’s castles' any time I pick it up." —meganedwards.com
"Of the enduring charm of lighthouses, the book’s editor and former Coast Guard rescue pilot Tom Beard writes, “Open seas in darkness is an eerie, sometimes frightening experience for navigators, but a distant, flashing light to sailors conveys a symbol of hope, tranquility, and comfort. Inside the tower, stalwart lighthouse keepers, tending lights in all manner of weather and personal privation, add to the mystique.” " —Atlas Obscura