More than 50 women defied the gender expectations of their time to serve the sailing communities on Lakes Huron, Michigan, and Superior, as well as on the Detroit River, during the active lighthouse-keeping era. From Catherine Shook, who raised eight children while maintaining the Pointe Aux Barques light at the entrance to Saginaw Bay; to Eliza Truckey, who assumed responsibility for the lighthouse in Marquette while her husband fought for four years in the Civil War; to Elizabeth Whitney, whose combined service on Beaver Island and in Harbor Springs totaled forty-one years—the stories of Michigan’s “ladies of the lights” are inspiring.
About the Presenter: Patricia Majher is a former editor of Michigan History magazine and a museum professional who has held administrative positions at institutions including The Henry Ford and Mackinac State Historic Parks. In addition to “Ladies of the Lights,” she has published “Great Girls in Michigan History” and “Bold Boys in Michigan History” with Wayne State University Press
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