Coming in February 2007 people all over the country will be able to learn what many Delawareans have long known – that the state of Delaware has a rich and compelling lighthouse and seafaring heritage. Author and former Delaware resident Bob Trapani, Jr., pays tribute to the rich history of Delaware’s benevolent beacons in a new book entitled, Delaware Lights: A History of Lighthouses in the First State, which is to be published by The History Press in South Carolina.
Delaware is known in many circles as the “Small Wonder” in part for the state’s plethora of contributions to our nation’s rich history despite its diminutive size geographically. From its key role during the War of Independence to its active participation in the maritime development of our great nation throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, Delaware’s leadership and bestowal of contributions to the United States sparkles literally and figuratively – like a lighthouse.
Strong evidence of this notion can be found on the gleaming beams of the First State’s lighthouse heritage. Delaware’s prominent and important role in America’s lighthouse history has been dramatically played out on the waters of the Delaware River & Bay over the last two centuries, as the First State’s guiding beacons have helped safely guide ships to some of the nation’s most vital ports of call. In the process, Delaware’s magnificent sentinels not only have contributed mightily to America’s unparalleled economic prosperity and military might, they also helped save countless lives since the late 1700s as well.
The back cover of Delaware Lights: A History of Lighthouses in the First State alludes to the lure of lighthouses for even the most casual observer and why these sentinels are so captivating, noting, “There is something romantic and heroic about lighthouses – they interrupt darkness and dispel danger with their reassuring beacons, symbolizing hope and security for both seafarers and land lovers.”
The History Press goes on to share with the reader what he or she can expect to enjoy and learn by delving into the pages of Delaware Lights, saying, Bob Trapani, executive director for the American Lighthouse Foundation and co-founder of the Delaware River & Bay Lighthouse Foundation, recounts the stories of twenty-seven beacons from the lost Cape Henlopen Light Station, completed in 1767, to the Marcus Hook Range Rear Light Station, constructed in 1920. He not only discusses their construction and the changes they have undergone, but also tells dramatic tales of their keepers, who sometimes braved storms, isolation and poor conditions so that the lights would stay burning for those at sea.”
In Delaware Lights: A History of Lighthouses in the First State, Trapani also brings Delaware’s lighthouse history full circle by conveying to the reader that though these guiding beacons are now automated and aging, the lights are hardly finished making history here in the 21st century. Modern day efforts to save the First State’s lighthouses by the new “keepers of the lights” – you and I, are highlighted as well, and include the preservation projects of local groups such as the Delaware River & Bay Lighthouse Foundation, Lewes Historical Society and the Overfalls Maritime Museum Foundation.
To order an autographed copy of Delaware Lights...Click Here!
Posted: December 2006