Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Famous Mascot of the Lighthouse Tender Hyacinth

If you loved my last blog entry about Old Jack the Lighthouse Mule, you'll like this one too!
The Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association has been around for more than thirty years. I met the founders of the group in 1985 at a conference in Rockland, Maine, and they enlisted me to help them write articles for the GLLKA newsletter, The Beacon. Below is the first article I wrote for GLLKA for the Fall 1985 issue.
I discovered a copy of it while organizing my office in my new home in Connecticut. It's just as heartwarming a story today as it was more than thirty years ago. The information is true and was first mentioned in the United States Lighthouse Service Bulletin for 1927. Since no one seemed to have a photo, the drawing of Sport was done by Leo Kuchel, who did many illustrations and covers for The Beacon.
Here's a picture of the Hyacinth, courtesy of the George N. Fletcher Library in Alpena, Michigan. She was built in 1903 and served navigational aids for many years. She was scrapped in 1957.
Many ships had mascots in years past, mostly cats and dogs. Those days are gone, for health reasons I'm told. A four-footed friend surely would have made life at sea easier!(Click on the image below for a larger copy of the article.)

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