In August 1995, I moved into a
lighthouse on a tiny windswept island
two miles off the coast of Maine.
I spent up to six months there every
year for 10 years, and kept a daily
diary for much of that time.
I collected rainwater from the roof (into
cisterns under the house) and purified it for
drinking through a table top gravity- fed filter
developed for the International Red Cross.
I heated with an old Atlantic cook stove in
the kitchen and a wood- burning stove in the
dining room. Light from kerosene lamps. I
refilled the lamps each morning, trimmed
their wicks, and cleaned the soot from their
"All articles known as luxuries are forbidden to
be provided at the expense of the Light-House
Establishment. Good, substantial and
wholesome food only will be provided."
Regulation 186, Instructions to Light-Keepers
and Masters of Light-House Vessels.
Published 1902 by the United States Light-House
Establishment. By authority of the Lighthouse
Board. Washington: Government Printing Office.
August 14, 1995,
exactly one week
the island and
the day we
brought out two
sheep from my
here with crazy
owner, Dad. Note
the old doors that
had been tied
around the tower
dome for years
in an attempt to
keep out rain and
August 29, 1995,
two weeks later.
on barge loaded
headed for Mark
Island. I rounded
up a long list of
and hired the
6:00 AM July__,1995.
"Bill, it's Larry. Would you have any
interest in buying Mark Island? The
My heart began to race.
"Somebody lives in the big tree beside this house.
She lives in a nest that she built on a branch."
Guess Who Lives Here, Louise Woodcock