Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter

The Remarkable True Story Of American Heroine Ida Lewis

Book Description

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter is the absorbing, painstakingly researched story of Ida Lewis and the fearless rescues she made at Lime Rock Lighthouse in Newport, Rhode Island. Born in 1842, Ida began tending the light at age fifteen after her father, the keeper of the light, was disabled by a stroke. When her father died in 1872, Ida’s mother assumed the role of lighthouse keeper but Ida continued to do the work. Then when her mother died in 1879, Ida was officially appointed to the job, where she remained until her death in 1911.
Ida is credited with saving at least eighteen lives during her nearly forty years on the tiny island in Newport Harbor. She became famous nationwide in the late 1860s after one of her daring rescues, and the town of Newport celebrated her on Independence Day 1869. In 1924, the Rhode Island legislature officially changed the name of Lime Rock Lighthouse to Ida Lewis Lighthouse. In 1928, all but a portion of Lime Rock used for the light tower was sold to yachtsmen who preserved the historic house and established the Ida Lewis Yacht Club. In 1995, a Coast Guard buoy tender was named for her.

About Skomal, Lenore

Lenore Skomal is an author and career journalist with more than 25 years experience in all forms of media, including newspaper, radio broadcasting, the Internet and television. She is the author of 10 books, including Lady Liberty: The History of the Statue of Liberty (Cider Mill Press, Spring 2009) Her first nonfiction title, The Keeper of Lime Rock: The remarkable true story of Ida Lewis America's most famous female lighthouse keeper (Running Press, 2002) won prestigious honors from the New York Public Library and accolades from Publisher's Weekly and Booksense. Her weekly humor column and videocast ( has won numerous Society of Professional Journalist awards, and her literary fiction “Mother Dance” placed in the top 100 of last year's Writer's Digest annual fiction writer's competition which drew over 18,000 entries. In addition to writing, she is an engaging public speaker with over 1000 public appearances and book tours over her career. Until recently, she also taught college journalism and creative writing at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa. and Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pa.