Abbie Burgess Grant
Born in Maine in 1839 and with a limited education, Abbie tended the
lights faithfully for most of her life. One week after her father received
his appointment as lighthouse keeper at Matinicus Rock, Abbie inherited
the lamps. Her career as a lighthouse keeper spanned 38 years and saw her
work at Matinicus and White Head Light Stations. Abbie was a heroine upon
several occasions. She risked her safety and well being for the sake of
her family and "those that go down to the sea ships." It was
not until she married Isaac Grant, bore four children and moved to White
Head Light, that Abbie receive proper recognition and a salary for her
lighthouse duties. She died in Maine in 1892.
More about Abbie Burgess Grant
- Find Rockland, Matinicus Island and Matinicus Rock on a map.
- Abbie cared for the lights from the time she was thirteen until she
was fifty years old. She was thirty-six years old when she first received
appointment as assistant lighthouse keeper at White Head Light. Discuss
how her work, pay and responsibilities and compare them to the present
- Compare how lighthouses work today and how they worked in Abbie's time.
- How many times would they have had to ring the bell if the mechanism
wasn't working for 16 days? One week? 27 days? (She had to ring the bell
4 times each minute)
- Build a model lighthouse.
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