Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Lighthouse Library Boxes

The next issue of the Mystery Readers Journal will focus on Islands. One of the novels I particularly enjoyed features a Lighthouse on an island off the Cornish Coast, The Lighthouse by P.D. James. Sadly no one wrote an article for this issue on Lighthouse mysteries-- maybe it's its own subgenre. The loneliness of the lighthouse keeper has always peaked my interest.  So I was pleased to come across this article from the Michigan Lighthouse Conservancy on USLHE Traveling Libraries.

As light keeping was a lonely profession, supplies were usually brought to the keepers and families by lighthouse tender ships and included a library box. Library boxes were filled with books and switched from station to station to supply different reading materials to the families. In 1876 portable libraries were introduced in the Light-House Establishment and furnished to all light vessels and inaccessible offshore light stations with a selection of reading materials. These libraries were contained in a portable wooden case, each with a printed listing of the contents posted inside the door.

Read More HERE including a list of some of the titles.
Bookplate!

6 comments:

Jonathan Hayes said...

Gosh, those are *beautiful*! I'd love a set of book cabinets like that...

Janet Rudolph said...

Me, too!

Marlyn said...

Me, three!

Sal said...

Lovely.

Chuck B. said...

Me four! (re how beautiful those boxes / cabinets are)

Janet, I agree with you that a lighthouse on a lonely, windswept island, shrouded by fog, would make a great setting for a mystery and/or ghost story. That life appeals to me, too -- especially when our modern 21st century lifestyle gets too hectic!

vallerose said...

And there is the wonderfully creepy old radio story Three Skeleton Key that takes place on a lighthouse. Love the book boxes.