At the North Light, February 12, 1907

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Postby Grover1 » Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:34 pm

Believe those who search for the truth ...
Doubt those who find it ...
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Postby ericlighthouse » Sat Feb 10, 2007 6:18 am

Very interesting article.
President of Florida Keys Reef Lights Foundation, Godfather of Jones Point River Lighthouse, member and EVP of Florida Lighthouse Association and member of other lighthouse groups.
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Postby Keeper » Wed Feb 14, 2007 9:24 am

Robert M. Downie has done a great job documenting that wreck. There's quite a bit on the Larchmont in my book on the lighthouses of Rhode Island. Here's a little:

Keeper Elam Littlefield was awakened early in the morning on February 12 by the frantic barking of his dog, Leo. The keeper was then startled by someone knocking on a window. When he opened the door, a teenaged boy fell near his feet, nearly dead. “More coming, more coming,” was all he could manage to say. The boy, Fred Heirgsell, later said that he had nearly given up hope, but was encouraged when he heard the barking dog.

The keeper’s wife and children played a major role in caring for the survivors. The lighthouse became a makeshift hospital, with strips torn from bedspreads used as bandages. In 1974, Block Island historian Robert M. Downie interviewed the keeper’s daughter, Gladys, who was 17 at the time of the Larchmont disaster. Gladys ran errands between the lighthouse and lifesaving station during the ordeal. She told Downie about one man who was brought into the kitchen, more dead than alive. One of the lifesaving crew and Gladys’s sister, Austis, tried to revive the man, but he died. Gladys vividly recalled the arrival of Captain McVey, who simply said, “Two hundred lives lost.”

Keeper Littlefield had the solemn duty of taking his horse and cart along the beach, picking up the bodies that had come ashore and taking them to the lifesaving station. The exact number will never be known, but over 100 had perished, with more than 40 bodies washing up at Sandy Point. The remains of the Larchmont now lie in about 130 feet of water, three miles southeast of Watch Hill.

(So much for the romance of lighthouse keeping.)
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