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#197368 - 07/19/06 07:55 AM Lighthouse Keepers and Coast Guard Cutters
beachcomber Offline
Member

Registered: 01/23/01
Posts: 2904
Loc: Houston, TX, USA
I found this little jewel of a book at one of the many lighthouses we visited prior to and after the 2005 Mackinac Island HL Reunion. The subtitle: Heroic Lighthouse Keepers and the Coast Guard Cutters Named After Them.

In recent months we have talked a lot about ships, so I thought this to be an opportune time to discuss this book. I hope some of you have read it and can contribute to the discussion. In case you have not, I will start with some background. Hopefully, you will go find the book and give us your insights. It is very easy reading and you can skip around; it does not have to be read sequentially.

First of all, in one of the very last chapters, the author Frederick Stonehouse writes about a very important company, the Marinette Marine Corporation. It is the company which built the Coast Guard Cutters which we have been discussing. I knew nothing about this company and its role in building ships for the federal government. Maybe some of you have not heard about it either. Some important facts:

It is situated in Marinette, Wisconsin on that side of the Menominee River.

Across the river is the city of Menominee, Michigan.

The bulk of the workforce comes from both of these cities (we have lots of friends in Wisconsin and Michigan).

The shipyard is comprised of 20 acres along 1200 feet of the Minominee River (don't you just love those wonderful Native American names?).

The company was founded by Dr. Clarence Boren and a businessman named Max Hellerman in 1942 (yup - during WWII). These smart men knew naval construction was going to be in great demand.

They started out with cargo barges - made from the lumber of the beautiful forests of Wisconsin and Michigan - and made many, many contributions to the war effort. During that time the Navy honored them for their excellent work by giving them an "E" for excellence flag and a Minuteman flag to fly on the company's flagpole.

Marinette Marine had to diversify after the war but the federal government never forgot the great job they did during the war and eventually they started awarding the company more contracts. The company continuously worked to improve and evolve but there was one constant and that was the workers; it became a family affair to work at Marinette. A mechanic who started out in 1942 worked his way to the position of president. His name was Harold Derusha and he was followed by his son Roger.

You will need to read the chapter for yourself to learn all the particulars of the work which Marinette Marine has done and continues to do. There are lots of pictures, too.

The next chapter: the U.S. Coast Guard.
To be continued... smile
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beachcomber

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#197369 - 07/19/06 03:03 PM Re: Lighthouse Keepers and Coast Guard Cutters
Lighthouser Offline
Cruise Director

Registered: 06/23/03
Posts: 2349
Loc: Mid-Coast Maine
This book must be about the USCG 175' Coastal Bouy Tenders known as the Keeper Class. There are 14 of these with five of them named for women keepers, Ida Lewis and Abbie Burgess among them.

The Harbour Lights Anchor Bay George Cobb is one of the Keeper Class cutters.

The USCGC Frank Drew is stationed in Portsmouth VA and I got to tour it last year, but I didn't have a camera with me.

Here's a list of all fourteen in service:
175-foot Coastal Buoy Tender Keeper Class (WLM)

Another page with a lot of information and photos:
Keeper Class Coastal Buoytender

This sounds like an interesting book, Grace. I expect it contains a lot of neat information about these lighthouse keepers. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. (I'll try to find the book)
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Judy

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#197370 - 07/19/06 04:51 PM Re: Lighthouse Keepers and Coast Guard Cutters
Brindfan Offline
Wacko

Registered: 09/11/05
Posts: 219
Loc: Colorado
Marinette Marine built all the 175' "Keeper" class WLM's. They also built all the 225' "Juniper" class WLB's, as well as the new USCGC MACKINAW (WLBB 30).

Here's a list of the "Juniper" class WLB's and their home ports:

WLB 201 Juniper - Newport, RI

WLB 202 Willow - Newport, RI

WLB 203 Kukui - Honolulu, HI

WLB 204 Elm - Atlantic Beach, NC

WLB 205 Walnut - Honolulu, HI

WLB 206 Spar - Kodiak, AK

WLB 207 Maple - Sitka, AK

WLB 208 Aspen - San Franscisco, CA

WLB 209 Sycamore - Cordova, AK

WLB 210 Cypress - Mobile, AL

WLB 211 Oak - Miami, FL

WLB 212 Hickory - Homer, AK

WLB 213 Fir - Astoria, OR

WLB 214 Hollyhock - Port Huron, MI

WLB 215 Sequoia - Apra Harbor, Guam

WLB 216 Alder - Duluth, MN

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#197371 - 07/19/06 07:50 PM Re: Lighthouse Keepers and Coast Guard Cutters
beachcomber Offline
Member

Registered: 01/23/01
Posts: 2904
Loc: Houston, TX, USA
Precisely, Judy and Brindfan. Those are great links, Judy. I enjoyed going through them. Much of that information is in the book, as well. There is something so special about a book, though. I love being able to reach for a book on my night table at whatever hour to savor over and over something I particularly enjoyed about it - I KNOOOW; you can take your notebook or laptop to bed, too smile , but it doesn't allow for a special relationship like you can have with a book. Okay, before I bore everyone to death, I will stop. Anyway, I'll post more about the book later. I do hope that some of you will get to read it. laugh
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beachcomber

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#197372 - 07/20/06 06:02 PM Re: Lighthouse Keepers and Coast Guard Cutters
Bill and Judy Offline
Super Wacko

Registered: 04/24/04
Posts: 1125
Loc: Arvada, Colorado
I agree with you, Grace. Books are so special and you can take them anywhere and enjoy them over and over.
Judy

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#197373 - 07/20/06 07:17 PM Re: Lighthouse Keepers and Coast Guard Cutters
Brindfan Offline
Wacko

Registered: 09/11/05
Posts: 219
Loc: Colorado
I own this book too. My dad gave it to me about five years ago for my birthday.

The stories of each lightkeeper that has a ship named after him/her, are a must read. These people sacrificed a lot in the service to their country. Some, like Chief Boatswain's Mate Anthony Petit, made the ultimate sacrifice.

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#197374 - 07/20/06 08:31 PM Re: Lighthouse Keepers and Coast Guard Cutters
5lights Offline
Super Wacko

Registered: 04/26/06
Posts: 2415
Loc: Winneconne, Wisconsin
I've added this book to my list to get. Love to curl up with a good book and be transported to those times and places. It's like a vacation without leaving the house! wink
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Debbie

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#197375 - 07/20/06 09:11 PM Re: Lighthouse Keepers and Coast Guard Cutters
Brindfan Offline
Wacko

Registered: 09/11/05
Posts: 219
Loc: Colorado
The official name of the book is, "Lighthouse Keepers & Coast Guard Cutters" written by Frederick Stonehouse. It is published by Avery Color Studios Inc. Gwinn, MI 49841

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#197376 - 07/20/06 10:09 PM Re: Lighthouse Keepers and Coast Guard Cutters
beachcomber Offline
Member

Registered: 01/23/01
Posts: 2904
Loc: Houston, TX, USA
That's why the name of the thread. wink I will try to write another bit on it later tonight.
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beachcomber

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#197377 - 07/21/06 07:37 PM Re: Lighthouse Keepers and Coast Guard Cutters
beachcomber Offline
Member

Registered: 01/23/01
Posts: 2904
Loc: Houston, TX, USA
The last chapter in the book is "The United States Coast Guard", but it is specifically about the tenders. It discusses the Keeper-Class (coastal) and the Juniper-Class (seagoing). If you know nothing about these, this chapter will give you a good background: engines, deck operations, all the different systems, the characteristics of each, etc., etc. Among many other aspects discussed is "The Mission" of the Keeper-Class tenders to maintain ATON. Most of you know what that's about - I learned about ATON from this book and during the Tidewater trip. Of course, I knew about aids to navigation, just didn't know about all the complexities and the role of the CG. At one point, it was determined that the mission could best be met by a mix of the larger Juniper-Class WLB and the smaller Keeper-Class WLM. However, ATON, along with everything else continue to change and so must the way the mission is implemented. "The Deepwater Project" is also discussed (you will have to read the book to learn about that), however, the book was written in 2000.... There are many wonderful pictures (all black and white), including "The end of the line" when Marinette turns over a new tender to the CG crew.

I started with the last two chapters, "The Cutters", because they give the background for the rest of the book.

Next "The Keepers" for whom they were named.
To be continued.... smile
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beachcomber

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#197378 - 07/22/06 05:31 AM Re: Lighthouse Keepers and Coast Guard Cutters
Brindfan Offline
Wacko

Registered: 09/11/05
Posts: 219
Loc: Colorado
It also pays homage to the old WWII built 180' WLB's. They were the workhorses of the CG fleet for 50+ years.

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