Ida Lewis: Mother of all Keepers

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(Accession Number 2019.0004.000001) -Harper’s Weekly, April 17, 1869. Illustration of Ida Lewis rescuing two drowning soldiers.

Ida Lewis: Mother of All Keepers

Here at The Mariners’ Museum and Park, Ida Lewis is no stranger. We’ve blogged, Tweeted, written, and lectured all about our heroine of Lime Rock Light. However, our mission here at the Museum is all about Maritime Connections because we’re all connected by the water. That’s why I chose Ida Lewis. Her acts of heroism are still inspiring women of all ages and created legacies that now bear her name. Out of these legacies have come a personal maritime connection and a story of another young woman with a link to Ida’s legacy. I want to take Ida’s story one step further than all the reasons she had the reputation of being able to “row a boat faster than any man in Newport.”  As you can probably tell, I’m excited to share these stories with you just in time for Women’s History Month.

Mother’s Keeper

First, I’d be doing you and Ida herself a disservice if I didn’t give you a little background on our brave lightkeeper. Idawalley Zorada (sometimes spelled “Zoradia”) Lewis, the second oldest of four children and eldest daughter of Captain Hosea Lewis. Capt. Lewis became keeper of Lime Rock Light at Newport, Rhode Island, in 1854 when Ida was 12-years-old.   Read more

No TV, I'm fine

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I recently gave an educational tour to second graders from Stonebridge School in Chesapeake, Va.  We are in the International Small Craft Center, and I am explaining to them about the Sampan boat from the Far East.  This boat would be used for a water taxi or small cargo, (like a UPS driver) and that the boat was like a houseboat for the family.  I explained that the family gathered back in the boat for the evening.  I asked them “what did the family do for entertainment?  Did they play Scrabble or Apples-to-Apples or watch TV?”  They remarked “no TV!”  At that point, a bright little boy said ” I DON’T HAVE A TV, AND I AM FINE!”  At that moment, I felt like Art Linkletter!

Just another example how being Docent/Educator can be fun and surprising!