Book – The Lightkeepers’ Menagerie

 The Lightkeepers’ Menagerie: Stories of Animals at Lighthouses

– by Elinor De Wire

 

 Hardcover: 328 pages

  • Publisher: Pineapple Press (March 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561643904
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561643905
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches

I came across this book while doing a Google search for another author. Google Books has given a few free pages to read from this book. From these preview pages I think I will be buying the book. It sounds absolutely wonderful.

“Elinor De Wire has been writing about lighthouses and their keepers since 1972. During that time she found that hundreds of lighthouse animals wandered into her research notes and photo collection. This book is the story of all these cold-nosed, whiskered, wooly, hoofed, horned, slithery, buzzing, feathered, and finned keepers of the lights. Where else would a dog learn to ring a fogbell; a cat go swimming and catch a fish for its supper; or a parrot cuss the storm winds rattling its cage?

 

Who other than a lightkeeper would swim a cow home, tame a baby seal, adopt an orphan alligator, send messages via carrier pigeons, or imagine mermaids coming to visit? The Lightkeepers’ Menagerie gathers together animal stories from lighthouses all around the world, tales of happiness and sadness, courage and cowardice, tragedy and comedy, even absurdity. Sometimes, fur, feathers, and fins tell the best tales.” – Pineapple Press

 If anyone has read the book, please let us know what you think about it in the comments.

2 thoughts on “Book – The Lightkeepers’ Menagerie

  1. Hi John,
    This website is absolutely wonderful! I’ve been spending a lot of time on it of late reading all the posts and stories. Kudos to you for preserving this important story! Thank you as well for the nice comments about my book, The Lightkeepers’ Menagerie. I hope you’ve picked up a copy. If not, I’ll send you one if you provide a mailing address. The book has several stories from BC, including Ivory Island and McInnis. If you visit my website you’ll see my other lighthouse books. I’m working on my 18th lighthouse book now. Guardians of the Lights is my favorite and includes some BC stories. Chris Mills read it while serving at Ivory and contacted me; we remain fast friends. He is coming to BC in July and I hope to see him then. He visited me in 2010 and spoke to a nonprofit group I chaired at the time–wonderful man who’s done much to preserve lighthouse history. Currently, I’m writing a book about BC lightkeepers, to be published in 2013 by Paradise Cay Publications, Arcata, CA. I was in BC for two weeks in early June and met Milt Magee at Cape Mudge and the Tiglmanns at Nootka. I’d love to make contact with more of the keepers. Could you help me with that? I am interested in telling their stories and preserving the history. Pictures are really helpful too, as they convey so much of the story and augument the text. I know the keepers (including you??) have scads of pictures. Fisheries is lax to put me in touch with serving keepers, due to the sensitivity about de-staffing. They say they want no more negative press and worry about what I’ll print. I am not planning a tirade in print about de-staffing. I think anyone who reads my books and articles knows how important it is to keep lighthouses staffed–the message is clearly implied in the narrative without hammers and nails and crucifixtion of “The Powers.” People grow to love the stories and then grasp the issues. I know this chapter of history is coming to a close someday–later rather than sooner, I hope–and it needs to be documented and saved. I’m doing my best to make that happen. You’re doing your part. Thanks again for this wonderful website. I look forward to hearing from you. My email is elinordewire@gmail.com. My address is P.O. Box 1022, Seabeck, WA 98380. Feel free to share my contact info with any keepers, active or retired, and let them know I’d enjoy emailing with them. Best wishes–Elinor DeWire

    • hello Elinor, I reviewed your book The Lightkeeper’s Menagerie as it sounded so interesting. I did not know you had written many more lighthouse books. I will take a look. Thanks for the nice long informative comment. Looking forward to emailing you. – retlkpr

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