The following letter was written by Ruth Corbett Farris, daughter of Little River Light Station keeper Willie Corbett. The letter was published in the December 1954 edition of the Maine Coast Fisherman.
Bell Tower Moves
Cutler, Maine – “Here is a picture for the lighthouse news,” writes Mrs. Glenn Farris of Cutler. “It was Hurricane Edna that did the damage on the lighthouses along the coast. The two pictures show what the wind and sea can do when they are angry. The bell tower was moved 8 feet from where it stood so many years.
“The other picture shows where the bell tower tore up the walk and steps. I just stood in astonishment at the destruction. Large rocks and debris were halfway up to the dwelling. Also, many trees were blown down all over the island.
“Little River Light was my home for 19 years. Willie Corbett was the keeper from 1924 until his retirement in 1942. I am his daughter. He had a family of four boys and four girls. His wife died in 1946. He married again to Selia Dennison McNeil of this town five years ago. They live in his old homestead, which is a quiet, beautiful spot a half-mile from the village.
“Of course his interests would be with the lighthouse keepers during bad storms. When I was a child, I used to love a storm, but it makes a difference when you get older, that is if you marry a fisherman as I did. Storms can destroy many traps.
“My father’s first station when he entered the service was Saddleback. From there he went to Monhegan, Tenants Harbor and then to Little River.
“As I look back on my childhood days, they were happy ones. We children had to attend schools in the village, meaning we had to cross the water every day and take our dinners. Of course that was fun for us, but I think my mother, how hard she had to work for us – cooking, mending, washing and getting our lunches ready.
“My father always kept a cow, hens and pig. Some of our trips across the water weren’t too pleasant but it didn’t seem to bother us much for we trusted in our father that we would reach land safely.
“I always enjoy reading the Lighthouse news and the months seem long waiting for the paper to come. The children in the picture are mine. Delia age 7 and Celia age 5.”