The following letter was penned by keeper Elson Small after being transferred from Maine’s island-bound St. Croix River Lighthouse along the international border between the United States and Canada to Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse in New Castle, New Hampshire. Keeper Small wrote the letter on October 1, 1946 and it was later published in the October 22, 1946 edition of the Rockland Courier-Gazette newspaper.
An Historic Change…
Elson Small Transferred to Site of First Revolutionary Victory
New Castle, N.H., Oct. 1
Editor of the Courier-Gazette
“I have been transferred to Portsmouth Harbor Light Station, New Castle, N.H. I have enjoyed your paper very much.
“We left the site of the first white settlement and came to the site of the first victory of the Revolution so feel that history plays quite a part in our destination.
“Portsmouth Harbor Light Station is situated in the southeast corner of Fort Constitution and was established in 1771. The first fuel used in the light here was sperm and hake oil, quite a contrast to our present electricity.
“This is also a storm signal station so even though our duties are lightened by electricity and mainland privileges, we are kept pretty busy. After 26 years of island duty, it seems pretty wonderful.” – Elson L. Small