Kate Moore and the “Fairweather” Lighthouse

Fairweather Lighthouse image from the Lighthouse Depot website. They have more information about the lighthouse and the keepers, including Kate Moore, as well as pictures. The Lighthouse Friends website has a few beautiful pictures of the Fayerweather lighthouse as well as a map showing its location.

The Brave Girl.

ANOTHER GRACE DARLING. — There has recently been a communication in a N.Y. paper, the Sunday Messenger, respecting a lady whom they denominate a second Grace Darling — a young, intelligent and interesting woman, within sixty miles of New York, who has, with the assistance of an aged and infirm father, saved twenty-one lives within the last fifteen years; and yet has never been known to the public, or in any way remembered or celebrated as a public benefactor, which the writer attributes to her being an American, asserting — “had she been English, all Europe would have rang with her achievements, and our public papers been filled with her praises.”

We have been at some pains to make inquiries respecting this lady, and within a few days have conversed with a person who is intimately acquainted with her, and her worthy family.

Kate Moore is the daughter of Captain Moore, who keeps the light-house on Fairweather island, situated midway between the harbors of Black Rock and Bridgeport, Conn. The island contains five acres of land, and is about half a mile from shore. Many disasters, it is known, have occurred to vessels driven round Montauk Point in a storm, and sometimes in the Sound homeward bound, and this lady’s ear is so accurate, it is said she can distinguish the shrikes of the drowning mariner, and direct her barque in the darkest night. She can trim a boat and manage it as well as any man, and seems to make up in tact what she lacks in strength, and never refuses to turn out in the darkest night to the relief of the sufferers. Our informant adds, that she is a highly accomplished and literary lady, perfectly feminine in her manners, and that, although she occasionally visits New York and other places in that vicinity, and has a large and most respectable acquaintance, many of whom know of these facts, they have never come to the knowledge of the public before.

The late lamented Major Noah, who was remarkable for collecting the most interesting facts, by some means became acquainted with them. We also understand that Capt. Moore and his worthy helpmate have resided upon the island over twenty years, and raised a family of five children, upon a salary of $300 a year, all of whom have excellent education, and that they entertain a great many person, who visit the island, with true old-fashioned hospitality.

[Providence Daily Post.

Watertown Chronicle (Watertown, Wisconsin) Jun 11, 1851

Kate Moore image from Bridgeport Public Library Historical Collections.

American Biographical Library
The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans
Volume 3
Daughters of America; or Women of the Century
Chapter V: Philanthropic Women
Ida Lewis
page 136

England is proud of her Grace Darling, and her name and prowess in rescuing the drowning is familiar to all who cherish deeds of heroic philanthropy; but England is rivalled by America when Kate Moore and Ida Lewis are mentioned. KATE MOORE was the daughter of a light-house keeper, and her home was Fairweather Island, on the coast of Connecticut. In 1851 Mr. Clement wrote of her, “She has so thoroughly cultivated the sense of hearing, that she can distinguish amid the howling storm the shrieks of the drowning mariners, and thus direct a boat, which she has learned to manage most dexterously, in the darkest night, to the spot where a fellow-mortal is perishing. Though well educated and refined, she possesses none of the affected delicacy which characterizes too many town-bred misses; but, adapting herself to the peculiar exigencies of her [p.136] father’s humble yet honorable calling, she is ever ready to lend a helping hand, and shrinks from no danger, if duty points that way. In the gloom and terror of the stormy night, amid perils at all hours of the day and all seasons of the year, she has launched her bark on the threatening waves, and has assisted her aged and feeble father in saving the lives of twenty-one persons during the last fifteen years.”

Source: Ancestry.com

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