Return to the North Light

Don Lawson was the last keeper of the North Light, located on the northern tip of Block Island, serving from 1955 until 1956. It was no accident that he ended up there.“I was serving in the Coast Guard, on an ice breaker called the East Wind. My wife was going to have a baby, so I asked for a transfer to a lighthouse. I was fortunate enough to get the North Light,” Lawson said recently. The Coast Guard flew him and his wife Peg off the island to have the baby, then brought the little family back to the lighthouse, periodically flying in supplies for the outpost.
In those days, the little light at the end of the island was seemingly all on its own, with Don keeping the light burning through the long nights. Every four hours he would haul kerosene up to the top of the tower in five gallon drums, and wind the clockwork mechanism to keep the light on.His young family had visitors, though, in the summer. Lawson’s younger brother Bob fondly remembers visiting them when he was just a child. The two brothers made a visit to Block Island this summer, along with

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