Most everyone knows exercise is good for our health. Knowing some of the lighthouse keepers duties caused me to ask the question. If you had been one of the keepers of a lighthouse, would you have done additional exercise beyond that required to do the job?
Before modern day technology, dedicated and hard working keepers had to tend lighthouses. These men and women walked up and down the stairs of the lighthouse several times a day. They carried five gallon cans of oil up and empty cans down. Multiple times a day, they went up and down the steps to service the light and perform other maintenance to the tower. Some keepers walked more in a day than others, depending on the height of their respective lighthouse. The lighthouse pictured above has 144 steps leading to the lantern room. Those steps provided a lot of exercise each day for the keepers. In addition, they performed labors taking care of gardens in summer, animals, and in winter dealing with ice and snow.
The Wind Point Lighthouse is located at Wind Point, near Racine, WI. It, like others, required manual labor to operate. Built in 1880 by the Lighthouse Service, its tower stands 112 ft high. A kerosene "Aladdin's" lamp supplied the light until 1924 at which time it was replaced by an electrified lamp. A lighthouse keeper and two assistants manned the light. They, along with their families, lived in the dwelling adjacent to the tower.
In 1964 the Coast Guard replaced the lens with a fully automated system. With the use of radar on ships, the foghorn was no longer needed and was dismantled. The light now consist of a 1,000 watt bulb and a reflector which magnifies the light to two million candlepower. Its beam of light is visible for nineteen miles, and the rotation is timed so it flashes every twenty seconds. Timers and photo-electric cells activate the light, which turns it on thirty minutes before sunset and off thirty minutes after sunrise, or whenever visibility is less than five miles.
Once the light became automated the Coast Guard sealed the tower, and no one except officials are permitted inside the lighthouse. However, visitors were welcome to walk around the grounds at the time of my visit.
After considering the daily activities of a keeper, I’m tired. I answered the question no. How about you?