Monday, June 7, 2010

Guest Blogger Paige Winship Dooly

The setting for my historical Georgia Belles series is three key areas in the state of Georgia. The Lightkeeper’s Daughter takes place on Little Cumberland Island, just of the southern coast of Georgia. The Displaced Belle is set north of Atlanta and The Reluctant Outlaw takes place in the mountains in northern Georgia. I love the state and have enjoyed placing my characters in such beautiful settings!

I’ve always been fascinated with lighthouses and their history. Many have fallen into disrepair or have collapsed when the shoreline eroded too close to their base, and some have been moved inland to safer locations. The Little Cumberland Lighthouse had a wall built around it in the 1870’s to protect it from erosion, but it still stands in its original location.

A few of the lighthouses that still stand can be explored or at least enjoyed from afar. The Little Cumberland Lighthouse is one of the latter. It’s best viewed from the water. The island where it rests is now private, so there’s no way to see the lighthouse up close. This made my research harder, but I used Google Earth and the internet to find out what I could.

The lighthouse stands 60 feet tall and is made of brick. It originally included a keeper’s house, but the house was gone by 1968. The lighthouse commenced operations in 1838. The first keeper was paid $400 per year and ran the lighthouse for eleven years.

A Fresnel lens was added in 1857. The tower survived the civil war, but was dark throughout most of the conflict. The lighthouse resumed normal operations in September of 1867, just before my story begins. The lighthouse was deactivated in 1915 and remains unused today.

I loved adding my fictional characters to the setting. I hope you enjoy reading the story as much as I enjoyed writing it!


Carla Gade said...

Paige, how interesting to hear about your lighthouse research. Fascinating details. I love the research as much as the writing, too. I've also found Google earth very helpful, especially for those hard to reach and unfamiliar places. I look forward to reading your books!


Erica Vetsch said...

I love lighthouses. Your series sounds great!

CatMom said...

Paige, I cannot wait to read your series! Being a Georgia native and life-long resident of the state, I am always interested in reading stories set in "my state"! Thanks for sharing what you've learned about the lighthouse.
Blessings, Patti Jo :)

Rhonda Gibson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rhonda Gibson said...

Hi Paige,

I didn't spell your name right so deleted my first comment... anyway, I love lighthouses too and this is a great series!Rhonda

The Write Life said...

Thanks everyone!

I love lighthouses, too, and really enjoyed working on this book. I love Georgia in general.