Like nurturing mothers, a fleet of lighthouse tenders saw to the needs of lighthouses.
The U.S. Lighthouse Service used such vessels to carry fuel, food and other essential supplies to lighthouses, lightships, their keepers and crews. They also maintained the buoys and range lights that guided ships and boats into harbors and away from rocks and reefs.
Interestingly, these brave vessels are all named after flowers and trees like the LILAC Lighthouse Tender at Hudson River Park in Manhattan.
The LILAC Lighthouse Tender continues to serve the New York community. Last year, the LILAC offered free admission to nearly 6,000 visitors. This Includes 900 kids visiting on board with The River Project.
The LILAC is the last surviving steam-propelled lighthouse tender in America and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Lilac is located at Pier 25 at Hudson River Park.