New Canal Lighthouse, LA
11x17 inch print.
With so much talk about the gender wage gap today, it's hard to imagine that back in the 1800's there wasn't a wage gap for women Lighthouse keepers.
In fact, at one time Ida Lewis was the highest paid lighthouse keeper. She even became the first woman to receive a gold Congressional Medal for lifesaving. Despite this, Lewis received the criticism that it was unladylike for women to row boats. Lewis replied, "None-but a donkey would consider it 'unfeminine' to save lives."
With five female keepers, New Canal may hold record for the most female light keepers. Elizabeth Beale 1847-49, Jane Discoll 1850-53, Mary Campbell 1869-93, Caroline Riddle 1893-1924. Margaret Norvell 1924-1932 and Norvell at Port Pontchartrain Lighthouse served nearly 41 years.