I'm back again, and when I did my post last month about the United States Life-Saving Service, I didn't know how many people would be interested in the topic. I mean, the USLSS (abbreviation) isn't something you hear about too often. But I had such an overwhelming response--and so much more information to share--that I wanted to do another post.
For a brief review before we delve back in, the United States Life-Saving Service ran from 1848 until 1915 for the purpose of rescuing sailors and passengers stranded on wrecked vessels. Modern technology and conveniences like radios and helicopters and speed boats that are used by the current Coast Guard were not available in the late nineteenth century, so the Life-Savers relied on special equipment, rigorous training, and manual labor to preform their duties. Visit last month's post for a more in depth introduction to the United States Life-Saving Service.
About the Stations:
When it was first created, the United States Life-Saving Service established stations on the Atlantic Ocean in places with a high incidence of ship wrecks, mainly from Massachusetts in the north to New Jersey in the south.
But even though the USLSS was started in 1848, it was vastly ignored and underfunded until after the Civil War. Actually it was ignored until 1870, when strong Atlantic storms wrecked many vessels and hundreds of lives were lost. Newspapers then started calling for better equipped life-saving stations. Take a look at this illustration by the cartoonist Thomas Nast.
|Caption: Death on Economy--"I suppose I must spend a little on life-saving service, life-boat stations, life-boats, surf-boats, etc.; but it |
is too bad to be obliged to waste so much money".
By the end of the 1870's, stations had been established not just in New England, but on the southern coast of the Atlantic, down into the Carolinas, Georgia, and even Florida. Stations were also established on the Great Lakes, which was at the zenith of it's shipping days.
The number of life-savers employed by each station varied according to local needs, but most stations had 6 surfmen and a keeper. Here's some pictures of historic Life-Saving Stations and their crews.
A mother of two young boys, Naomi Rawlings spends her days picking up, cleaning, playing and, of course, writing. Her husband pastors a small church in Michigan’s rugged Upper Peninsula, where her family shares its ten wooded acres with black bears, wolves, coyotes, deer and bald eagles. Naomi and her family live only three miles from Lake Superior, where the scenery is beautiful and they average 200 inches of snow per winter, and she is looking forward to the release of her next book, in January 2014. For more information about Naomi, please visit her website at www.NaomiRawlings.com.