Abbie Burgess

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Abbie Burgess
Born Abbie Burgess
Nationality Flag of the United States.svg American
Occupation Lighthouse Keeper

Abbie Burgess (later Mrs. Abbie Grant; 1839–1892) was an American lighthouse keeper known for her bravery in tending the Matinicus Rock Light, in Maine, during a raging winter storm in 1856. She tended the light for nearly a month while her father, the head keeper, was away from the island. Her heroic actions attracted much attention, and she was soon a popular heroine.

Burgess later married a lighthouse keeper, and spent fifteen years as the keeper at the nearby Whitehead Light. After her death in 1892, a memorial in the form of an aluminum scale replica lighthouse was placed over her grave in Spruce Head Cemetery.

Legacy[edit]

Burgess is the subject of the children's books, Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie by Peter Roop, Connie Roop and Peter E. Hanson and Abbie Against the Storm written by Marcia Vaughan and illustrated by Bill Farnsworth. She is the subject of the folk song "Lighthouse Keeper" by Neptune's Car. There is a United States Coast Guard USCG coastal buoy tender (WLM 553) based in Rockland, Maine named for her as well.

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