Kathleen Moore

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Kathleen Moore
Kathleen Moore served as a lighthouse keeper from 1817 to 1889.jpg
Served as a lighthouse keeper for over half a century
Born c. 1794 – c. 1812
Died 1899
Service/branch United States Lighthouse Service

Kathleen Moore (born c. 1794 – c. 1812; died 1899), also known as Catherine Moore, Kathleen A. Moore, Kathleen Andre Moore, Kate Moore, and Catherine A. Moore, was a lighthouse keeper.[1] She was employed by the United States Lighthouse Service, which was a precursor agency to the United States Coast Guard.[2][3][4]

Moore served at the Black Rock Harbor Light on Fayerweather Island in Long Island Sound for over half a century, beginning when she helped her father as a twelve-year-old. She is credited with saving 21 lives.[1][2]

According to Moore: "Sometimes there were more than two hundred sailing vessels at night, and some nights there were as many as three or four wrecks."[1] Her duties included keeping the light lit during stormy weather, and nursing shipwrecked sailors back to health.[1] She retired in 1878.[1] She died in 1899 and was buried in an unmarked grave at Mountain Grove Cemetery in Bridgeport.[1]


In 2010, the Coast Guard decided that all the new Sentinel class cutters would be named after Coast Guard personnel who had been recognized for their heroism. Accordingly, Moore was one of those to be honored.[3] The ninth cutter in the class will be named the USCGC Kathleen Moore.[5] Built at Bollinger Shipyards, she will be homeported in Key West, Florida.[6] Bollinger delivered the vessel to the Coast Guard for pre-commissioning testing on March 28, 2014.[7]

A grave marker was dedicated to Moore at Mountain Grove Cemetery in 2014 shortly before the commissioning of the ship in her name. The gravestone, which was provided by Bollinger Shipyards, quotes John 8:12 and lists her name as "Kathleen A. Moore" and her birth year as circa 1812.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Mary Witkowski (Spring 2009). "Kate Moore, Keeper of the Fayerweather Lighthouse" (PDF). 7 (2). Connecticut Explored. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2014-03-28. 
  2. ^ a b Connie Braesch (2010-11-05). "Coast Guard Heroes: Kathleen Moore". United States Coast Guard. Archived from the original on 2013-01-03. Retrieved 2013-01-03. Moore first stood the watch at the age of 12, when her father began tending the light in 1817 after a shipboard injury prevented him from going to sea. As Moore grew older, and her father’s health worsened, she took on most of the duties herself, although she was not officially appointed as head keeper until 1871. 
  3. ^ a b Stephanie Young (2010-10-27). "Coast Guard Heroes". United States Coast Guard. Archived from the original on 2013-01-03. Retrieved 2012-04-20. 
  4. ^ "Who are some of the heroes of the Coast Guard?". USCG. 2012-12-03. Archived from the original on 2014-08-27. Retrieved 2013-01-10. Kathleen "Kate" Moore served as the keeper of the Black Rock Light. Her father began tending the light in 1817 and Ms. Moore began assisting him when she was twelve. 
  5. ^ "FRC Plan B: The Sentinel Class". Defense Industry Daily. 2014-05-02. Archived from the original on 2014-07-07. Retrieved 2014-04-03. All of these boats will be named after enlisted Coast Guard heroes, who distinguished themselves in USCG or military service. The first 25 have been named, but only 8 have been commissioned... 
  6. ^ Rhonda Carpenter (2012-11-05). "Coast Guard Commissions Third Fast Response Cutter, William Flores". Defense Media Network. Archived from the original on 2013-01-04. The first six FRCs for District 7 will be homeported in Miami; the next six in Key West; and the remaining six in Puerto Rico. 
  7. ^ "Bollinger Delivers 9th USCG Fast Response Cutter". Marine Link. 2014-03-28. Archived from the original on 2014-03-28. The Coast Guard took delivery on March 28, 2014 in Key West, Florida and is scheduled to commission the vessel in Key West, Florida during May, 2014. 
  8. ^ Christofferson, John (2014-05-08). "Life-saving lighthouse keeper honored". AP.  Note that despite the year c. 1812 given on the headstone, the story lists her age as 84 in 1878, which would imply a birth year of 1793−94.