Lighthouses and history have always been fascinating to me. However after reading everything in books about Hillsboro, there was very little information to be discovered. I became the historian with the Hillsboro Lighthouse Preservation Society quite frankly, because of my natural curiosity.
When I began volunteering, I asked the previous historian Hib Casselberry, “What information do we have on the lighthouse?” That simple question lead me to the HLPS’s storage facility. In the 1970’s Hib had gone to the National Archives and photocopied some documents he thought were important. Upon digging through them my excitement began to rise; however, it wasn't until the legal sized sheets emerged that I was hooked.
It took a few minutes for my eyes to adjust to the script. It’s amazing how difficult cursive handwriting can be to read when you don’t for 15+ years. When it finally came back to me what I saw was amazing. These were copies of the first few pages of the handwritten Keepers Log. I was such a novice at that time that I didn’t even know that they kept Logs. Unfortunately there were only a few pages, and the storage faciltiy didn't have that much other information. While it was a great start, I left there with more questions than answers.
Official documents are valuable and I love obtaining more of them; however, the thoughts of the people actually running the station put all else to shame. The copies of the Keepers Log fueled my desire to search and gather everything from the National Archives and every institution that could possibly house vital bits of information and photographs on our lighthouse.
I’m addicted to discovering the history and won’t ever turn back. Uncovering the stories through the eyes of those who lived it is a form of time travel, and just about the most thrilling thing imaginable.