Harriet Colfax & the women of the Lighthouse Service

This month’s commemoration of women’s history highlights the achievements of women in the Coast Guard and celebrates their qualities of character, courage and compassion. The Coast Guard is unique among others in that women joined the professional ranks in the Lighthouse Service decades before the Civil War. They were typically hired when their husbands or fathers, who were the keepers, fell ill or passed away. But there were a few who obtained an appointment in their own right.