Sunday, November 29, 2009

Rhode Island Lighthouses and Narragansett Bay History

Our home in Arizona is filled with reminders of the ocean. The walls are covered with pictures of boats, framed charts of Narragansett Bay and a few fabulous lighthouses. Most guests who spend some time with us are treated to a history lesson from Emerson about "The Ocean State" as he walks them through the pictures, telling stories about his home state. Most recently, he tracks the sea gull's journey from Bristol, RI to Block Island, describing the various points along the way through Narragansett Bay.

A visit to our house is much like his presentations to children, taking them on the trip with the bagel loving seagull. Little did we know that he has been practicing his storytelling for over two years before the book was released. The message of sharing is certainly foremost for importance in the story. All parents we know would love for their own children to be as kind, generous and polite as this seagull. The geography and history Emerson shares during his presentation is a side benefit for those children fortunate to hear him read the book here in AZ. 
As you flip through the pages of "The Bay Gull," you may notice that several different lighthouses are part of the seagull's journey. Emerson incorporated six of Rhode Island's twenty one standing lighthouses which together protect ships from the 384 miles of shoreline in Narragansett Bay. His illustrations were created from photographs, drawn with accurate detail and incorporated into the book as resting places for the sea gull.
If you are interested in learning more, there are many lighthouse resources on-line. One of the best sites to check out Hog Island, Prudence Island, Castle Hill, Beavertail, North Light and Southeast Light is Lighthouse Friends. Thanks to their hard work, you can look up U.S. lighthouses by state, then click on each lighthouse individually to receive well organized, accurate, detailed information along with interesting stories about each one.
In addition to all the information, the site offers lighthouse merchandise. Perhaps we'll even have "The Bay Gull" available through their site one of these days!