"the heroic light-house keeper, Ida Lewis"
by hector


Idawalley Zorada Lewis was the daughter of Lime Rock's second lighthouse keeper, Captain Hosea Lewis.  When he suffered a stroke, Ida and her mother took over his duties. A strong swimmer, Ida made her first rescue at 16, and during her 39 years' service she saved at least 18 lives.  Her fame spread, and she became known as the "bravest woman in America".  The rich and famous travelled to Newport to meet her, and she was honoured with a street parade, musical compositions and a variety of medals. She died in 1911 at the age of 69.  

There is a strong parallel in the story of Grace Darling (1815-1842), the daughter of a British lighthouse keeper, who became a Victorian media celebrity when she pulled off a daring rescue with her father at the age of 22.  There is an even stronger parallel in the artistic representation!

Grace Darling
Public DomainGrace Darling - Credit: RNLI