Pen and Betty Brown’s first view of Pine Island, where they moved just after marrying.
Even during the summer, the landing-place at Pine Island could be a cauldron of waves.
Lightkeeper Ted Ranger with work-crew from Coast Guard tender ship, enjoying beer brewed by Pen Brown.
Betty Brown cutting grass below the light tower.
The Browns developed large vegetable gardens for fresh food. CPR passenger steamers sailed past the lighthouse every week.
On a lighthouse, girls and boys played by helping with construction, gardening, care of poultry, and other tasks.
A Coast Guard crew installs fuel tanks for the diesel engines that powered the station’s electrical generator.
Rex sawing wood with his mother Betty. Work on a lighthouse did not have conventional gender boundaries.
It was exciting to receive from the monthly tender ship a box of apples or a box of books from the travelling library.
Snow did not come to Pine Island every year; sometimes Christmas was subtropical. But in 1966 the station looked picture-perfect in snow.
“One night in February 1967, the ocean turned our little world upside down. This photo is a bit blurry as it was taken from a rescue helicopter.” - Marian Brown
This is the view of the damage from the tower of Pine Island Light Station.
“After the disaster, moving from isolation to society was life-changing. Pets and books were solace. My brother adapted quite well, but I didn’t fit in with city girls. And there is insecurity in knowing that one’s surroundings can be destroyed in an instant.” - Marian Brown