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Lighthouses

The US Bureau of Lighthouses was created in 1789 by the 9th Act of the first Congress which placed lighthouses under federal control. Over the years, lighthouses were placed under the direction of Department of Revenue (this department was disbanded in 1820), Department of Treasury (until 1903), then the Department of Commerce. The Lighthouse Board (of the U. S. Lighthouse Establishment) held sway from 1852 to July 1, 1910 when Commerce created the Lighthouse Service. The United States Coast Guard took over on July 7, 1939. After 1852 the country was divided into Lighthouse Districts; originally eight, they eventually numbered 19. Each District was run by a Naval Officer appointed by the Lighthouse Board as the District Inspector. He ran the district in tandem with an Army Corps of Engineers' officer who was in charge of engineering projects. In 1910, civilians started replacing the military officers. Lighthouse keepers were needed to trim the wicks, replenish fuel, wind clockworks and perform maintenance tasks such as cleaning lenses and windows.
Lighthouses of USA
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California Lighthouses
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