Kids at the Beach

With perfect timing, this week's theme has kids (both human and animal) in it with this Sepia Saturday prompt.

This is the Ipswich, Massachusetts range light. It's actually the rear and the taller of two light houses. Range lights work when you line up the lights out at sea. They were meant to help guide your boat through the difficult shoals of Ipswich Bay and on into Ipswich and Parker Rivers.

The keeper's house is in back of this lighthouse and that's the focus of this Sepia Saturday post. Those happy kids you see below are having a party inside that house. That's me in front of the window.

The upper photo is dated around 1937 and by the time this party rolled around there were some significant changes to the landscape. That lighthouse was discontinued and replaced with a simple skeleton tower with an automated light. The lighthouse was packed up and barged to Martha's Vineyard and is a working beacon there to this very day. The keeper's house was given to the town of Ipswich and residents could, through a lottery system, rent it for a week.

Photo: CrazyasaCoolFox
This is how all of us ended up here. Our uncle won that lottery. How lucky he was and how lucky we all were to live in a lighthouse keeper's house on Crane's Beach for a week. We were the only ones on the beach at night as the day beach goers had to drive back to town. I can remember we had an ice delivery every day as there was no electric refrigerator. To my recollection there was electricity but no running water. Water was hand pumped for washing and bathing but drinking water had to be delivered as the water from the ground was brackish.

Looking carefully on the hill you can see the outline of the Crane mansion. The Crane's (of toilet fixture fame) left their entire estate to the Town of Ipswich and the Trustees of Reservations.

Today the old keepers cottage is gone, destroyed in a suspicious fire in the 1970. Crane's Beach remains one the most popular and pristine of all beaches in Massachusetts.

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