We drove up to see my Dad(step) last week on the Island. He still has my Mom’s Grandparents farm house. I was born on Washington Island and my Grandfather lived there his entire life except when he was in the Coast Guard. But, he was close most of that time on Plum Island. My Daddy joined the Coast Guard in Oklahoma and was stationed with my Grandpa in Racine where he met and married my Mom. He was stationed on Pilot Island and Plum Island after that. When we take the ferry across to Washington Island we get to see Plum and Pilot.
I come from a Coast Guard family. My Grandfather, both of his sons, my father and my brother were all in, some retired.
I have included from a book written by Matt Foss called “Let the Lower Lights be Burning” about Pilot Island, the last paragraph in the book: In almost fifty years, any trace of human life and service to Pilot Island is hard to find. The tall trees which once occupied the island are destroyed from the overabundance of birds, mainly cormorants and seagulls. The buildings that remain on the island, while standing are in desperate need of repair, and each year that passes, the memories of human involvement on the island fade with the generations that remember such times getting older. The only true reminder of the proud work and time spent by many numbers of keepers, assistants, their families, government crews, summer visitors, and Coast Guardsmen is the light that continues to shine every night, guiding those through the Porte des Morts passage.”