Miss Colfax’s Light
written by Aimée Bissonette
illustrated by Eileen Ryan Ewen
Sleeping Bear Press
ISBN 978-1-58536-955-3

About the Book
In 1861, at the age of 37, Harriet Colfax took on the job of lighthouse keeper
for the Michigan City lighthouse, situated off Lake Michigan. It was a bold and
determined endeavor, especially since there were very few female lighthouse
keepers in the country at that time. And more than a few people doubted she
was up to the laborious, demanding job. But Harriet was determined to succeed
and prove any naysayers wrong.

For 43 years, until the age of 80, Harriet kept her light burning, through
storms, harsh winters, and changes in technology. This true story focuses on
Harriet’s commitment and determination to fulfilling her charge and living
life on her own terms.

When Miss Colfax first sees "her" lighthouse. Illustration © Eileen Ryan Ewen

About the Illustrator
Eileen Ryan Ewen was born into a family of artists, dreamers, and storytellers who fostered her love of telling a story through pictures. She earned a BFA in Painting from Miami University (Ohio) and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Learn more about Eileen.

American Library Association Amelia Bloomer List
International Literacy Association Primary Nonfiction Award 2017

“Bissonette dramatizes Harriet's story with events the keeper had noted in her journal and with reiterations of her determination (“I can do this.”). ... this is an appealing profile of a remarkable woman and a nice reminder that the Great Lakes have dangerous coasts as well.”

Miss Colfax's Light
Interview with Aimée
Interview with Eileen
Wondrous Women
Activities and Discussion
Wondrous Women Answers
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