Today Wednesday Writers welcomes Rebecca De Marino who will be talking about her Inspirational Historical Romance, To Follow her Heart, and the lighthouse that sparked three stories. I think you’ll find her story fascinating! Welcome Rebecca.
I grew up with stories my mother, Helen Horton Worley, passed down through the oral tradition. It was of sailing ships and casks of gold and our ancestors from England. She knew Barnabas was a great-grandfather from many generations ago and that he’d come from England on a little ship called The Swallow.
In the 1990’s my brother became interested in genealogy and traced the Horton line through to Barnabas and discovered there was a lighthouse named after him on Long Island. I pulled out a map, and found Horton Point in Southold, NY. I didn’t have to ask my mom twice about visiting. We hopped on a plane and flew to Boston to visit her sister, Aunt Marge, then headed south in our rental car, across Long Island Sound on a ferryboat, completely unaware we were retracing the steps of my ninth great-grandparents, Barnabas and his wife Mary When they first came over the pond in the 1630’s they made shore near Boston and eventually became one of the founding families of Southold, L.I.
Barnabas and Mary were the largest landowners in Southold. He built the first timber-framed house on eastern Long Island, home to six generations of Hortons until it was demolished in the 1870’s. The site of their home on the Peconic Bay side of the north fork, and across the main road from Barnabas’s grave, is marked with a plaque.
In 1757 George Washington visited Southold and it was his recommendation to build a
lighthouse on a high point of the north shore—land owned by the Hortons—and in the 1790’s President Washington commissioned the light. But the Horton land was not purchased until October of 1855. By that time eight acres of their land had passed through several hands. Charles Payne, a retired whaler, and his wife Hannah, sold the small parcel to the Light-House Board for $550.00.
With the delivery of 90,000 bricks on May 16, 1857, William Sinclair—a Scottish immigrant, and former engineer to the Brooklyn Navy Yard—began construction. The cornerstone was laid in the cellar on June 9, 1857. Later that month, another 60.000 bricks were delivered for the tower. The first light of the Third Order Fresnel lantern beamed from the tower on October 15, 1857. Mr. Sinclair was named as the first lighthouse keeper.
The sperm whale oil used to fuel the lantern was costly and carefully measured, then hand-carried up the spiraling stairs 110 feet above sea level. It could be seen for 14 nautical miles. Prior to the lighthouse, due to the many shipwrecks, the waters that surrounded the point were called “Dead Man’s Cove”.
Today the lighthouse is open to the public from Memorial Day to Columbus Day, and houses a museum. The tower boasts a VRB-25 rotating beacon and visitors can climb the spiraling steps for a beautiful view the Long Island Sound. Captains on the sound at night still welcome the site of the guiding light.
Sounds lovely. I enjoy visiting lighthouses. Here’s the blurb for Rebbecca’s book.
To Follow Her Heart
Duty and love are powerful forces. Only one has the power to make her life complete.
In 1664 Patience Terry is devastated to learn that Captain Jeremy Horton’s ship has been shipwrecked off the coast of Barbados. There were no survivors. She had hoped that Jeremy would someday give up the sea and settle down with her in Southold, Long Island.
Unaware his memorial service is being planned, Jeremy sails aboard a British warship with secret orders to attack New Amsterdam and claim it for the British Crown. When he makes his surprise return to Southold—and to an overjoyed Patience—it’s not quite the happily-ever-after his beloved had hoped for.
With a finely tuned sense for authentic historical characters and settings, Rebecca DeMarino plunges you into a world of tall ships, daring journeys, and yearning hearts.
About the Author:
Rebecca DeMarino inherited her love of baking and gardening from her mother; a love of horses, reading, and writing from her dad—and the wanderlust gene from both parents. Her new novel, To Follow Her Heart releases this month from Revell.
She is the author of A Place in His Heart and To Capture Her Heart, books one and two of The Southold Chronicles. A free prologue to The Southold Chronicles series available here: www.RebeccaDeMarino.com And please visit Rebecca here: www.facebook.com/AuthorRebeccaDeMarino