Digest>Jul/Aug 2021

Photo Caption:

It was not uncommon for lighthouse families to have various types of pets. A German shepherd, named Dixie Dugan, was the mascot on Little Gull Island in the 1930s through 1942. The dog is shown here dressed up in a Coast Guard uniform. The photo was taken by Edgar M. Whitford, who served on Little Gull Island from 1923 to 1942, both as an assistant keeper and then as head keeper, first under the United States Lighthouse Service, and then under the U.S. Coast Guard. John G. Collins, Sr., who served as an assistant keeper from 1913 to 1917, and later at New York’s Eaton’s Neck Lighthouse, had a pet possum named Jacob at Little Gull Island Lighthouse. The two were constant companions on the small island, with the possum following Collins everywhere he went. In 1916, when Collins went on leave, the poor animal pined for its master so much that the local newspaper reported that the possum “committed suicide by strangulation between the bars of its cage.” (Lighthouse Digest archives)
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Little Gull Island – A Photographic Journey Through Time
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