Time Era

Historic time period: 1870–1900

Life on the Water

For hundreds of years, seacoasts, rivers, lakes, and canals have had a big impact on the ways America has changed as a country. Even Americans who have never seen an ocean are still very connected to water. Eating fish for dinner, playing at the beach, ordering goods made overseas, and other water-related activities continue to play an important role in our lives.

The National Museum of American History has a wide variety of maritime objects, from cruise ship furniture to lighthouse lenses and ship models to the trunks brought to American from Europe. For more information, explore the On the Water online exhibition.

Keep the Lighthouse Burning, Abbie tells the story of a teenage girl who becomes a hero by running her father’s lighthouse during a storm. Abbie’s adventure brings details of maritime history to life from the perspective of a young person. You can learn more about the lighthouses and life on the water by reading Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie and by checking out some of the related activities.

Read more about lighthouses »

Read This Book

You can learn more about what it was like to live in a lighthouse by exploring these books.

More Recommended Books

Download a PDF of this book list »

Keep The Lights Burning, Abbie book cover.

Featured Book

Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie

by Peter and Connie Roop

“Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie” by Peter and Connie Roop and illustrated by Peter E. Hanson. Illustrations copyright (c) 1985 by Carolrhoda Books. Reprinted with the permission of Carolrhoda Books, a division of Lerner Publishing Group, Inc. All rights reserved.No part of this excerpt may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the prior written permission of Lerner Publishing Group, Inc.


Need the Adobe® Acrobat® Reader® ? Download it here.

Need the Adobe® Flash® Player? Download it here.

See all OurStory activities »

Smithsonian's History Explorer