Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fundraiser for Documentary on lighthouse heroine Ida Lewis

The following comes from the Jane Pickens Theater in Newport, Rhode Island --

R.I.'s Historic Lighthouses  A Fundraiser for Documentary about Lighthouse Keeper and Heroine Ida Lewis of Newport
Beavertail Light
Join us on Monday, August 22, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. for a one-night showing of Rhode Island’s Historic Lighthouses, a 47-minute documentary made by local filmmaker Jim Karpeichik of Ocean State Video. Rhode Island's Historic Lighthouses is a comprehensive look at the history, decline and rebirth of the beacons that grace our shoreline. It covers all 30 of the lighthouses that were built in Rhode Island and includes stories of tragedies and heroism, buildings lost and lighthouses restored.

Click here for ticket information ($15 per person)

This film will be followed by a sneak peek of another documentary currently in production – America’s Forgotten Heroine: Ida Lewis, Keeper of the Light. This film, produced by Goodnight Irene Productions in association with Ocean State Video, will resurrect the forgotten story of Ida Lewis from Newport, this country's most famous lighthouse keeper and national heroine from the 19th century. 

Writer/Director/Producer Marian Gagnon of Goodnight Irene Productions will introduce the trailer and speak briefly about her plan to restore the national memory of Ida Lewis as an American icon and return her to her rightful place in history. Read more about this film project at

Also in attendance Monday evening will be Lenore Skomal, author of The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter: The Remarkable True Story of American Heroine Ida Lewis. Skomal will read a few excerpts from her book and be available for a book signing at the end of the program.

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter is the absorbing, painstakingly researched story of Ida Lewis, born in Newport in 1842, and the fearless rescues she made at Lime Rock Lighthouse. Skomal is a veteran author, career journalist, public speaker with 30 years experience, and author of 15 commercially published books. She can be reached at

Ida Lewis
More about Ida Lewis:
Beginning at the age of 15, Ida took over the lighthouse duties at Lime Rock in Newport in 1853 when her father suffered a stroke. At 16 she made her first daring rescue and in her lifetime she saved more than 18 people from certain peril. Before long, the 103-pound Ida Lewis, a darling of Civil War heroes, was heralded as "the bravest woman in America." Tens of thousands flocked to meet Ida on the island each summer. President Ulysses S. Grant and General Sherman came to Newport just to shake Ida’s hand as did Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton who tried to enlist her for the women’s movement.

Ida’s story still has great universal appeal particularly because of the rich juxtaposition of Ida’s independent and fearless choices within societal norms during the Victorian era as well as within the circles of the Newport elite. This film will focus on Ida’s intriguing life story, her myriad decisions which led to a life of both fame and isolation, her unexpected celebrity in Newport as well as across the U.S., and the impact she inadvertently had on the early feminist movement. It will provide an intimate portrayal of Ida’s life from age 15 to 69 (from 1857 to 1911) and the passion and moral fiber she intrinsically brought to her work as a lighthouse keeper and unlikely heroine.
As John Williams Haley, author of The Rhode Island Historian wrote in 1939: “Ida Lewis may very well be the most famous Rhode Island woman who ever lived.” 

This evening’s multi-faceted event is a fundraiser for the Ida Lewis film and proceeds of ticket sales will go toward completion of this documentary.   

Click here for more on the Jane Pickens Theater and Event Center