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Sharron Cohen, Cape Ann light station host keeper, Thacher Island. 

The job

“Keepers are basically park rangers. We keep an eye on people to make sure they don’t do anything that would damage the structures on the island. We call the Rockport harbormaster if we think boaters or kayakers are in trouble. We work the winch that pulls the launch onto the ramp; greet visitors; manage the gift shop, campground, and museum; mow paths and cut brush; sweep the lighthouses; paint; pick up trash; and maintain and repair structures and equipment…whatever needs to be done to keep the island safe and pleasant.”


“Thacher Island is a magical place. When I’m there, I feel [like] the steward of something that matters. I want to take care of it and [for] others to experience that specialness, too.”

Memorable moment

 “There is an hour between first light and dawn when the sky and sea undergo a breathtaking array of color changes. The birds wake and, if it’s June, their chicks wake with them. Every single morning is different and wonderful.”