We are taking another little detour from our Biltmore Series to visit a location that appears in Undaunted Hope by Jody Hedlund. This is the third book in the Beacons of Hope Series which revolves around lighthouses and inspired by the REAL women who operated them throughout history.
This book takes place on the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan (think the northernmost point in the state). Jody had the opportunity to visit Eagle Harbor Lighthouse while she was writing Undaunted Hope. She even got to stay in the assistant’s cottage for a week! How cool is that?
The Beacons of Hope Series focuses on different women who operated and served in lighthouses. This particular story was inspired by a woman named Ceccelia Carlson McLean. Ceccila was not fond of living in a lighthouse at all. This got Jody to thinking about the hardships and the daily struggles that a light keeper and his family would have to go through. The isolation, the danger, the list goes on and on. Out of Ceccelia’s history came Tessa’s story.
Lighthouse Friends has amazing history about this particular lighthouse. Originally built in 1850, a fourth-order, L. Sautter Fresnel lens was installed in 1857. In 1868 the structure was remodeled to withstand the harsh environment of the Upper Peninsula.
On January 8, 1982 the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse was de-staffed. If you visit today you will find several original buildings still standing, many of which are used as museums.
Facts and details taken from the “Author’s Note” in Undaunted Hope with permission from the author. Other historical facts found on Lighthouse Friends.
About the Book
Tessa Taylor arrives in 1870s Upper Peninsula, Michigan, planning to serve as a new teacher to the town. Much to her dismay, however, she immediately learns that there was a mistake, that the town had requested a male teacher. Percival Updegraff, superintendent and chief mine clerk, says she can stay through winter since they won’t be able to locate a new teacher before then, and Tessa can’t help but say she is in his debt. Little does she know that Percival will indeed keep track of all that she owes him.
Determined to become indispensable, Tessa throws herself into teaching, and soon the children of the widowed lighthouse keeper have decided she’s the right match for their grieving father. Their uncle and assistant light keeper, Alex Bjorklund, has his own feelings for Tessa. As the two brothers begin competing for her hand, Tessa increasingly feels that someone is tracking her every move, and she may not be able to escape the trap that has been laid for her. Learn more HERE.
About the Author
Jody Hedlund is the bestselling author of over a dozen novels, including Luther and Katharina, winner of the 2016 Christian Book Award. She received a bachelor’s from Taylor University and a master’s from University of Wisconsin, both in social work. Currently she makes her home in Midland, Michigan, with her husband and five busy children. Visit Jody’s website HERE.
Pictures of Eagle Harbor property of Jody Hedlund, used with permission.