Episode 202: The Houses of Refuge and the U.S. Life Saving Service

This week, Hailee is bewitched with something she stumbled upon during a recent trip to Florida: Houses of Refuge and the United States Life Saving Services. According to Martin County Historical Society, the Houses of Refuge were designated as havens for shipwrecked sailors and travelers along the sparsely populated Atlantic coastline of Florida. Run by the United States Lifesaving Service, the Houses played a critical role in a time when sailing ships dominated world commerce. Over their years of operation, the Lifesaving Service saved over 100,000 people and was the start of the Coast Guard.


House of Refuge Museum

US Life-Saving Service Heritage Association

Books Mentioned:

  • A History of the World in Sixteen Shipwrecks by Stewart Gordon
  • Sinking the Sultana: A Civil War Story of Imprisonment, Greed, and a Doomed Journey Home by Sally M. Walker
  • The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea by Sebastian Junger
  • Ghosts of the Treasure Coast by Patrick and Patricia Mesmer
  • In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick
  • Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
  • The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon 
  • Small Town Monsters by Diana Rodriguez Wallach 

If you are interested in purchasing any of these titles, please use our affiliate link through bookshop.org!  

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