Katie Walker was a pioneer in her own way. I know you are saying "who is she?" I had never heard of her.
Katie Walker was thrown into the role of lighthouse keeper out of necessity. Her son, Jacob, had to row Katie's husband, John, to Staten Island for medical treatment from their lighthouse at Robins Reef Lightstation, New York City. John's last words of "mind the light, Katie" are the title of a fascinating book about lighthouses, their importance, and some of the women who became official lighthouse keepers — not a very feminine position and not a high-paying job, either.
WOMEN WHO KEPT THE LIGHTS: AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF FEMALE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPERS is a very popular book for adults to read. MIND THE LIGHT, KATIE offers a smaller version and easier to read account of 33 women who held this non-traditional position. Many of these women fought incredible odds to gain official recognition as a keeper of the light. Sometime the daughters of lighthouse keepers would find their husbands by assisting men in keeping the lights burning bright. They may at times have married sons of lighthouse keepers or men who were old enough to be their own fathers.
I think girls ages 12 and up would love to read about women who fought for equality and success in doing "men's work." I have always liked seeing different lighthouses and like learning about the "olden days." I don't think I could have been like any of these women, since they must have gotten terribly lonely working by themselves 365 days a year.
Anything men can do, women can do better, or at least as well as, in lighthouse keeping!
eBook Mind the Light, Katie