The Maritime Community Has Lost a Great Friend with the Passing of J. Candace Clifford

CAMM and its member institutions have lost a great friend, former administrator, diligent researcher, author and historian with the passing of J. Candace Clifford.

Point Reyes CA Mike Warren JCC Bill Anderson 2017 photo by Greg Gorga copy

Candace flanked by Mike Warren and Bill Anderson at Point Reyes Lighthouse in 2017. (photo Greg Gorga)

Known to her friends as Candy, Clifford joined the staff of the National Park Service’s National Maritime Initiative in 1988, and among other accomplishments, compiled an Inventory of Historic Light Stations, released in 1994. Her work for the Park Service inspired further research, and she collaborated with her mother, Mary Louise Clifford in the publication of Women Who Kept the Lights: An Illustrated History of Female Light Keepers, which she published under her own imprint, Cypress Communications, in 1993. The two went on to write and publish six more books, most of them on lighthouse history. Prior to her book collaborations with her mother, Clifford co-authored Great American Ships with James P. Delgado.

She served as the part-time administrator of the Council of American Maritime Museums, coordinating communications for the maritime field and capably executing logistics for CAMM’s annual conference. She stepped down from the position with CAMM in 2016 to take the role of Historian for the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

In addition to her books, Clifford shared her prodigious research online on her blog at and her website,, which, among other treasures, includes finding aids she developed for lighthouse and lifesaving service records in the National Archives.

The maritime preservation community is richer for Candace Clifford’s meticulous work, and her loss will be deeply felt across the field.

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