Thomas Laighton and the Isles of Shoals
Celia Thaxter was raised on an Isles of Shoals lighthouse island 10 miles off of New Hampshire coast and became intimately familiar with both its beauty and cruelty as she experienced them firsthand – themes which would become major elements in her poetry.
As part of an effort to reduce luggage, conferees are strongly advised to leave rare or valuable items at home in order to facilitate easier handling onboard the M/V Thomas Laighton, which is wheelchair-accessible.
Early Life and Education
Thomas Laighton left Portsmouth and moved his family, including daughter Celia, to White Island on the Isles of Shoals due to either political disillusionment or failing health, although exactly why this occurred remains a subject for debate. What we do know is that in 1839 they relocated there.
Nathaniel Hawthorne visited and stayed at the Appledore House during 1852, enjoying both its artistic and tourist attractions.
When booking your cruise on the M/V Thomas Laighton, you have many different cruises available to you – including our popular Isles of Shoals, Lighthouses and Portsmouth Harbor tour. Furthermore, educational field trip opportunities for students of all ages are also provided onboard this vessel.
Tom has spent much of his career focused on implementation-oriented planning and community development. He has led multiple planning efforts that have resulted in transformational changes across North Minneapolis.
Thomas Laighton was a newspaper editor, entrepreneur and politician who moved his family from Massachusetts to the Isles of Shoals in 1839. There he built and ran a hotel on Smuttynose; later with Levi Thaxter established Appledore Island where Celia Laighton Thaxter wrote her famous 19th century memoirs detailing life there.
Isles of Shoals Steamship Company operates the Victorian steamship replica M/V Thomas Laighton and offers tours around Portsmouth Harbor, Piscataqua region and beyond – private charters available as well. Tom is an accomplished musician with two CDs that cover everything from orchestral pieces and Celtic accordion rants to quirky swing jazz!
Achievement and Honors
Thomas Leighton has received several prestigious honors and awards for his research in applied mathematics, algorithms and computer architecture. These accolades include receiving the John von Neumann Medal from IEEE as well as induction into both National Inventors Hall of Fame and MIT Technology Exchange Innovators Hall of Fame – US News & World Report named him one of its Top Ten Technology Innovators!
Isles of Shoals Steamship Company offers various tours and cruises on their beautiful M/V Thomas Laighton during the summer season, such as dinner cruises, sightseeing excursions and party cruises.
The M/V Thomas Laighton can seat 126 for dinner cruises and up to 275 for cocktail style cruises, making it suitable for weddings, special events and corporate outings. It features three decks – two fully heated cabins plus an open sundeck – making this boat truly exceptional.
Thomas Laighton left Portsmouth either dissatisfied with a political battle he lost or simply in search of fresh sea air and moved his wife, four-year old daughter Celia and newborn son Oscar to White Island in the Isles of Shoals. There he would become an isolated lighthouse keeper while simultaneously inspiring Celia to pen many of her most notable poems such as Landlocked.
Later when they moved to Smuttynose and Appledore Islands, the family opened the first resort hotel along New England’s coastline. Celia became an accomplished writer who attracted literary Bostonians. Additionally, their family maintained an expansive garden and orchard on each of these remote islands.
Thomas Laighton amassed great wealth through his family’s shipping and banking businesses, purchasing Hog, Smuttynose and Malaga islands in the Isles of Shoals for $540,000 each, then began operating island grocery stores before building Appledore House – his summer hotel on Hog Island which became Appledore House – welcoming literary greats such as Hawthorne and Whittier as guests. Additionally he was an ardent spiritualist; possessing over 700 books- mostly scientific- in his collection which also included authors such as Richard Henry Dana and The Hawthornes