Meet new resident at Wesley Place on Honeysuckle, Sarah Izzell. She is a North Carolina native and the author of the children’s book Hattie’s Big Move. Sarah was privileged to be a witness during the monumental move of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in 1999 in North Carolina, along with three of her grandchildren. As they were watching the work teams move the imposing structure, they spotted a mouse running around the lighthouse and speculated about the mouse making his home there. Thus the idea was born for what would become Hattie’s Big Move, written by Sarah under the name Emily Izzell (2003, PublishAmerica, LLLP).
Another children’s book illustrated by Sarah
Sarah’s book tells the story of a mouse named Hattie, who is happily enjoying her life in the lighthouse near her friends – a crab and a sea gull. The sudden movement of her home sparks fear of becoming separated from her friends, but the threesome overcome the obstacles, and Hattie becomes an eager hostess to the visitors who come to the new site of her home. Sarah illustrated the book as well, and has also illustrated several other children’s books. After Hattie’s Big Move was published in 2003, Sarah spent several months touring North Carolina, reading her book at churches, elementary schools, and senior centers, and talking about the move of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.
But for a person who wrote a book about a mouse, Sarah’s apartment at Wesley Place on Honeysuckle contains a beautiful collection of more than 50 porcelain glass cats, a collection that was started by a gift from her mother. Sarah is also an avid reader.
As for the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, it is still North America’s tallest lighthouse at 210 feet high. The lighthouse went through a few versions before the 1870 version that still stands today on Hatteras Island in North Carolina, though it is now located 2900 feet from its original location. Threatened by almost 130 years of natural and storm-assisted shoreline erosion, something had to be done before the lighthouse was swallowed by the Atlantic entirely. Scientists and engineers came up with a plan that took 23 days to complete in June and July of 1999 that successfully relocated the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse to a comfortable spot that should protect it for at least another 100 years. You can learn more about the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse move in 1999 from this National Park Service article.