Category: Heritage-Maryland

Timeline: Greenbury Point Shoals Lighthouse

1879:   The U.S. Lighthouse Board recommends building a lighthouse at the end of the shoal of Greenbury Point to replace the existing lighthouse on land that is quickly eroding and in need of extensive repairs at a price of $25,000. 1889:   After years of requests from the U.S. Lighthouse Board, Congress appropriates $25,000 to construct …

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Timeline: Somers Cove Lighthouse

1867:   Congress appropriates $10,000 to construct a screwpile lighthouse at Somers Cove, MD on March 2. 1867:   Somers Cove Lighthouse, a square screwpile, is completed. 1880:   Somers Cove Lighthouse is repainted. 1891:   Four of the diagonal girders are repaired. 1898:   Keeper William Insley is seriously injured on December 22. 1899:   New model fifth-order lamps are …

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Timeline: Mathias Point Lighthouse

1873:   The United States naval steamer Frolic went ashore near Mathias Point, MD in the summer and remained grounded for some time. The U.S. Lighthouse Board recommends an appropriation of $40,000 to build a lighthouse at this extremely dangerous part of the Potomac River. 1874:   Congress appropriates $40,000 to build a lighthouse or day beacon …

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Timeline: Sharkfin Shoal Lighthouse

1887:   The U.S. Lighthouse Board recommends building a screwpile lighthouse on Sharkfin Shoal at a price of $25,000. This light station would take the place of Clay Island lighthouse, which is being washed away due to erosion and needs many expensive repairs. 1889:   Congress appropriates $25,000 to construct the lighthouse at Sharkfin Shoal. Borings are …

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Timeline: Ragged Point Lighthouse

1896:   The U.S. Lighthouse Board recommends that a lighthouse be built at Ragged Point, MD on the Potomac River to mark a shoal at a dangerous turn in the river. The Lighthouse Board requests $20,000 to construct the light and fog signal station. 1901:   After multiple requests to establish a light at Ragged Point over …

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Timeline: Maryland Point Lighthouse

1887:   The U.S. Lighthouse Board recommends that a lighthouse be built at Maryland Point, 50 miles upriver from the Bay where there is a narrow bend and only 10 feet of water at a shoal. They request an appropriation of $25,000. 1888:   The request is repeated, with an increased appropriation of $45,000 to construct a …

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Timeline: Lower Cedar Point Lighthouse

1825:   A 72-ton wood schooner with a single light, “DD”, is stationed at Lower Cedar Point Station on the Potomac River. 1861:   Confederate forces seize and burn the light vessel. 1864:   A second light vessel, LV-24, is placed at Lower Cedar Point. It was a 115-ton wood vessel with an iron day marker, 2 lanterns, …

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Keeper Bio: Otho Bounds

Date of Service: 1892-1939 1867:  Born on September 27, 1867 in Allen (Wicomico County) Maryland. 1889:  Marries Esther E. Hopkins. The couple raises eight children. 1892:  Serves as First Assistant Keeper at Craighill Lower Front Range Lighthouse (MD). Annual salary – $435. 1892-1893:  Serves as Keeper at Lower Cedar Point Lighthouse (MD). Annual salary – …

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Timeline: Love Point Lighthouse

1834:   A request is made to construct a lighthouse on Love Point, Maryland at a price of $5,500 on June 30. 1837:   The request to build a lighthouse on Love Point is rejected. Captain Claxton of the Navy Commissioners Office writes in a letter: “it would be totally useless for vessels passing up or …

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Timeline: Janes Island Lighthouse

1850:   Congress appropriates $8,000 for a lightboat to be stationed off the southwest point of Janes Island on September 18. 1852:   John T. Tardy & Phillip Auld are awarded the contract to build the lightship at Janes Island with a low bid of $5,990. 1853:   The lightship is constructed and put into service. The …

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Timeline: Great Shoals Lighthouse

1882:   The Lighthouse Board recommends the construction of a lighthouse at the Great Shoals near the mouth of the Wicomico River at an estimated price of $15,000. 1883:   Congress appropriates $15,000 on March 3, to construct a square screwpile lighthouse at the entrance to the Wicomico River on the Great Shoals. Borings are made by …

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Timeline: Hambrooks Bar Light

1900:   Representative Kerr of Maryland, introduces a bill to the Committee on Commerce to establish a beacon light on Hambrooks Bar and two range lights to show the entrance to Cambridge Harbor, Choptank River, MD on December 11. The Treasury Department recommends revising the bill to include “at a cost not to exceed $10,000.” Representative …

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Hambrooks Bar Light*

This aid to navigation is in about 4 feet of water on Hambrook Bar on the south side of the Choptank River and approximately 1-1/2 miles northwest from the entrance to Cambridge. On December 11, 1900, Representative Kerr, of Maryland, introduces a bill to the Committee on Commerce to establish a beacon light on Hambrook …

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Timeline: Fog Point Lighthouse

1826:   Congress appropriates $3,500 to construct a lighthouse at Fog’s Point on the northwestern tip of Smith Island on May 18. 1827:   Built by John Donahoo, the structure was a white brick house with a stone tower with a lantern placed on top of the roof dwelling. 1838:   The light in the dwelling burns ten …

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Timeline: Cobb Point Bar Lighthouse

1885:   The U.S. Lighthouse Board requests $15,000 to build a lighthouse at Cobb Point Bar to guide vessels into the mouth of the Wicomico River and provide refuge for vessels from bad storms or drifting ice. 1887:   The U.S. Lighthouse board repeats the request to construct a lighthouse at Cobb Point Bar, this time for …

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Keeper Bio: William Yeatman, Jr.

Date of Service: 1904-1939 1872:  Born on July 26 to parents William M. and Anna Yeatman, Sr., in St. Mary’s County, MD. 1900:  His occupation is listed as a blacksmith in the U.S. Census. Early 1900s:  Marries Julia Courtney. 1903:  Wife Julia gives birth to a daughter, Mary on December 10. Neither mother or daughter …

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Keeper Bio: William M. Yeatman, Sr.

Date of Service: 1871-1908 1830: Born on October 1 in Richmond County, VA. 1862:  Marries Anna Maria Lamb on May 12 in St. Mary’s County, MD. They go on to have 12 children. 1871:  Appointed Keeper at Point Lookout Lighthouse, MD on September 22. His beginning salary was $520/year. 1874:  A Novia Scotian schooner, Etta, …

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Keeper Bio: Francis E. Wilkins

Date of Service: 1884-1918 1852/1853:  Born in Virginia to parents G.W. & Mary Wilkins. 1884:  Served as First Assistant at Watts Island Lighthouse, VA. His salary was $420/year. 1890:   Appointed Keeper at Tangier Sound Lighthouse, VA. His annual salary was $575/year. 1892:   Marries his wife, Lida, on June 12 in Northumberland, VA. They …

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Keeper Bio: Benjamin Nathaniel Gray

Date of Service: 1882-1907 1851:  Born in Maryland 1885:  Marries his wife, Sarah. 1882:  Served as First Assistant at Cove Point Lighthouse in MD.  His salary was $420/year. 1883:  Served as the first Keeper at Drum Point Lighthouse in MD.  His starting salary was $540/year and ending salary of $575/year. 1890:  Served as Keeper at …

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Keeper Bio: James T. Somers

Date of Service: 1919 – 1958 1892:  Born on November 18 to parents Tobey & Matilda, Somerset County, MD. 1919:  Served as First Assistant at Cove Point Lighthouse in MD.  His annual salary was $1,115/year. 1919-1920:  Served as First Assistant at Point No Point Lighthouse in MD.  His salary was $1,182/year. 1923:  Served as First …

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Timeline: Clay Island Lighthouse

1828:   Congress appropriates $6,500 to construct a lighthouse on Clay Island, at the northernmost part of Tangier Sound on May 23. 1831:   Congress appropriates $5,900 for the project as the previous appropriation had been carried to the surplus fund. The land is purchased for the site of the lighthouse at a price of $500 – …

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Timeline: Bodkin Point Lighthouse

1819:   Congress appropriates $9,000 on March 3 to construct a lighthouse at Bodkin Point and two on North Point at the mouth of the Patapsco River, Maryland. 1820:   Six acres of land are purchased in August from Richard Caton for $600. 1821:   The contract to construct the lighthouse is awarded to Thomas Evans and William …

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Keeper Bio: David W. Collison

Date of Service: 1907 – 1917 1873:   Born on July 30 to Robert & Mary Collison, Maryland. 1907-1909:   Served as the First Assistant at Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse in MD. His starting salary was $420/year and his ending salary was $480/year. Early 1900s:   Married his wife Ellen and raised six children. 1909-1912: …

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Keeper Bio: Julian Haywood Austin

Date of Service: 1921 – 1948 1898:   Born on February 20 to John Lotson Austin & Markey Poyner Austin, in Frisco, NC 1916-1917:   Joins the U.S. Lighthouse Service and was stationed on three lightships, including LV71. 1918-1921:   Worked on multiple “oilers” for the U.S. Army. 1921:   Returned to the U.S. Lighthouse …

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Keeper Bio: Josephine McWilliams Freeman

Date of Service: 1876 – 1912 1843:   Born on January 14 to parents Dr. Joseph & Eliza McWilliams in St. Mary’s County, Maryland. 1850:   Dr. Joseph L. McWilliams, the father of Josephine, sells 2.75 acres on the southwest corner of Blackistone Lighthouse at a price of $300 to the U.S. government as a …

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Keeper Bio: Martha Nuthall

Date of Service: 1850 – 1861 1803:   Birth of Martha McClelland in Maryland. 1843:   John W. Nuthall age 40, widower, married Martha McClelland age 40 on January 3, 1843. 1849:   John W. Nuthall listed as Keeper at Piney Point Lighthouse. His annual salary is listed as $350/year. 1850:   In the 1850 …

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Keeper Bio: John W. Nuthall

Keepers

Date of Service: 1849 – 1850  1803:   Birth of John W. Nuthall to Charles Nuthall and Anne McClelland. 1826:   John W. Nuthall age 23, married Maria Norris on January 31, 1826, in St. Mary’s County, Md. 1843:   John W. Nuthall age 40, widower, married Martha McClelland age 40 on January 3, 1843. …

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Keeper Bio: Thomas Jefferson Steinhise

Date of Service: 1918 – 1941 1879: Born on September 29 in Leonardtown, Maryland.Marries wife, Ada Viola Wible. Couple raises four children – daughters – Beulah and Helen, and sons, Charles and Thomas Earl. Works as a waterman and blacksmith.1918: Joins U.S. Lighthouse Service. Serves as Assistant Keeper at Tangier Sound Lighthouse (Virginia) with brother-in-law.1919: …

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Keeper Bio: Lewis Riggin Carman

Date of Service: 1936 – 1947 1907: Born October 13 in Delmar, Wicomico County, MD1926: Marries Gladys Ruth Elmore on September 1 in Crisfield, Somerset County, MD.1931: The couple has their first child, a son, Lewis Riggin Carman, Jr. on April 16.1932: The couple has their second child, a daughter, Caroline Virgie on October 24.1936-1938: …

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Keeper Bio: Thomas Sutor

Keepers

Date of Service: 1853 – 1861 1802: Born sometime around 1802 in Maryland1830s: Marries his wife, Susannah in Havre de Grace Maryland. They go on to have five children, 3 daughters, Ellenor, Sarah B. Frances E. and 2 sons, Louis and Samuel.1850: Per census records, Thomas and his family live in Havre de Grace where …

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