Category: Heritage-Virginia

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 …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/keeper-bio-francis-e-wilkins/

Timeline: Hog Island Lighthouse

1837:   On March 3, Congress appropriates $5,000 to construct a lighthouse on the south end of Hog Island, Virginia. 1837:   In a letter dated April 18, Commander Alexander Claxton wrote a letter to Commodore John Rodgers, President of the Board of Navy Commissioners. In the letter, he recommended that the money appropriated by Congress was …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/template-timeline-hog-island-lighthouse/

Timeline: Lambert Point Lighthouse

1870: A request of $15,000 is made to construct a square lighthouse at Lambert’s Point on the east side of the Elizabeth River to mark a shoal just off the point. 1871: Congress appropriates $15,000 on March 3 to construct the square lighthouse on five piles with a fifth-order red light. 1873: The west side …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/template-timeline-lambert-point-lighthouse/

Timeline: Pungoteague Creek Lighthouse

1852: On August 31, Congress appropriates $10,000 to build a lighthouse at Pungoteague Creek, Va. 1853: The site for the lighthouse is selected and approved plans and estimates are provided by Major Hartman Bache. 1854: The entire structure, foundation, superstructure, and ironwork is completed in Philadelphia, Pa. On April 23, materials were shipped to the …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/template-timeline-pungoteague-creek-lighthouse/

Timeline: Tangier Sound Lighthouse

1887: The lighthouse board requests $25,000 to construct a screwpile lighthouse at the Tangier Island Shoal, at the entrance to Tangier Sound in the Chesapeake Bay. 1888: Congress appropriates $25,000 to construct a lighthouse at Tangier Island Shoal on October 2. 1889: Plans & specifications are prepared, and proposals were opened on March 16 for …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/template-timeline-tangier-sound-lighthouse/

Timeline: York Spit Lighthouse

1837: A request is made to the Secretary of the Treasury to provide a contract for construction of a light vessel on York River Spit, or a lighthouse in Virginia on March 3 for $10,000. 1853: A request is made to the Lighthouse Board from the Custom House Office in Yorktown, Virginia to provide a …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/template-timeline-york-spit-lighthouse/

Timeline: Tue Marshes Lighthouse

1874: Congress appropriates $15,000 on June 23 to construct a lighthouse at Too’s Marshes, near the mouth of the York River, Virginia. 1875: Construction begins on the lighthouse on May 24th. It is to be a square screwpile cottage structure on iron piles. It is equipped with a sixth-order Fresnel lens first exhibited on August …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/template-timeline-tue-marshes-lighthouse/

Timeline: Watts Island Lighthouse

1828: Congress appropriates $6,500 to construct a lighthouse on Little Watts Island on May 23. 1831: Congress appropriates $6,400 for a lighthouse on Little Watts Island. 1833: John Donahoo builds a 48-foot tower equipped with a fifth-order Fresnel lens and keepers house at a price of $4,775. 1838: The keeper’s house is noted as being …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/template-timeline-watts-island-lighthouse/

Timeline: White Shoal Lighthouse

1850: The U. S. Lighthouse Board authorizes $3,500 for preliminary work in the engineering & design for four lighthouses on the James River. 1852: Congress appropriates $1,000 for a beacon on White Shoal, August 31, 1852. 1854: Construction of a square cottage supported by five, five-inch diameter wooden piles covered with a cast-iron screw sleeve, …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/template-timeline-white-shoal-lighthouse/

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 …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/keeper-bio-julian-haywood-austin/

Keeper Bio: Claudius Foster Sutton

Date of Service: 1897-1931 1869: Born in Craven County, North Carolina on December 11, 1869. 1897: Works as a cook at Smith Point Lighthouse in Virginia for $30. 1898-1901: Works as First Assistant at Pages Rock Lighthouse in Virginia. His annual salary was $420. 1901: Marries his wife Virginia Mildred Oliver on October 9, in …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/keeper-bio-claudius-foster-sutton/

Point of Shoals Lighthouse

Point of Shoals Lighthouse had two lighthouses. The first was built in 1855 in Burwell’s Bay on the shallow southern shoreline of the James River. It was a small, twenty-foot square, four-room white dwelling with a red tin roof and black lantern supported by five wrought-iron piles. It was equipped with a large-sized pressed glass …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/point-of-shoals-lighthouse/

Timeline: Point of Shoals Lighthouse

1837: A request is made by Beverly Kennon, Captain of the United States Navy, to construct a lighthouse at three locations along the James River in Virginia; Day’s Point, Point of Shoals and Deep Water & Lyon’s Creek Shoals. 1850: The U. S. Lighthouse Board authorizes $3,500 for preliminary work in the engineering & design …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/template-timeline-point-of-shoals-lighthouse/

Pages Rock Lighthouse

Due to increased river traffic along the York River, Congress appropriated $25,000 on March 3, 1891, to construct a lighthouse on a shoal which jutted out from Blundering Point, about 5 miles north of Yorktown, Virginia. After borings were made, it was determined that the river bottom was not firm enough to support a lighthouse …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/pages-rock-lighthouse/

Timeline: Pages Rock Lighthouse

1883: The U. S. Lighthouse Board recommends that a lighthouse be constructed at Pages Rock, in the York River, approximately five miles from Yorktown, Virginia at a cost of $25,000. The combination of railroads at West Point and the increasing commerce on the York River are the reason for the request. This request is repeated …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/template-timeline-pages-rock-lighthouse/

Timeline: Nansemond River Lighthouse

1874:  The Virginia State Legislature passes an act to cede the land necessary for the construction of a lighthouse on April 16. 1876: On July 31, 1876, Congress appropriates $15,000 to build a lighthouse at the mouth of the Nansemond River, Virginia. 1877: A five-acre tract of land is titled to the United States for …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/template-timeline-nansemond-river-lighthouse/

Timeline: Killock Shoal Lighthouse

1884: On July 7, 1884, Congress appropriates $10,000 to construct a small lighthouse and fog signal on Killick Shoal, in Chincoteague Bay. A site is selected in August—on the outer end of the shoal on the north side of the channel, approximately 3-1/8 miles from the Assateague light. 1885: The deed for the site is …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/template-timeline-killock-shoal-lighthouse/

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: …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/keeper-bio-thomas-jefferson-steinhise/

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: …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/keeper-bio-lewis-riggin-carman/

Timeline: Great Wicomico River Lighthouse

1888: On October 2, Congress appropriates $25,000 to build a lighthouse at the mouth of the Great Wicomico River on Virginia’s Western Shore. 1889: Proposals for bids to furnish the ironwork went out in January and bids received were opened on February 13. The winning bid was $13,975 for this lighthouse and the Holland Island …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/template-timeline-great-wicomico-river-lighthouse/

Timeline: Dutch Gap Canal Lighthouse

1864: Union troops dig a canal by removing 67,000 cubic yards of soil to open 174 yards of the canal so that Federal gunboats can move upriver to the Confederate defenses of Richmond. 1871: The canal is improved and dredged, cutting almost five miles off the loop around Farrar Island. 1873: Congress appropriates $15,000 on …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/template-timeline-dutch-gap-canal-lighthouse/

Keeper Bio: Barney Crockett Thomas

Date of Service: 1917 – 1950 1896: Born on February 4 in Tangier, VA to John W. and Emma (Crockett) Thomas.1917: Married Ella H. Crockett on September 16. Couple raises six children; two sons – Everett and Hanson; and four daughters – Emma, Catherine, Violet, and Doris. 1917: Serves aboard the Coast Guard cutter Apache.1917 …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/keeper-bio-thomas-barney-crockett/

Keeper Bio: Clarence Walter Salter

Date of Service: 1894 – 1925 1877: Born in Mathews County, VA 1894 – 1903: Serves at Old Plantation Flats Lighthouse. 1904: Married Fannie May Hudgins. Had three children – two daughters – Jessie Olga Salter Crouch and Mabel Salter Best; and one son – Charles Bradley Salter. 1903 – 1908: Serves at York Spit …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/keeper-bio-salter-clarence-walter/

Keeper Bio: Charles Linwood Sadler

Date of Service: 1944 – Retirement 1906: Born on June 12 in Mathews County, VA.1928: Married Mabel Martha Diggs. Raises four children.Joined Coast Guard buoy tender after a career of commercial boating.1944 – 1953: Serves as civilian First Assistant Keeper at Cove Point Lighthouse, Lusby, Maryland. Sadler and his family live in station’s three-story keeper’s …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/keeper-bio-sadler-charles-linwood/

Keeper Bio: Wesley Foster Ripley

Keepers

Date of Service: 1881 – 1916 1835: Born on June 18 in Mathews County, VA.1858: Marries Laberta F. Jarvis on November 11. Couple raises ten children: Martha, Louisa, Mary Ellen, Wesley, Mary E., Tommie, Robert, Delena, Maria, and Luther. 1860s: Ripley serves during the Civil War for the Confederacy on the Giles Light Artillery – …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/keeper-bio-wesley-foster-ripley/

Keeper Bio: Charles Edwin Respess

Date of Service: 1888 – 1915 1862: Born on July 24 – Barn Creek, Gwynn’s Island, VA.1888 – 1890: Assistant on Cape Charles Light Vessel #46. 1891 – 1893: Captain of newly christened Cape Charles LV #49.1892: Married Annie “Lovie” Grimstead on July 13.1893 – 1894: Service at Cherrystone Bar as Assistant ($435/year) and Old …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/keeper-bio-charles-edwin-respess/

Keeper Bio: Levi D. Marchant

Date of Service: 1882 – 1921 1856: Born on April 1 in Mathews, Virginia.1879: Marries Emma Susan Dixon on September 25. Couple raises five children: Ruby, Elizabeth, John Dixon, Talmadge, and Levi Theodore. 1882 to 1883: Keeper Marchant begins service on December 31 as Acting 2nd Assistant Keeper at Wolf Trap Lighthouse, Virginia. Salary – …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/keeper-bio-levi-d-marchant/

Keeper Bio: Frank Raymond Lewis

Date of Service: 1922 – 1948   1894: Born on November 23 in Mathews, VA.   1917 to 1919: Serves as a Corporal in the U.S. Army during    WWI in France; 7th Company, 154th Depot Brigade based in  Camp Meade.1921: Marries Clementine Ware Forrest on April 25 in  Norfolk, VA. Couple raises two children – …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/keeper-bio-frank-raymond-lewis/

Keeper Bio: William James Kelly

Date of Service: 1918 – 1945 1900: Born on January 29 to William S. Kelly and Bertha Wallace Kelly.1918 – 1920: Begins Lighthouse Service. Serves as Assistant Keeper at Old Plantation Flats Lighthouse (VA) – an off-shore screwpile lighthouse on the Eastern Shore of the Bay, southwest of Cape Charles City, VA. His salary was …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/keeper-bio-william-james-kelly/

Keeper Bio: John Filmore Hudgins

Date of Service: 1895 – 1923 1856: Born on January 17 in Mathews County, VA1879 or 1880: Married Ellen Gertrude “Mittie” Thomas and raised eleven children.1895: Serves at the Smith Point Lighthouse. The Chesapeake Bay freezes. Ice strikes lighthouse – carries it six miles away from the foundation. Lantern, fog-bell apparatus, oil and some supply …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/keeper-bio-john-filmore-hudgins/