Category: Heritage-Virginia

Keeper Bio: Elisha and Phoebe D. Richards

Keepers

Date of Service: 1873-1879 1822:  Elisha Richards is born in New Jersey. 1827:  Phoebe Dwight is born in Pennsylvania. 1870: Elisha’s occupation is listed as a retired sawyer. 1873-1879: Elisha Richards serves as Principal Keeper at Craney Island Lighthouse, VA. His annual salary is $540. 1873-1879: Phoebe D. Richards serves as First Assistant at Craney …

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Keeper Bio: Patrick and Ann Murphy

Keepers

Date of Service: 1865-1873 1830:  Patrick Murphy is born in approximately1830, in Ireland. 1839:  Ann Murphy is born in approximately 1839, in Ireland. 1865-1870:  Patrick Murphy was a crew member on LV-22, stationed at Wolftrap Station, in the Chesapeake Bay. His annual salary is $750/year. 1872:  Patrick Murphy is appointed Principal Keeper at Point of …

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Keeper Bio: Henry Clay Wingate

Date of Service: 1902 – 1927   1862:  Born May 19 to parents Thomas and Mary Wingate in Dorchester County, MD. 1880: Occupation is listed as Sailor in the U.S. Census 1889:  Henry is discharged from the Army on November 16 (Spanish American War) 1890: Marries Nettie J. Dodge. 1900: Occupation is listed as day …

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Keeper Bio: William P. and Mary J. Sturtevant

Keepers

Date of Service: 1870-1873 1820: William P. Sturtevant is born in Edenton, NC. 1824: Mary Jane Bell is born in Portsmouth, VA. 1842: William P. Sturtevant marries Mary Jane Bell in Portsmouth, VA. On November 15th. 1860: In the U.S. Census, William P. Sturtevant’s occupation is a painter. 1870-1873:  William P. Sturtevant, Sr., is named …

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Keeper Bio: John and Celestine DePass

Keepers

Date of Service: 1870 1825:  John DePass is born in England. 1841:  Celestine is born in Virginia. 1870: John DePass is named Principal Keeper at Craney Island Lighthouse, VA., in May, where he remains until August 1870. 1870:  Celestine DePass, born in Virginia, is named the First Assistant at Craney Island Lighthouse, VA., in June …

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Keeper Bio: Solomon T. and Mrs. V.A. Mister

Keepers

Date of Service: 1865-1870 1865-1870:  Solomon T. Mister is named Principal Keeper at Craney Island Lighthouse, VA. His beginning salary is $450/year, and his ending salary is $600/year. 1865-1870: Mrs. V.A. Mister is named the First Assistant at Craney Island Lighthouse, VA. Her beginning salary is $300/year, and her ending salary is $400/year. Sources: Chesapeake …

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Keeper Bio: George and Elizabeth Cross

Keepers

Date of Service: 1853-1863 1853-1856: George Cross is named Principal Keeper at Back River Lighthouse, VA. His salary is $400/year. 1859-1863: George Cross is named the first Principal Keeper at Craney Island Lighthouse, VA. His salary is $450/year. 1860: Elizabeth Cross is named the First Assistant at Craney Island Lighthouse. Her salary is $300/year. 1861: …

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Keeper Bio: Samuel and Mrs. F. Mathews

Keepers

Date of Service: 1866 1866: Samuel Mathews is named Principal Keeper at Cherrystone Bar Lighthouse, VA., in March. He resigns 8 months later in November. His salary was $400/year. 1866: Mrs. F. Mathews, is named the First Assistant Keeper at Cherrystone Bar Lighthouse, VA., in June. She resigns 5 months later in November. Her salary …

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Keeper Bio: Henry and Carrie Richardson

Keepers

Date of Service: 1870-1873 1870-1873: Henry Richardson, born in England, is named Principal Keeper at Cape Henry Lighthouse, VA. His salary is $760/year. 1870-1872: Carrie Richardson, born in New Hampshire, is named the Second Assistant Keeper at Cape Henry Lighthouse, VA. Her salary is $400/year. Sources: Chesapeake Chapter Keeper’s Database; familysearch.org; uslhs.org    

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Keeper Bio: H. and Mary Creekmore

Keepers

Date of Service: 1869-1870 1869-1870:  H. Creekmore, born in Virginia, is named Principal Keeper at Cape Henry Lighthouse, VA. His salary is $760/year. 1869-1870: Mary Creekmore, born in Virginia, is named the Second Assistant Keeper at Cape Henry Lighthouse, VA. Her salary is $400/year. Sources: Chesapeake Chapter Keeper’s Database; familysearch.org; uslhs.org    

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Keeper Bio: William and Julia A. Harding

Keepers

Date of Service: 1864-1869 1828:  William Harding is born in approximately 1828, in Maryland. 1834: Julia A. is born in approximately 1834 in Maryland. 1864-1869:  William Harding is named Principal Keeper at Cape Henry Lighthouse, VA. His beginning salary is $550/year. His ending salary is $760/year. 1865-1869:  Julia A. Harding is named the First Assistant …

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Keeper Bio: Jean G. and Nancy B. Potts

Keepers

Date of Service: 1864-1872 1864: Jean G. Potts, from Germany, is appointed Principal Keeper at Cape Charles Lighthouse, VA. His beginning salary is $500/year. 1865: Nancy B. Potts, the wife of Jean G. Potts, is appointed First Assistant Keeper at Cape Charles Lighthouse, VA. Her beginning salary is $300/year. 1868:  Keeper Jean G. Potts is …

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Keeper Bio: William M. and Augusta P. Elmore

Keepers

Date of Service: 1869-1877 1833:  William M. Elmore is born in Northumberland County, VA. 1845:  Augusta P. Ashburn is born on June 9 in Virginia 1863: William M. Elmore marries Augusta P. Ashburn in Virginia. 1869-1877: William M. Elmore is named Principal Keeper at Bowlers Rock Lighthouse, VA. His beginning salary is $600/year. His ending …

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Keeper Bio: Mary Caulk Smith

Date of Service: 1868 – 1872 1841: Born on August 10th in Delaware. 1867-1872: Mary’s husband, Charles H. Smith is appointed Principal Keeper for the newly constructed Assateague Lighthouse, VA., in 1867. 1868-1872: Mary C. Smith is appointed the First Assistant at Assateague Lighthouse, VA. Her annual salary is $400/year. 1908: Mary Caulk Smith dies …

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Keeper Bio: Charles Harwin Smith

Keepers

Date of Service: 1867-1872, 1874-1881, 1895-1908 1840: Born on September 24th in Delaware County, PA. 1860-1865: Serves as First Mate on the U.S. Transport Steamer, Diamond State. 1865: Moves to Chincoteague, VA., where he serves as the Captain of a small cutter. 1867-1872:  Appointed Principal Keeper for the newly constructed Assateague Lighthouse, VA., in 1867. …

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Keeper Bio: Charles C. Tyler

Keepers

Date of Service: 1905 – 1919 1859:  Born April 13 to parents Thomas and Maria Tyler in Somerset, MD. 1880:  Occupation is listed as Seaman in the U.S. Census 1900:  Occupation is listed as Oysterman in the U.S. Census 1905–1906: Serves as Second Assistant at Thimble Shoal Lighthouse, VA, with an annual salary of $440. …

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Keeper Bio: Walter M. Shawn

Keepers

Date of Service: 1895 – 1908 1862: Born on February 14 in Queen Anne’s County, Eastern Shore, MD. 1869-1870: Family moves to Gloucester County, VA. 1880: Works as a farmer.                     1888: Works as a lumberman.  Marries Virginia E. Davis on December 26.  The couple raises three children, Lessie, Linwood, and Estelle. 1895-1901: Serves as …

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Keeper Bio: Henry Luther Dow

Date of Service: 1919 – 1954 1884: Born on April 2 at New Point, Mathews County, VA.  Keeper Dow was part of the 8th generation of Dows originally immigrating from England. 1909: Marries Hattie May Brooks on December 25.  The couple raises two children, Walter Carroll, and Elizabeth Snow. 1910:  Works as a sailor on …

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Keeper Bio: James Garnett Williams

Date of Service: 1875 – 1919 1855:  Born on April 15 in Mathews County, VA 1875:  Serves as Second Assistant Keeper at Windmill Point Lighthouse (VA).   Annual salary – $400.    1875-1876: Serves as First Assistant Keeper at Windmill Point Lighthouse (VA). Annual Salary – $440. 1876-1907:  Serves as Keeper at Windmill Point Lighthouse (VA).  …

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Keeper Bio: William Thomas “Billy” Brooks

Date of Service: 1909 – 1923 1853: Born on September 3 in Mathews County, VA.                1878: Marries Lucy Jane Marchant on January 31.  The couple has six children ­- Egbert, James, William, Thomas, Golden, and Gladys.      1900: Works as an oysterman.                     1909-1911: Serves as Assistant Keeper at Cobb Point Bar Lighthouse, MD beginning November …

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Keeper Bio: Robert Harold “Hallie” Matthews

Keepers

Date of Service: 1918 – 1941   1873: Born on October 14 in Mathews County, VA. Marries Edna Earle Brooks.  The couple raises one child – Mary Elizabeth. 1918- 1920:  Serves as First Assistant Keeper at Deep Water Shoals Lighthouse (VA). Starting annual salary – $480; ending – $720. 1918: On August 7, First Assistant …

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Keeper Bio: Andrew Broaddus Sadler

Date of Service: 1903 – 1930 1867: Born in Mathews County, VA. 1887: Serves as an oysterman.  Marries Willia Peters on February 27. The couple raises one child – Edith Pearl.  1903 – at least 1913: Serves as Assistant Keeper at Stingray Point Lighthouse (VA). Starting annual salary – $420; ending – $480. 1915: Serves …

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Keeper Bio: Charles Franklin Sadler

Date of Service: 1925 – 1954 1892: Born on July 3 in Mathews County, VA. 1914: Marries Emma Lewis on October 10.  The couple has two children – Eileen and Weldon Lewis. 1917: Works as a fisherman – Gwynn’s Island, VA. 1925: Works for the United States Lighthouse Service as a foreman for the Shipping …

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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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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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