Category: Cape Charles

Keeper Bio: Fitchett, Thomas J.

Date of Service: 1862-1863; 1882-1883 1862-1863: Served as Principal Keeper at Cape Charles Lighthouse, VA. His salary was $500/year. 1882-1883: Served as Second Assistant at Cape Charles Lighthouse, VA. His salary was $400/year.  Sources: Familysearch.org, Chesapeake Chapter Database.

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Keeper Bio: Fitchett, Jesse S.

Date of Service: 1892-1894 1862: Jesse Fitchett is born in Virginia. 1892-1894: Served as Assistant Keeper at Cape Charles Lighthouse, VA. His salary was $500/year.  Sources: Familysearch.org, Chesapeake Chapter Database.

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Keeper Bio: Potts, Nancy B.

Date of Service: 1865-1872 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. (Her husband Jean G. Potts served as Principal Keeper) 1868:  Keeper Jean G. Potts is killed in a disagreement by a man he meets walking on …

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Keeper Bio: Potts, Jean G.

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. (His wife Nancy B. Potts served as First Assistant) 1868:  Keeper Jean G. Potts is killed in a disagreement by a man he meets walking on the railroad tracks near the …

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Keeper Bio: Williams, James Garnett

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: Sadler, Charles Franklin

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: Austin, Julian Haywood

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: Salter, Clarence Walter

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 …

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Timeline: Cape Charles Lighthouse

(Located on the west side of the south part of Smith Island, seacoast of Virginia, 12 miles NNE of Cape Henry, Manager -VA Nature Conservancy (VA Coast Reserve) – tallest skeletal tower in US) (Revised 03/26/2013) 1828 First lighthouse, 51 foot masonry tower constructed. 1860 Construction of a second lighthouse begun. 1862 Confederate guerillas raid …

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Cape Charles Lighthouse

The first lighthouse at this site was completed in 1828. It was a 60-foot masonry tower that was painted white. In 1856 $35,000 was appropriated for a new tower. Work started in 1860 and at the start of the Civil War was only 83 feet tall. The Confederates raided the site and destroyed the light …

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