Category: Craney Island

Keeper Bio: Pettigrew, Amy W.

Date of Service: 1882 1853: Amy Wood is born in Edenton, NC., to parents William & Malvine Wood. 1860s: Amy Wood marries Haywood Pettigrew in Edenton, NC. They go on to raise 3 girls. 1870: In the U.S. Census, Amy and Haywood Pettigrew live in Tyrell County, NC. 1882: Amy W. Pettigrew served as Acting …

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Keeper Bio: Pettigrew, Haywood B.

Date of Service: 1880-1882 1845: Haywood B. Pettigrew is born in September, in Tyrell County, NC. 1864: Haywood Pettigrew enlists in the 2nd US Colored Cavalry as a Private. 1866: Pettigrew is discharged on February 12th as a Sergeant in the US Colored Cavalry. 1860s:  Haywood Pettigrew marries Amy Wood in Edenton, NC. They go …

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Keeper Bio: Delk, Junius T.

Date of Service: 1881-1882 1848: Born in Virginia 1880: In the US Census, Junius Delk, age 32, lives with his wife Julia, age 27, and four children in Norfolk, VA. His occupation is shoemaker. 1881-1882: Served as Assistant Keeper at Craney Island Lighthouse, VA. His salary was $420/year.  Sources: Familysearch.org, Chesapeake Chapter Database.

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Keeper Bio: Cross, Elizabeth

Date of Service: 1860-1863 1860-1863: Elizabeth Cross is named the First Assistant at Craney Island Lighthouse. Her salary is $300/year. (Her husband George Cross served as Principal Keeper) 1861: During the Civil War, the Confederates remove the lens from the lighthouse and cause major damage to the structure. Sources: Chesapeake Chapter Keeper’s Database; familysearch.org; uslhs.org; …

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Keeper Bio: Mister, Mrs. V.A.

Date of Service: 1865-1870 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. (Her husband Solomon Mister served as Principal Keeper) Sources: Chesapeake Chapter Keeper’s Database; familysearch.org; uslhs.org;    

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Keeper Bio: DePass, Celestine

Date of Service: 1870 1841:  Celestine Butt is born in Virginia. 1870:  Celestine DePass, born in Virginia, is named the First Assistant at Craney Island Lighthouse, VA., in June 1870, where she remains until August 1870. (Her husband John DePass served as Principal Keeper) 1882:   Celestine DePass dies in April, at the age of 38 …

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Keeper Bio: Sturtevant, Mary J.

Date of Service: 1870-1873 1824: Mary Jane Bell is born in Portsmouth, VA. 1842: William P. Sturtevant marries Mary Jane Bell in Portsmouth, VA. On November 15th. 1870-1873: Mary J. Sturtevant is named the First Assistant at Craney Island Lighthouse. Her beginning salary is $400/year, and her ending salary is $420/year. (Her husband William P. …

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Keeper Bio: Murphy, Ann

Date of Service: 1873 1839:  Ann Murphy is born in approximately 1839, in Ireland. 1873:  Ann Murphy serves as First Assistant at Craney Island Lighthouse, Va. Her annual salary is $420. (Her husband Patrick Murphy served as Principal Keeper) 1873:  Ann Murphy resigns after her husband’s death. Sources: Chesapeake Chapter Keeper’s Database; familysearch.org; uslhs.org

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Keeper Bio: Richards, Phoebe D.

Date of Service: 1873-1879 1827:  Phoebe Dwight is born in Pennsylvania. 1873-1879: Phoebe D. Richards serves as First Assistant at Craney Island Lighthouse, VA. Her annual salary is $420. (Her husband Elisha Richards, served as Principal Keeper) 1910:  Phoebe D. Richards dies. Sources: Chesapeake Chapter Keeper’s Database; familysearch.org; uslhs.org, The Norfolk Virginian, July 22, 1879

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Keeper Bio: Richards, Elisha

Keepers

Date of Service: 1873-1879 1822:  Elisha Richards is born in New Jersey. 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. (His wife, Phoebe D. Richards, served as his assistant) 1879: Elisha Richards dies on duty as Principal …

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Keeper Bio: Murphy, Patrick

Keepers

Date of Service: 1865-1873 1830:  Patrick Murphy is born in approximately1830, 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 Shoals Lighthouse, VA. His annual salary is $600. 1873:   Patrick …

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Keeper Bio: Sturtevant, William P.

Keepers

Date of Service: 1870-1873 1820: William P. Sturtevant is born in Edenton, NC. 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 Principal Keeper at Craney Island Lighthouse, VA. His beginning …

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Keeper Bio: DePass, John Jacob

Date of Service: 1870 1826:  John Jacob DePass (half Spanish/Portuguese and half Negro) is born in London, England, to parents Abraham & Sarah DePass. 1860:  The U.S. Census shows John and his family living in New Orleans, LA. 1861:  John DePass enlists in Company E of the 1st Infantry Regiment Louisiana National Guard. DePass was …

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Keeper Bio: Mister, Solomon T.

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. (His wife V.A. Mister served as First Assistant) Sources: Chesapeake Chapter Keeper’s Database; familysearch.org; uslhs.org;    

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Keeper Bio: Cross, George

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. (His wife Elizabeth Cross served as First Assistant) 1861: During the Civil War, the Confederates remove the …

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Keeper Bio: Hudgins, John Filmore

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 …

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Timeline: Craney Island Lighthouse

1857: The Lighthouse Board recommends building a small screwpile lighthouse for a price of $10,000-$12,000 to replace the lightship that had served the station since 1820. 1859: The lightship is replaced by a square wooden structure on a screwpile foundation. 1861: The Confederates remove the lens & destroy the lighthouse. 1862: On June 23, 1862, …

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Craney Island Lighthouse

Photo courtesy U.S Coast Guard (1884 lighthouse).           The first permanent lightship station in the United States was anchored in 1820 in the lower Chesapeake Bay on the west side of the channel near the mouth of the Elizabeth River to guide vessels approaching Norfolk & Portsmouth harbors. This lightship was …

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