Category: Craney Island

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: 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: 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 …

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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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