Category: Thimble Shoal

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: 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: 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 – …

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Timeline: Thimble Shoal Lighthouse

(Located 3.5 miles east of Old Point Comfort, at the mouth of James River, Hampton Roads, VA – Updated 5/27/2020) 1821: Lightship stationed near Thimble Shoal. 1872: First lighthouse, a screwpile, erected. 10/30/1880: Screwpile cottage destroyed by fire. Foundation survives. 12/24/1880: Screwpile cottage, destined for Bells Rock, VA installed instead on existing ironwork. 2nd fog …

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Thimble Shoal Lighthouse

The first Thimble Shoal Lighthouse was a six-sided screwpile light erected in 1872. This light was first lit on October 15, 1872. This light replaced the last lightship in the bay. The light was listed as 3 ½ miles east of Old Point Comfort at Willoughby’s Spit and The Thimble entrance to Hampton Roads. On …

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