Keeper Bio: Goeshy, Beatrice Evelyn

Beatrice Evelyn Goeshy – Photo Courtesy April Havens

Date of Service: 1931- 1955

1910:  Beatrice Evelyn Seward is born on September 10th, to parents Howard & Alice Seward in Baltimore, MD.

1930:  In the U.S. Census, Beatrice (21), lives with her sister in Baltimore, MD. Her occupation is listed as Stenographer.

1930:   William M. Goeshy marries Beatrice Seward on December 28th, in MD.

1931:  Serves as Laborer at Drum Point Lighthouse, MD. Her salary is $180/year. (Her husband William Goeshy served as Principal Keeper)

1932-1946:  Serves as Laborer at Piney Point Lighthouse, MD. Her beginning salary is $180/year and ending salary $216/year. (Her husband William Goeshy served as Principal Keeper)

1955:  Beatrice Goeshy serves as Principal Keeper at Piney Point Lighthouse, MD., following the death of her husband, William. She remained at the station until a newly commissioned officer could take her place.

1994:  Beatrice Goeshy/Gould dies at the age of 85 on December 14th. (She married Orville Paul Gould after William’s death) She is buried at Joy Chapel Cemetery in Hollywood, St. Mary’s County, MD.

Keeper Beatrice Evelyn Seward Goeshy Anecdotes

Beatrice Goeshy was introduced to the lighthouse life when she met her husband, William Goeshy in July, 1930. After their marriage on December 28, 1930, William Goeshy was transferred to Drum Point Lighthouse, MD as Principal Keeper. This was where they spent their honeymoon and the next year of their life together.

In 1931, they were transferred to Piney Point Lighthouse in Maryland, where Beatrice served next to her husband as a Laborer for the next 24 years. Beatrice reflected on the many unexpected inspections they had to endure through those years. Beatrice would prepare extravagant lunches and homemade bread hopefully to further boost the inspections.

In 1933, during the Chesapeake-Potomac hurricane, water rose approximately 8-feet or more and the cottages along the beach at the lighthouse were flooded. Beatrice recalls that many of the guests did not know how to swim and had nowhere to go. She swam from cottage to cottage helping rescue 13 guests, then swam them back to the lighthouse. For three days she fed the guests homemade apple sauce and cereal.

Lighthouse keeping was a 24 hour job and during World War II, an additional duty was added as they were designated as a radio relay station, which required constant watch.

Beatrice remained at Piney Point until William Goeshy’s untimely death of a heart attack in 1955.

Sources: Chesapeake Chapter Keeper’s Database;;; National Archives;Beatrice Goeshy Gould, personal communication, February 6, 1990; Enterprise, 1984


Permanent link to this article: