Keeper Bio: George Henry Leikam Sr.

George Henry Leikam Sr.

Date of Service: 1940 – 1960

1902:  Born on March 4 in Baltimore, MD

1940:  Stationed at Norfolk, Virginia as Quartermaster on the U.S. Coast Guard Tender, Violet.

1942 to 1943:  Keeper Leikam begins service as 1st Assistant Keeper at Holland Island Bar Lighthouse, Maryland. Salary – $1,440 a year.

1943 to 1945: Keeper Leikam is promoted to Principal Keeper at Holland Island Bar Lighthouse. His beginning salary was $1,620 and ending salary was $1,974.

1945 to 1954: Transferred to Hooper Strait Lighthouse, Maryland in 1945 to serve as Principal Keeper. His beginning salary was $1,974 and ending salary was $2,484. Keeper Leikam was the last keeper to serve until the lighthouse was completely automated.

1954 to 1960: Transferred to Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse, Maryland in 1954 to serve as Principal Keeper. Keeper Leikam spent a total of 18 years in the Lighthouse Service.

1960:  Died on February 3 at age 57 while stationed at Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse. Keeper Leikam spent a total of 20 years in the Lighthouse Service and is buried at Oaklawn Cemetery in Baltimore, Maryland.

Keeper George Henry Leikam, Sr. Anecdotes:

The following tribute is from Mary Catherine Leikam, granddaughter of George Henry Leikam, Sr., in her own words:

“My name is Mary Catherine Leikam and my grandfather was George Henry Leikam, Sr. My grandfather was a Lighthouse Keeper until his death.  He was a husband and father to nine children.  My father said that he never knew his father to be an angry man and never heard him swear. He said he was a proud, hardworking, patient, and softhearted man with a great sense of humor who loved his family and treasured every moment he had with them even though it was difficult at times because of his job.

My mother tells me of the amazing things he did for us when my dad was deployed. That he would always spoil my brothers and me with shopping sprees for shoes and clothes to buying us our first swing set!  We also had our special times with him when he would meet us in Annapolis out on the dock for picnics when he could get away. He would even volunteer to babysit us when he was able. She shares stories of him coming over for her home cooking especially for his favorite, flour tortillas with maple syrup!

There was one story my Uncle Richard shared with me about a severe snowstorm that had hit the Baltimore area when my father was deployed. He said that he and my grandfather went out in the storm to make sure we were safe and even brought us a propane tank for heat and cooking just to make sure we had would have heat. 

Men like him created men like my father who are steadfast and held firm in God-fearing and patriarchal beliefs that supported a disciplined and loving productive family atmosphere… My grandfather’s generation and traditions helped build things and those things stand today because of men like him. Dependable and strong giving foundations to everyone and everything around them.

Because of his holding of a post that was much needed and helped secure and protect our coasts, My father served 20 years in the Air Force and fought 2 wars for our country helping to continue the long-term traditions that men of these eras helped to forge.

It is exceedingly rare in this day in age to find men or women that stand for a position that when put to the test creates a better world for us all. My grandfather is one of those people and this world would be lost without others that do not do the same.”

Sources: Mary Leikam; USLHS J. Candace Clifford Lighthouse Research Catalog https://archives.uslhs.org/ Chesapeake Chapter of the USLHS Keeper Database, 1940 U.S. Census

 

 

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