Keeper Bio: Brumfield, Georgiana (Georgia) Sherwood

Keeper Georgiana Brumfield

Date of Service: 1895 – 1919

1849: Born on August 24 to parents John and Rebecca (Sherwood) Crouch in Cecil County, MD.

1865: Moves to Turkey Point Lighthouse, MD., where her father is appointed Keeper.

1870: Marries William Brumfield on September 23 at the lighthouse. They raise at least 6 children.

1873: Georgiana’s father, Keeper John Crouch, dies while on duty at Turkey Point Lighthouse on July 3. Her mother, Rebecca Crouch, is appointed Principal Keeper at Turkey Point Lighthouse on October 2.

1895: Georgiana’s mother, Keeper Rebecca Crouch, dies while on duty on July 11.

1895-1919: Georgiana Brumfield is appointed Principal Keeper at Turkey Point Lighthouse, MD. on July 26, succeeding her mother. Her beginning salary was $560/year and her ending salary was $780/year.

1910: A red sector is placed at the light station.

1911: Keeper Brumfield’s husband dies.

1916: In September, new floors and cupboards are installed in the dining room. The stable is repaired, and a new concrete walkway is installed behind the house.

1918: On February 16 in the daily log, she writes: “6 tugs and 3 barges come up. Resumed the light tonight. The tugs and barges got through but had a right hard time. Was 48 nights we did not light. 1 canal boat cut through loaded with wood sunk at back creek”. On February 18, she writes “5 of the tugs went down today”.

1919: Retires from service as Keeper on September 29, after serving for 24 years. In the daily log, she writes “Going to go down from dear old Turkey Point today, but God goes with me and he will show me the way.”

1930: In the U.S. Census, Georgiana Brumfield is 80 years old, living with her daughter Mary and son Paul in Cecil County, MD.

1934: Georgiana Brumfield dies on June 25 at age 84. She is buried at Harts United Methodist Church Cemetery, Elk Neck., MD.

Keeper Georgiana Brumfield Anecdotes:

Georgiana Brumfield moved to Turkey Point Lighthouse with her parents when she was just 16. She spent a total of 54 years at the lighthouse, of which 24 of those years she was Keeper. She married her husband William at the lighthouse and all her children were born there.

In an interview with The Baltimore Sun, she reminisced about how much she loved living at Turkey Point Lighthouse and how beautiful it was. When asked about retiring, she said: “I am not dead, I am only leaving because they say I must, as I am 70 years old.” Keeper Brumfield also talked about how they stayed busy growing flowers and vegetables. There was also plenty of room to raise chickens.

Sources: Chesapeake Chapter Keeper database,  J. Candace Clifford Lighthouse Research Catalog,  ;; ; Women Who Kept The Lights, Mary Louise Clifford and J. Candace Clifford, 2013; The Baltimore Sun, November 16, 1919, Paula Krum, Historian TPLHS



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