Keeper Bio: Talbott, Joseph Francis


Date of Service: 1883-1922

1857:  Born December 10th to in Anne Arundel County, MD.

1876-1879: Serves as an apprentice as a Brass Finisher in Baltimore, MD., at J.H. Register & Sons.

1879-1883:   Works as a Fireman with the United States Lighthouse Service.

1883:   Serves as Assistant Keeper at Currituck Beach Lighthouse, Corolla, NC., from February 18th to August 27th. His annual salary is $840/year.

1883-1884: Serves as an Assistant Engineer on Lightship No. 46, from August 28th to June 30th, 1884.

1884-1905: Serves as Second Assistant Keeper at Currituck Sound Beacon Lights, NC.

1892:  Marries Adelia F. Taylor in Currituck County, NC.

1905-1914: Serves as Assistant Keeper at Currituck Sound Beacon Lights, NC. His beginning salary is $600/year. His ending salary is $840/year.

1909:   An efficiency report on June 8, 1909, lists Joseph, age 51, as Assistant Keeper at Currituck Sound, Beacon Light, N.C. Salary $840 year. He took care of the Lights and gas plant at Long Point, N.C. At age 51 he was temporarily placed on Tender Heilotrope

1914:   Joseph F. Talbott is recommended by the Lighthouse  Commissioner to be appointed Second Assistant Engineer on the Lighthouse Tender, Woodbine.

1914:  Serves as Second Engineer on Tender Woodbine. His annual salary is $900/year.

1914:  Resigns as Second Engineer on Woodbine.

1914-1916: Serves as Principal Keeper at Piney Point Lighthouse, MD., beginning October 10th. His annual salary is $552/year.

1916-1917:  Serves as Assistant Engineer on Light Vessel No. 46, at Tail of The Horseshoe Station, VA. His annual salary is $840/year.

1917:  Serves temporarily as Second Assistant Engineer on Lighthouse Tender Holly.

1917-1922: Serves as Second Assistant Engineer on Light Vessel No. 46. His beginning salary is $900/year. His ending salary is $1,215/year.

1922:  Joseph F. Talbott retires on December 31st, with an annual salary of $1,042.65.

1930: Lives in Norfolk, Virginia with his wife and son. His occupation is listed as Engineer.

1932: Joseph Francis Talbott dies on May 14, 1932, at age 74. He is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery, Norfolk, VA.

Keeper Joseph Francis Talbott Anecdotes:

Keeper Talbott serves a total of 39 years in the Lighthouse Service. In1914 he was recommended by Lighthouse Commissioners to be appointed 2nd Assistant Engineer on the Lighthouse Tender, Woodbine. Those reasons were:

  1. Present position of Asst. Keeper at Currituck about to be discontinued.
  2. He has extensive experience in handling oil engines.
  3. This employee has rendered satisfactory service and it is desired to retain him in this most suitable position.
  4. Has or can obtain any license necessary.
  5. Talbott is a stationary engineer in his present position and has charge of the steam engines and other machinery.
  6. Talbott has indicated his willingness to accept position.

(Source: National Archives Dept. of Commerce)

On May 29th, Joseph F. Talbott sent a letter to the 5th Lighthouse District Inspector:


                        By direction of Supt. Hankinson as to license helf by me, must state at this time the only license held by me is gasoline license for marine engineer for vessels of 100 gross tons, waters not limited. I have held license for steam stationary engineer for the State of Maryland issued in 1892 but have let them run out and have run marine engines for 2 years at a time and kept them up. Never had any accident or trouble in doing so. I entered the Lighthouse Service in the year of 1879 a coal passer, was promoted to fireman six months later on board of the tender Holly when she was built and went in commission in1881 and served in the same position until February 17, 1883 when I was promoted to 2nd assistant keeper of Currituck Sound Beacons and 2nd assistant engineer on tender Bramble, promoted August 28, 1891 to first assistant vice Walter Gray resigned. Served as first assistant until October 1, 1892 when I resigned. Was reinstated and appointed Engineer of Light Ship No. 46 Sept. 9, 1893. Served in that capacity until June 18, 1894. Was transferred at the request of Capt. Wm. Shinaulty back to Long Point as 2nd asst. keeper vice Olaf Olsen resigned and on June 27, 1905 received letter from Department changing my designation to assistant keeper where I remain at the present time.


                                                            Signed. J.F.Talbott,

                                                                   Asst. Keeper

                                                                        Currituck Sound Beacon Lts.

Sources:  Chesapeake Chapter Database,,, National Archives, Department of Commerce and Labor, April Havens, Piney Point Lighthouse Museum





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