Keeper Bio: Bowling, Joseph Ignatius


Date of Service: 1893 – 1911

1843:   Born June 8 in Baltimore, Maryland to parents Thomas & Susana Bowling.

1869+/-:   Marries his wife, Mary Elizabeth Vaughan.

1880:   In the U.S. Census, Joseph I. Bowling, age 37, lives with his wife and 6 children in Baltimore, MD. His occupation is listed as a sailor.

18931895:  Served as First Assistant for Maryland Point Lighthouse, MD.

1897:   Served as First Mate on LV-49, stationed at Cape Charles, VA. His annual salary was $540/year.

1899:   Served as Master on LV-69, stationed at Diamond Shoals, NC. In August, the ship was blown off station and the ship was damaged. The crew was rescued and taken back to Lazaretto Depot, MD.

1899-1900:  Served as Master on LV-71, stationed at Diamond Shoals, NC.

1901-1911:   Served as Master on LV-46, stationed at Tail of The Horseshoe, VA. His beginning salary was $1,000/year and his ending salary was $1,080/year.

1915:  Died December 17 at age 72 in Baltimore, Maryland. He is buried at Baltimore Cemetery Baltimore, MD.

Keeper Joseph I. Bowling Anecdotes:

On August 25, 1891, Joseph Bowling, Captain of the 116-foot-long schooner Alice, departed Rio De Janeiro with a cargo of 1,128 bags of coffee bound for Baltimore. On October 3, they encountered a hurricane, and the vessel began to develop a leak. Seven days later October 10th, the schooner was still battling northeast winds off the coast of Cape Lookout, NC. Still leaking, the pumps stopped working, and the crew began to bail water out of the vessel by hand. Days later the crew was exhausted and could not continue to bail water any longer. They prepared the dingy, loading it with water and supplies. Bowling and his crew watched the schooner sink into the water at daybreak. They were later rescued by a schooner, Julia A. Warr, and taken to Jacksonville, FL. They were able to save some of their personal items, but the coffee was lost to the sea at a value of $4,000.

In August 1899 while stationed at Diamond Shoal, a hurricane blew the LV-69 off the station and onto the beach, damaging the wheel & shaft. Bowling and his crew were rescued by a lifesaving team located at Creed Hill, NC. The crew used a breeches buoy (a rope-based rescue device used to extract people from wrecked vessels) to rescue the crew. Bowling & his crew were then taken to Norfolk, VA., on the tug, E.V. McCauley. The lightship was floated & towed to Lazaretto Depot, MD. Bowling and his crew were then transferred to a newer vessel, LV-71, and returned to Diamond Shoal.

Sources: Chesapeake Chapter Keeper database, J. Candace Clifford Research Catalog;; Baltimore Sun, October 17, 1891; Baltimore Sun, September 26, 1899


Permanent link to this article: