Keeper Bio: Lawson, Noah Moffett


Date of Service: 1865-1871

1827: Born on December 10 to parents Isaac & Hannah Sterling Lawson in Somerset County, Maryland.

1851: Marries Nancy Wickett Ward on November 4th in Somerset County, MD.

1844-1864: Noah Lawson is a sailor involved in commercial coastal trading from Baltimore to New York. In 1851, he was promoted to Master of the vessel. After his work on ships, he was a builder and farmer.

1865-1867: Serves as a crew member on the 76-foot-long Janes Island Light Vessel starting on April 1, 1865. His annual salary was $400/year. In December 1866, the vessel was reported to be leaking badly and a relief vessel was sent to take her place. The estimate for repairs was more than the ship was worth, and it was recommended to construct a screwpile lighthouse to replace the vessel.

1867-1871: Serves as Principal Keeper for the newly constructed Janes Island Lighthouse, MD., starting in October 1867. His annual salary is $600/year.

1869: Two plates of glass are replaced in the lantern to replace existing ones broken by wildfowl.

1869:  A fire destroys the house belonging to Noah and Nancy Lawson, along with all their belongings in October. Keeper Lawson’s wife Nancy is appointed Assistant Keeper of Janes Island Lighthouse on November 10.

1871: Resigns as Principal Keeper of Janes Island Lighthouse, MD.

1883: Elected to the Maryland House of Delegates for Somerset County, MD.

1901: Noah Moffett Lawson dies on November 24, 1901. He is buried at St. Peters Methodist Church Cemetery, Crisfield, MD.

Source: Chesapeake Chapter Keeper database; J. Candace Clifford Lighthouse Research Catalog,;; The Democratic Advocate, Nov. 17, 1883, The Cecil Whig, November 6, 1869; The Baltimore Sun, January 28, 1884

Permanent link to this article: