Date of Service: 1890-1925
1855: Born June 27th in Germany.
1869: Immigrates to the United States from Germany.
1880: Occupation is listed as a Sailor living in Baltimore with his wife, Annie, in the U.S. Census.
1890–1891: Serves as First Assistant at Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse, MD. His salary is $420/year.
1891: Serves as First Assistant at Craighill Channel Lower Range Front Lighthouse, MD. His salary is $435/year.
1891–1892: Serves as Principal Keeper at Craighill Channel Lower Range Front Lighthouse, MD. His salary is $575/year.
1892-1894: Serves as Principal Keeper at Lazaretto Point Lighthouse, MD. His salary is $500/year.
1894-1909: Serves as Principal Keeper at Leading Point Lighthouse, Brewerton Channel Range Lights, MD. His salary is $520/year.
1910–1917: Serves as Principal Keeper at Leading Point Lighthouse, Brewerton Channel Range Lights, MD.
1909: In November, Keeper Raabe falls off the roof of the keeper’s house and fractures his ankle. He is admitted to the United States Marine Hospital. His son, Frederick, assumes temporary Keeper duties until he returns.
1915: On April 16, 1915, William Raabe, Principal Keeper at the Leading Point Lighthouse, became keepers of both lighthouses (Hawkins Point Lighthouse) and the lights officially became known as the Brewerton Channel Front and Rear Range lights. His salary increased from $520 per year to $676 per year for tending both lights.
1917–1925: Serves as Watchman at Lazaretto Lighthouse Depot, MD. In 1921 his salary was $1,020/year.
1918: William Raabe is awarded the Inspector’s Efficiency Star.
1925: William Raabe retires on June 26, 1925, after serving 35 years in the Lighthouse Service.
1930: William Raabe lives in Baltimore, MD, with his wife Annie. He is 74 years old.
1935: William Raabe dies on January 18, 1935, at 79 years old. He is buried in Baltimore Cemetery, Baltimore, MD.
Keeper William Raabe Anecdotes:
William Raabe served a total of 35 years in the Lighthouse Service, serving at a total of 4 lighthouses and the remainder of his service as a Watchman at the Lazaretto Lighthouse Depot. Before entering the Lighthouse Service, he was a seaman. He also took soundings in the Chesapeake Bay doing survey work, as well as helped chart the bay and tributaries.
William Raabe also helped rescue two sailors, the crew of the schooner Tascoria, which capsized during a bad storm. Raabe was on a sailboat fighting the currents, almost capsizing himself, to help the men.
Sources: Chesapeake Chapter Database, The Baltimore Sun, June 23, 1925; The Baltimore Sun, November 24, 1909; Ancestry.com, National Archives, Department of Commerce and Labor