Lighthouse Keeper recognition ceremony for Keeper John A. Phillips – November 6th, 2021

Family & Friends of Keeper John A. Phillips after the ceremony – Photo by Greg Krawczyk


It was a beautiful Saturday at the Loudon Park Cemetery in Baltimore.  The family and friends of Keeper John Phillips gathered for the U. S. Lighthouse Service Grave Marker dedication ceremony to honor his service as a Lighthouse Keeper from 1869 to 1877.  His grave marker was installed by a family member with an assist from the chapter.  As normal for cemeteries in the City of Baltimore, the marker could not be installed in the ground next to the monument.  However, due to the age and the type of stone that his monument was made from, it could not be drilled to mount the marker rod into, so a flat grave marker and keeper insignia had to be attached to Keeper John Phillips’ monument. 

Keeper Phillips served as a volunteer officer in the U. S. Navy during the Civil War, and commanded two gunboats before the war ended.  After the war he joined the Lighthouse Service and was assigned as the Principal Keeper for Cove Point Lighthouse from 1869 to 1873.  Then Keeper Phillips transferred and served as the Principal Keeper for Lazaretto Lighthouse in Baltimore until 1877, when he died on August 2nd while on duty at the Lighthouse. 

Although the Lazaretto Lighthouse is long gone, the owner of the Rukert Terminal researched and used the plans for the original lighthouse to build a replica of the Lazaretto Lighthouse near it original location, which was completed in 1985.  Because the replica lighthouse is located in an active port facility with almost constant loading or unloading of ships, the replica lighthouse is not open for visiting.  It is visible from Fort McHenry unless there is a very large ship docked at the terminal.

This Lighthouse Keeper Grave Marker installation was the 7th and last of 2021.  Since this program was started in 2016 we have honored 34 Lighthouse Keepers and Lightship Sailors. 

Any questions, email Keeper Grave Dedication Ceremony programs@cheslights.org  
Download the Grave Marker Program Marker and Ceremony Application here.

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/lighthouse-keeper-recognition-ceremony-phillips-november-2021/