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Program: Lighthouse Keeper Grave Marker

US Lighthouse grave markerThe Lighthouse Keeper Grave Marker program was begun in Maine by Tim Harrison of Lighthouse Digest. The goal of the program is to honor the keepers (both civilian and U.S. Coast Guard) who diligently kept the lights burning. The Chesapeake Chapter is one of many organizations around the country which has decided to join this effort and honor those men and women who served in the Chesapeake Bay area.  This program also includes Lightship Crewmen as lightships were floating lighthouses.

When an application is received from a family member, the keepers service is verified, normally by checking our database of U. S. Lighthouse Service Keepers that was researched by our chapter volunteers.  We have documented service by over 2,000 Lighthouse Keepers during U. S. Lighthouse Service years up to 1939.   Then we look at the location of the cemetery where the Keeper is buried, if it is in a state/county covered by our volunteers, then one of them will contact the cemetery to determine if grave markers are allowed, if so any restrictions and then arrange for the marker to be installed by the cemetery staff or the volunteers.  We take measures to help prevent easy theft of the markers.  The family may request a ceremony and invite friends and family to attend.  Our volunteers are currently divided into two teams, one for Maryland and one for Virginia.

The counties in Maryland are: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, St Mary’s, Prince Georges, Howard, Montgomery, Charles, Kent, Queens Anne, Talbot, Caroline, Dorchester, Wicomico and Somerset.

The counties in Virginia are: Mathews, Gloucester, Middlesex, James City, York, Newport News, Hampton, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Northampton and Accomack.

Any FAMILY MEMBER who wishes to nominate a past keeper for this honor may fill out a Grave Marker Request form and submit it to the Chapter.  If approved, the Grave Marker is installed at no cost to the family,  and the ceremony performed within the limit set by the Chapter Board.  This program is currently funded by an annual budget allocation of $1,000 and the board has set a limit per keeper such that this amount will currently fund nine grave marker installations and ceremonies per year.

The Chapter would like to recognize our volunteers Betty Collins, Greg Krawczyk, Tony Pasek and Hobie Statzer for their contributions to make this effort a success.   We do need more volunteers, if interested please contact the Programs Chair.

Contact: Programs Committee Chair via email:

Grave Marker Ceremony Request form


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