Upcoming Lighthouse Keeper recognition ceremonies in Mathews County on October 7th, 2023

Honoring Keepers  in October

After a three-year hiatus – due to Covid and some relocation – the Chapter and its Virginia Lighthouse Keeper Grave Marker Team are resuming honoring Chesapeake Bay light keepers on October 7.  We have scheduled six ceremonies on the first Saturday in October in Mathews County, VA. We will be joined by a color guard from Flotilla 66, U.S.  Coast Guard Auxiliary, and possibly some Coast Guardsmen from the Milford Haven Station serving as honor guards.

The ceremonies begin at 9:30 am at the H.C. Smither Cemetery located on Route 627 (Smithers Lane) in Hudgins, VA when we will honor Keeper William Edward Davis and unveil his USLHS Grave Marker. We then move to the Mathews Baptist Church Cemetery 8284 Route 198 (Buckey Hall Road) in Hudgins and at 10:45 am, honor Keeper Robert Franklin Powell. After a break for lunch in Mathews, the ceremonies resume at the Saint Paul United Methodist Church Cemetery, 5555 Route 14, also known as New Point Comfort Highway in Susan, VA. Here we will honor four light keepers beginning with Keeper John William Thomas at 1:30 pm. We will then hold a ceremony at 2:15 pm for Keeper James Temple Ripley. Ceremony number five for Keeper Oliver R. Hudgins will begin at approximately 3:30 pm, followed immediately by the final ceremony of the day for Keeper James Beauregard Hurst. Keepers Hudgins and Hurst were brothers-in-law, and the same group of descendants is expected to attend both ceremonies.

The ceremonies will be held rain or shine and are open to the public. Chapter members are encouraged to attend one or more of these special ceremonies. The VA Grave Marker Team always welcomes your participation and assistance.  Look for the Chapter’s cemetery directional sign(s) as you travel the roads of Mathews County. See you on October 7.

Keeper Grave Dedication Ceremony

Click Here to download the itinerary, written directions, and Mathews County attractions.

Any questions, email Keeper Grave Dedication Ceremony programs@cheslights.org  

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