Digest>Archives> December 2009

Lighthouse Flag Owner's Photo Surfaces

By Timothy Harrison


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A photograph of the man who owned the United States Lighthouse Service Inspectors Flag that is on display at the Maine Lighthouse Museum in Rockland, Maine which was donated by me, has been rediscovered.

Joseph T. Yates, shown here in his younger years, spent an amazing 42 years in the United States Lighthouse Service. His hat indicates the photograph was taken when the organization was known as the United States Lighthouse Establishment. It later became known as United States Lighthouse Service.

Yates worked his way up through the ranks and eventually became the Superintendent out of Staten Island, NY, a position he held for 26 years. He reported only to the Commissioner of Lighthouses, George Putnam, and later in the final days of the Lighthouse Service to Commissioner Harold King.

In 1939 he transferred to the

Coast Guard when they took over

the Lighthouse Service. However,

he stayed on less than a year. His role was diminished as he was required

to report to a low ranking Coast

Guard officer.

Even back in those days, as we see so often in society today, the 'new crowd' failed to fully appreciate those that came before them to build a successful entity. However, Joseph Taylor Yates dedicated 42 years of his life to our country and the United States Lighthouse Service. He is a man to be remembered. (Photograph of Joseph T. Yates, courtesy of Ted Sadler.)

This story appeared in the December 2009 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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