A small group of dedicated preservationists and historians attended a grave marker ceremony on August 27, 2016 in Vassar, Michigan for Jacob “Harry” Gibb. The remarkable life story about Jacob “Harry” Gibb, as told in the September/October edition of Lighthouse Digest, is that he was in both the United States Life-Saving Service (USLSS) and the United States Lighthouse Service (USLHS); the only person in history to have been keeper in both branches of the government at Crisp Point.
During the ceremony on August 27, two markers were installed at Mr. Gibb’s gravesite, one representing each of the services he was in. Since Harry started out his career in the Life-Saving Service as a Surfman and then worked his way up to becoming a keeper, his USLSS grave marker bears a “Surfman” plaque in addition to a “Keeper” plaque. His USLHS grave marker bears a “Keeper” plaque.
Rick Brockway, President of Crisp Point Light Historical Society (CPLHS), spoke about the Society’s plan to honor the keepers of the Crisp Point Lighthouse, and that this is the third keeper to receive a grave marker from the CPHLS this year. CPLHS member Carl Jahn, dressed in his replica lighthouse keeper’s uniform, spoke about the life of the lighthouse keepers, and Cameron Lovett, Board Member of CPLHS, and Dorothy Watt, Director of the Vassar Historical Society Museum, spoke about the life of Mr. Gibb and his connection to Vassar, Michigan.
A number of members of the Vassar Historical Society and Crisp Point Light Historical Society were present at the ceremony. Dorothy Watt’s friend, Margaret Akins Briggs, who is the granddaughter of W.H Akins, the person who, in 1913, brought Mr. Gibb back to Vassar after his diagnosis with bladder cancer, was also present at the ceremony.
Previously, the CPLHS has honored keepers Joseph Singleton and Harry House with historic lighthouse keeper grave markers. CPLHS is to be congratulated for following the lead of Lighthouse Digest to help prime the way for other lighthouse organizations to hopefully join CPLHS in honoring their lighthouse keepers in this noble cause by placing historical markers at the gravesites of lighthouse keepers. For more information on how to make a charitable contribution to the Crisp Point Light Historical Society, you can visit their website at http://www.crisppointlighthouse.org.
This story appeared in the
Nov/Dec 2016 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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