Digest>Archives> Nov/Dec 2016

Lighthouse Keeper Elson Small Honored with Marker

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Lighthouse keeper Elson L. Small. (Lighthouse ...

Lighthouse keeper Elson Small was recently honored with the placement of a U.S. Lighthouse Service lighthouse keeper marker at his gravesite at a small cemetery in Machiasport, Maine.

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Some of those in attendance for the ceremony to ...
Photo by: Kathleen Finnegan

A U.S. Navy veteran, Elson Small joined the U.S. Lighthouse Service in 1920 and began his career at the Lubec Channel Lighthouse in Lubec, Maine. This was followed by stints at Avery Rock Lighthouse in Machiasport, Maine; Seguin Island Lighthouse at the mouth of the Kennebec River off the coast of Bath, Maine; and the St. Croix River Lighthouse on the International Border in Calais, Maine. He finished his career at the Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse in New Hampshire.

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Connie Small’s book, The Lighthouse Keeper’s Wife ...
Photo by: Kathleen Finnegan

Elson Small’s life was chronicled in the book The Lighthouse Keeper’s Wife that was written by his wife, Connie Small, who later became known as “Maine’s First Lady of Light.” The book has been a bestseller for many years and is now in its last printing. As well as being a history book, many consider it a love story that chronicles Connie’s love for Elson.

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Elson and Connie Small in August 1939.

The small ceremony was hosted by Lighthouse Digest and the marker was paid for by lighthouse historians and authors Jack Graham and Jeremy D’Entremont. On hand for the ceremony were Ellis Small, a cousin of Elson, and Pat Hennessey, a great-great niece of Elson Small. Representing the State of Maine was State Representative Will Tuell, and the U.S. Coast Guard was represented by BM3 Stephanie Horvat and MK3 Cory Langston of Coast Guard Station Jonesport, Maine. The Master of Ceremonies for the event was Timothy Harrison of Lighthouse Digest. Flowers were placed at Connie Small’s gravesite by Tobi Graham.

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Giving the last Coast Guard salute honoring Elson ...
Photo by: Kathleen Finnegan


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On December 9, 1941, just two days after the ...


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Constance “Connie” and Elson Small on their ...


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One of the most famous photos in lighthouse ...

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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