Digest>Jan/Feb 2011

Photo Caption:

James Herbert Hopson and his wife Lena in a photo taken in 1943. Before becoming a lighthouse keeper, Mr. Hopson was a mail carrier in Girard, Illinois where he delivered mail by horse and buggy from 1905 to 1918. He later moved to Wisconsin where he taught at a rural school and tried his hand at farming. When the depression came, he lost his farm and decided to seek a different type of employment. Although he passed his Civil Service exam to become a lighthouse keeper in 1930, it is unclear where he worked until November 23, 1935 when he received orders to report as the 2nd assistant keeper at the Indiana Harbor Lighthouse. In January of 1937 he was one of many Lighthouse Service employees ordered to Cairo, Illinois to assist in rescue work from a flood that had devastated the area. In December of 1937 he was transferred to the Calumet Harbor Lighthouse in South Chicago, Illinois where he served until March of 1942 when he was transferred to the Manitowoc Breakwater Lighthouse. When the United States Lighthouse Service was dissolved in 1939 and merged into the Coast Guard, Hopson, like many other lighthouse keepers, declined a Coast Guard commission and preferred instead to remain as a civilian lighthouse keeper. He remained a lighthouse keeper at Manitowoc until he retired at the age of 70 in 1952.
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Manitowoc Lighthouse Goes To Auction
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