Digest>Jul/Aug 2015

Photo Caption:

Greens Ledge Lighthouse as it appeared in October of 1902 when it was manned by keepers of the old United States Lighthouse Establishment. On March 2, 1910, head keeper John Kiarkson left the lighthouse on the light station’s only boat, telling the assistant keeper Leroy C. Loughborough that he was going to pick up supplies and the men’s paychecks. But, eleven days later when the lighthouse tender arrived at Greens Ledge Lighthouse, they found the assistant keeper who was nearly dead from starvation. Assistant keeper Loughborough told them that the keeper Kiarkson had never returned with the provisions. Assistant keeper Loughborough told officials that, during that time while he was abandoned, he had lived on potatoes and dog biscuits, with only boiled salt water to drink. In the article written by Jeremy D’Entremont titled “Life and Death at Green’s Ledge” that appeared in the June 2005 issue of Lighthouse Digest, it was written, “Through the whole nightmarish ordeal Loughborough struggled to keep the light going along with the two engines and the fog signal. For three days he neither ate nor slept. During one seventy-two hour stretch there was continuous fog and one of the engines failed.” When he was found by the crew of the tender, he was lying on the floor by the engine, semi-conscious, with his dog at his side. He later said that he would have shared his last biscuit with the dog. With no telephone, radio, or flares, Loughborough had not had any way to signal for help. He said that several times he had raised the distress flag, but no one saw it; weather conditions had prevented anyone from seeing it. Assistant keeper Loughborough never recovered from the ordeal. Less than a year later, at the age of 27, he passed away at the home of his father. As for head keeper John Kiarkson – it was discovered that he had checked into a local hotel where he cashed Loughborough’s paycheck and gone on a drinking binge. He was eventually arrested for forgery and fired as a lighthouse keeper.
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The Great Lighthouse Give-Away
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