A painting done by Jane Dore from a photograph in the family collection of Gwen Wasson of West Quoddy Lighthouse keeper Ephriam Johnson and his wife Ada is now on display at the visitors center museum at West Quoddy Lighthouse the easternmost lighthouse ion the mainland of the United States in Lubec, Maine.
Ephriam Johnson and his wife Ada (Miller) moved to West Quoddy in 1901 with their four children, Edith, Harry, Hattie and Flora. Ephriam held the position of assistant keeper and was promoted to Head Keeper in 1907. Often referred to as Captain Johnson he finally retired in 1934 and died at age 77 in 1940.
The family tree is interesting because it leads to the rest of the story.
In March of 1917, Sam Knowles, son of Hattie Johnson Knowles (daughter of keeper Ephriam Johnson) was the first grandchild to be born at the lighthouse.
A few months later, in June of 1917, Clifford H. Johnson, son of Harry and Margaret Johnson became the second grandchild born at the lighthouse. Another son of Harry and Margaret, Bernard O. Johnson, was also born at the lighthouse in July 1919. Harry Johnson joined the Coast Guard and was stationed at the West Quoddy Life Saving Station a short distance down the road from West Quoddy Lighthouse. Harry and Margaret’s daughter Gwen Johnson Jones Wasson was born in December 1922, but not at the lighthouse. Today, Gwen now serves at the lighthouse as one of the Visitor Center volunteers. Center.
Lighthouse keeper Ephriam’s daughter Edith married Henry Searles and keeping with family tradition their children Merville and Phillip were both born at the lighthouse.
When West Quoddy Lighthouse was automated on June 30, 1988, David G. Jones, the son of Gwen Johnson Jones Wasson and great grandson of keeper Ephriam Johnson, became the first and only civilian to live at the lighthouse. David became a park ranger for the State in 1983 and later he lived at the lighthouse for four years until his sudden death 2001.
This story appeared in the
April 2005 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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