Ron Janard, Director of the United States Lightship Museum NANTUCKET LV-112 had purchased a U.S. Lighthouse Service memorial marker to place at the gravesite of Alfredo Monteiro, a crewman of the Nantucket Lightship #117, who is buried at a cemetery in New Bedford, Massachusetts. However, on a trip to Maine to visit the USS Maine Memorial in Bangor, he made a side trip to Farmington, Maine to visit the gravesite of Harold D. King, who was the last Commissioner of the U.S. Lighthouse Service. When he found Mr. King’s gravesite and saw that there was not a Lighthouse Service memorial marker, he took the memorial marker that he had in his car for Alfredo Monteiro’s gravesite and placed it at Harold King’s grave and he will place a marker at Monteiro’s gravesite at a later date.
Dave Gamage also took the initiative to place U.S. Lighthouse Service Memorial Lighthouse Keeper Markers at the gravesite of his grandfather Arthur J. Beal, who was an assistant keeper at Maine’s Matinicus Rock Lighthouse from 1919 to 1920 and head keeper at Maine’s Whitehead Lighthouse from 1929 to 1950. Mr. Gamage also placed a memorial marker at the grave of Fred C. Batty who served as a keeper at Maine’s Boon Island Lighthouse, Saddleback Ledge Lighthouse, and Two Bush Island Lighthouse. Dave Gamage stated, “Both men served in the same years and their last years at neighboring lights, the two key lights aiding countless mariners at night and often as fog signals by night and day guiding them in and out of Penobscot Bay. And they later shared a valued and meaningful friendship in their years following retirement from the Lighthouse Service until they died in the same year, 1970. Now, and henceforth they rest together close by in adjacent lots at a small cemetery in Spruce Head, Maine.”
Ron Janard and Dave Gamage are to be commended for their actions and we thank them for taking the initiative, as we are sure that you do.
For over a year Lighthouse Digest has been publicizing the availability of grave markers to honor and acknowledge lighthouse keepers and others who served in the old U.S. Lighthouse Service and the lighthouse keepers who served in the U.S. Coast Guard. This has been done in the hope that lighthouse groups and others would purchase and place these historical markers at the gravesite of the keepers who served at their respective lighthouses.
As reported in past issues of Lighthouse Digest, we have placed a number of these markers, some with small ceremonies, and one with a large ceremony for keeper Frederic W. Morong as is reported on in this edition of Lighthouse Digest. Our primary mission was to place these markers at the gravesites of lighthouse keepers who there is no lighthouse group associated with them and also to encourage others to place these grave markers on their own. This can also be done quietly with no ceremony, just in the faith of knowing that the honor was bestowed such as the markers recently placed by two individuals.
This coming spring and summer Lighthouse Digest plans to place Lighthouse Service Memorial Markers at a number of gravesites of lighthouse keepers. If you would like to help us with this project you can make a donation on line at www.GoFundMe.com/USLHSGraves or a donation can be mailed to us, however, please remember that donations for the grave marker memorial plaques are not tax deductible, but if you wat to see these people who came before us honored, these donations are for a worthy cause.
If you, or a lighthouse group that you are associated with, places a marker at a gravesite of a lighthouse keeper, please send us photos to Editor, Lighthouse Digest, P. O. Box 250, East Machias, ME 04630. Photos, if they are high resolution images, can also be e-mailed to us at Editor@LighthouseDigest.com.
This story appeared in the
Jan/Feb 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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