This past August 18 the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society honored lighthouse keeper Barney Crockett Thomas (1896-1987) with the placement of a U.S. Lighthouse Service historical marker at his gravesite.
From what we have been able to determine Barney Thomas’s lighthouse career began in 1917 when he was appointed as the 3rd assistant keeper at Virginia’s New Cape Henry Lighthouse where he served until 1920 when he was appointed the keeper at the Lower Cedar Point Lighthouse in Maryland where he served until 1925.
From 1925 until 1936 he served at a number of other lighthouses that reportedly included Great Wicomico Lighthouse, Solomons Lump Lighthouse, Ragged Point Lighthouse, Smith Point Lighthouse, and Upper Cedar Point Lighthouse.
In 1936 he was appointed the keeper at the Tangier Sound Lighthouse in Virginia where he served until 1942, where he joined the Coast Guard when it took over the Lighthouse Service in 1939. After 1942 he then served in various assignments with the Coast Guard until his retirement in 1950 after 33 years of service.
Barney Crockett Thomas was born on February 4, 1896 in Tangier, Virginia to John W. and Emma (Crockett) Thomas. On September 16, 1917 he married Ella H. Crockett and the couple raised six children; two sons, Everett and Hanson, and four daughters, Emma, Catherine, Violet and Doris. Barney C. Thomas died of pneumonia on September 4, 1987 at the age of 91 and was buried in the Fairview Lawn Cemetery in Onancock, Virginia.
This story appeared in the
Nov/Dec 2018 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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