Digest>Archives> May/Jun 2020

Two Captains


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Recently, Colton Schroeder shared some photos with us that were taken between 1923 and 1926 by his great grandfather, William “Bill” F. Terp, while he was a crewman onboard the U.S. Lighthouse Service tender Sumac that served on the Great Lakes. Many of those photos offer a rare glimpse into the past that cannot be found anywhere else. From time to time, we will share some of those photos with you. This one is a rare image of the captains of two ships: Capt. Hiram S. Hill (l) of the Light Vessel LV-103, and Capt. John K. Olsen of the Lighthouse Service tender Sumac.

Capt. Hiram S. Hill and his twin brother, Herbert, were born May 13, 1872 in Hillsdale, Michigan. Hiram and his wife Bertha had two children: Jesse and Freeman. Hiram S. Hill died on May 22, 1935 and was buried in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Capt. John K. Olsen was born in Norway in 1869. After immigrating to the United States in the late 1880s, he served for 44 years in the Lighthouse Service starting as a seaman in 1890. As well as serving as the captain of the lighthouse tender Sumac from 1918 to 1934, he had previously served on the lighthouse tenders Dahlia, Anemone, Clover, and Hyacinth, as well as Lightship LV-95 that was stationed out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Captain Olsen died on May 8, 1947 and is buried in the Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

This story appeared in the May/Jun 2020 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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