Digest>Archives> Nov/Dec 2023

Lighthouse Digest’s Lighthouse Keeper Grave Marker Program

By Kathleen Finnegan-Harrison


Lighthouse Digest has created a national database detailing those lighthouse keepers honored with United States Lighthouse Service Memorial Markers at their gravesites. To read the full story, click here

Since 2011, Lighthouse Digest has been honoring U.S. Lighthouse Service and U.S. Coast Guard personnel with grave markers. Tim Harrison felt that our nation’s lighthouse keepers deserved to be recognized and never forgotten for their heroic deeds as well as sometimes ordinary lives they led while keeping our shores safe.

When placing those first markers, Tim developed the Lighthouse Digest Memorial Marker Program. Since then, Lighthouse Digest has led the way for various lighthouse groups, lightkeeper descendants, historical societies, and private individuals to also place markers at lighthouse keepers’ graves across the country using our program outline and resources.

With nearly 200 USLHS Grave Markers placed across the country – over 60 sponsored by Lighthouse Digest and almost 50 placed by the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society alone – we are getting closer to fulfilling Tim’s vision of every keeper eventually being honored.

The Lighthouse Digest Memorial Marker Database lists the keeper names, lighthouses they served at, locations and dates of all markers placed throughout the country for lighthouse keepers and other significant personnel in lighthouse history.

If you have placed a marker or know of a marker that is not included in this list, please send an email to us with the name of the keeper, lighthouses where he/she served, cemetery name with city and state, the date it was placed, and who sponsored the marker, to: director@LighthouseHistoryResearch.org. The national database will then be updated accordingly.

We transferred this information to www.LighthouseHistoryResearch.org, so lighthouse groups, historians, and keepers’ descendants will have access to this infor mation and be encouraged to place markers at the graves of other light keepers, lightship sailors, and lighthouse personnel.

By doing so, we can all help to achieve Tim Harrison’s dream of honoring those lighthouse keepers who guarded our shores for over 250 years.

As Tim often stated at the many ceremonies he led, “It is said that a person dies twice, once with their last breath and then the last time their name is spoken.”

Keeping these ceremonies and marker placements going will ensure that we keep these keepers alive in our hearts and give them the recognition they deserve. To read the full story, click here

This story appeared in the Nov/Dec 2023 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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