Marking the grave sites of lighthouse keepers

This is a bronze grave marker, intended to be placed on the graves of any person who once served as a keeper at a U.S. lighthouse. It is similar in size and […]

us-lighthouse-grave-marker-600x600This is a bronze grave marker, intended to be placed on the graves of any person who once served as a keeper at a U.S. lighthouse. It is similar in size and purpose to the markers you may have seen on the graves of military veterans.

The markers have been developed by Richard Ryder, a U.S. Navy veteran and the descendant of a veteran of the U.S. Life Saving Service. Similar markers have been developed for veterans of the Life Saving Service and the U.S. Coast Guard.

The idea of marking lighthouse keepers’ grave sites has been promoted by Lighthouse Digest magazine and by Jack Graham, an active lighthouse volunteer. Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses is now embarking on an effort to mark the graves of the keepers of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse and Whaleback Lighthouse. Our research has located the grave sites of about a dozen keepers in the local area.

Joshua K. Card

Joshua K. Card

Our intention is to begin this effort in 2016 with the marking of the graves of these two keepers:

Joshua Card, keeper of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse from 1874 to 1909. Captain Card was a native of New Castle and his grave is in the Riverside Cemetery in New Castle. He began his light keeping career at Maine’s Boon Island, and he was consistently praised as an exemplary keeper during his 42-year career.

Arnold White

Arnold White, courtesy of Chuck Petlick

Arnold White, principal keeper of Whaleback Lighthouse from 1921 to 1941, and keeper of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse from 1942 to 1946. Another New Castle native, Arnold White was a highly respected keeper who was also known among his fellow keepers as one of the best cooks in the Lighthouse Service. He joined the Coast Guard when it took over the Lighthouse Service in 1939. His grave is also in the Riverside Cemetery in New Castle.

 You can help us in our effort to eventually mark the grave sites of all our local lighthouse keepers by making a donation below. You can choose the amount; we suggest a minimum donation of $10. Thank you!

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