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Grave Markers for Lighthouse Service Veterans

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Grave site of George Putnam, Lighthouse Service Commissioner. Maple Hill Cemetery, Dorset Vermont. Photo by Ron Janard, 2015

U.S. Lighthouse Society member Ron Janard sent these photos of graves with special U.S. Lighthouse Service grave markers. Ron writes that his main interest is lightships and he started looking for any information he could find about the 1934 sinking of the Lightship NANTUCKET (LV-117) when struck by HMS OLYMPIC. He found crew addresses in old articles and visited their residences, mostly in New Bedford. Through The Keeper’s Log or Lighthouse Digest, he found names of the cemeteries where some of the crew were buried. “It was disheartening to see their stones with no recognition of their USLHS Service. . . . I started putting markers on the [graves of] special individuals that I could find, to honor them, the best I could.”

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Alfedo Monteiro, New Bedford Massachusetts. Alfredo, lost his life, as a crewman of the Lightship NANTUCKET (LV-117), when the vessel was rammed and sunk, by HMS OLYMPIC in 1934. Photo by Ron Janard 2015
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Grave of Master Braithewaite who was in charge of the Lightship NANTUCKET (LV-117) in 1934, when the HMS OLYMPIC rammed it. Grave is located in Cambridge Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Photo by Ron Janard, 2015.

These grave markers are a relatively new way of honoring former keepers, crew, and other employees of the Lighthouse Service. Tim Harrison, editor of Lighthouse Digest, has been honoring Maine lighthouse keepers with grave markers and special ceremonies over the past five years. Tim started the Lighthouse Digest USLHS Keepers’ Grave Marker Program so that folks can honor these individuals all over the United States. Markers for both the U.S. Lighthouse and Lifesavings Services can be ordered online at http://www.uslifesavingmarker.com.

In addition to searching out graves of notable lighthouse personnel, Jon has been active in the USCG Lightship Sailors Association since 2008. He maintains a Facebook page entitled “Lightship Alley.”

Thanks to Society Member Ron Janard for sharing these photos. Submitted December 10, 2016

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U.S. Lighthouse Society News is produced by the U.S. Lighthouse Society to support lighthouse preservation, history, education and research. Please consider joining the U.S. Lighthouse Society if you are not already a member. If you have items of interest to the lighthouse community and its supporters, please email them to candace@uslhs.org.