Digest>Archives> March 2008

Mail Boat


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Lighthouse keeper Charles Hinckley, at 4’ 9” ...

Dear Tim,

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Vintage post card image of Bishop and Clerks ...

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One of the vessels that served as the Stone Horse ...

In response to your request for information by families who had ancestors in the lighthouse service, we, (the Crocker’s) had two who served as lighthouse keepers and two who served on lightships.

The first relative was Capt. Henry Baxter, keeper of the Sandy Neck Lighthouse on Cape Cod, MA, from 1833 to 1844. The next relative, my great grandfather, was Charles H. Hinckley, keeper of the Bishop and Clerks Lighthouse off Hyannis, MA, from 1881 to 1919. At only 4’9” tall, he was on record as the shortest lighthouse keeper who ever served.

The first ancestor to serve on a lightship was Capt. Joseph Freeman Baxter who served on the lightship Stonehorse off Cape Cod. The last to serve on a lightship was my brother Richard H. Crocker who was one of the last sailors to serve on the Boston Lightship before it was decommissioned in 1976.

As for myself, I am on the Sandy Neck Lighthouse Restoration Committee, which is a chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation, which just recently re-lit

the lighthouse on which had been dark since 1932.

So, as you can see, our family, on Cape Cod since 1635, are people who truly, “kept the flame alive.”

Dave Crocket

Mashpee, MA 02649

Editor's Note: Wow! What a family history. Hopefully Dave's letter will inspire more people will write to us about their family’s lighthouse and lightship history.

This story appeared in the March 2008 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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