Digest>Archives> Sep/Oct 2015

Wickie’s Wisdom

GoFundMe Site Launched for Lighthouse Keeper Tombstone Markers

By Timothy Harrison

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Lighthouse Digest has launched a GoFundMe site to help raise money to place U.S. Lighthouse Service historical markers at the tombstones of lighthouse keepers and those who served in other capacities with the U.S. Lighthouse Service, such as on lighthouse tenders and lightships.

We have all seen the Veterans markers at tombstones at cemeteries across the nation, but for those in the U.S. Lighthouse Service (USLHS), this was never done. They wore uniforms, had specific rules and regulations similar to military branches of the government, and they served their country for the benefit of others, many times at great risk and peril, and yes, even loss of life.

Although we hope that many lighthouse groups will undertake this project on their own for the keepers that served at their specific lighthouse, for whatever reason, some of them will not. Plus, there are many lighthouses keepers who served at many more lighthouses where there is no group associated with it, or the lighthouse where they served is no longer standing. Each marker for a head lighthouse keeper costs $60.00 plus shipping, and for assistant keepers and for other USLHS personnel, the cost is $46.00 each plus shipping. So, for example, if we were to place markers at 200 tombstones, the cost would be well over $12,000. If the project were to grow beyond our expectations and markers were placed the tombstones of 2000 lighthouse keepers, the cost would be over $120,000. Additionally, there are also separate markers available for lighthouse keepers who served in the United States Coast Guard.

Many of the tombstones of the early lighthouse keepers are unreadable or damaged, and will need to be restored or replaced, a cost that could be in the tens of thousands of dollars, not to mention the research time involved in locating and documenting the tombstones of so many lighthouse keepers.

Simply put, it is impossible for Lighthouse Digest to absorb the cost of this massive undertaking. So we are appealing to our subscribers and the general public to make donations to this project, which is not tax deductible, to place these lighthouse keeper markers and restore many of the tombstones.

We believe that this is long overdue and that it is the right thing to do. We also believe, as we hope you do, that the time has come to officially honor and remember those who came before us and served our nation for the benefit of others and to save lives.

Although donations can be mailed to us, the easiest way to make a donation is on-line at www.GoFundMe.com/USLHSGraves.

We will need all the help that we can muster, and we thank you for whatever help you can give.

Timothy Harrison

Editor & Publisher

Lighthouse Digest

P.O. Box 250

East Machias, ME 04630

Editor@LighthouseDigest.com

Donations can be made for the USLHS Grave Marker Fund at:

www.GoFundMe.com/USLHSGraves

or by mail to:

Lighthouse Digest Grave Marker Fund

P.O. Box 250, East Machias, ME 04630

This story appeared in the Sep/Oct 2015 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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