Digest>Archives> Nov/Dec 2016

A Forgotten Person in Lighthouse History

Will Clues Solve the Mystery?

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We continue to be amazed how much of our history has been lost because so many people over the last 100 years never seemed to have cared about preserving memories and photographs for future generations.

Over the years, sometimes we have been fortunate enough through strokes of pure luck, or in other cases through some hard in-depth detective style research, to identify some of the unnamed photos of lighthouse people that we have come across. But others remain unknown and may never be known, as could be the case with the photo shown here.

But there are some clues. We know from the photograph that it was taken by James Henry Bratt, who was a photographer who did business in Astoria, Oregon from 1893 to 1895. So that gives us an approximate time-frame and perhaps indicates the approximate area when the man served.

Then, by looking at his uniform, we have some other clues.

For example, as with lighthouse keepers, this man’s uniform does not have an insignia on the jacket lapel. But he does have a lighthouse tower on his jacket sleeve, a gold band around his jacket sleeves, and a gold band around his hat. So, it is highly likely that he was a third mate on a lighthouse tender, perhaps from the first lighthouse tender named Manzanita.

With these clues in hand, perhaps one of our readers will be able to help us identity this man, and perhaps, just perhaps, save another slice of lighthouse history.

If you can help us, you can email us at Editor@LighthouseDigest.com or by mail to Lighthouse Digest, P.O. Box 250, East Machias, ME 04630.

This story appeared in the Nov/Dec 2016 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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