William C. Williams, a long-time keeper of Maine’s remote and desolate Boon Island Lighthouse, was honored this past November 4, 2022 with a U.S. Lighthouse Service Memorial Marker placed at his gravesite at the First Baptist Church Cemetery in Kittery Point, Maine, by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary of Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
William Converse Williams started his lighthouse career in 1885 as the 2nd assistant keeper at the 133-foot-tall Boon Island Lighthouse. Within a short time, he was promoted to 1st assistant keeper and, in 1888, he was appointed the head keeper, a position he held until 1911 when he retired.
Boon Island, located on a rocky outcropping six miles offshore from York, Maine, was considered a desolate and dangerous place to live and raise a family. But William C. Williams spent 28 years of his life out there.
In an interview that William C. Williams gave when he was 90-years old, he spoke about an 1888 storm when he and the others on the island had to take refuge at the top of the tower for three days. He said that compared to this storm, the famous Portland Gale of 1898 was just a breeze.
This story appeared in the
Jan/Feb 2023 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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