Light Station Personnel
by Linda Nenn "Lighthouse Linda"

The Light Station in Port Washington was established in 1849, when our City’s first Lighthouse was built. This structure was demolished in 1860 and replaced by a newer light and a much larger keeper’s quarters. This is a list of the personnel that manned the Port Washington Lights and occupied the site after the Station closed.

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The list here is incomplete. Contact the 1860 Lighthouse and Light Station Museum if you can contribute additional information, such as photos, names of family members, or simply corrections.

  • Cyrus B. Worth, wife and children USLHE May 8, 1849 – April 29, 1853 (Resigned)
  • David Tuttle USLHE April 29, 1853 – May 28, 1857 (Resigned)
  • Barnard Schoomer (Shumer, Schommer) wife Margarethe and children USLHE May 28, 1857 – January 11. 1860 (Died)
  • Margarethe Everard Schoomer and children USLHE January 11, 1860 – August 6, 1861 (Resigned)
  • Margarethe was the first of our keepers to live in our 1860 lighthouse, over 150 years ago. At the time, she moved into the new lighthouse with children Nicolas (11), Henri (9), Lambert (7), Anna (6), Nicolas (5), Bernard (3) and Mathias (2). Census records indicate that some of her children remained in the area, possibly working as farmhands or wards of their relatives in the Holy Cross area.

  • Fauntleroy Hoyt USLHE August 6, 1861 –January 2, 1866 (Resigned)
  • Hoyt was keeper during the Luxembourg draft riot in 1962. Station was briefly a target, but dissidents quickly turned their ire elsewhere. Fauntleroy, an easterner, had married a wife from New Orleans years earlier, and then moved north. When the War broke out, one son joined the Confederate forces and the other fought for the Union. Fortunately, both sons survived.

  • Patrick Kehoe USLHE January 2, 1866 – October 22, 1874 (removed from post)
  • Kehoe, from the St. Finbars area, arrived as a wounded Civil War veteran. His papers were suspect, but it took the government 8 years to decide to remove him from office.

  • Charles H. Lewis Sr., wife Mariah and son USLHE October 22, 1874 – May 3, 1880 (Died)
  • New information connects Charles Sr. with fairly prominent New Englanders. His whaling past is verified in writing, but why he left the seas for a life as a keeper is still unknown.

  • Mariah Lewis recommendation for appointment denied
  • Charles H. Lewis, Jr., wife Linda Teed USLHE May 3, 1880 – 1924 (retired)
  • Charles H. Lewis, Jr. Head Keeper, pierhead light added to duties, October 3, 1889. 1924 the Station closed down, Lewis and his wife remained on site as caretakers until 1934. Linda died in 1935, Charles in 1937. It is the Lewis home that we portray, because of their long tenure at the Station. Linda Teed Lewis spent her life in Port Washington. Her family was one of the early influential Easterners that moved west to the Wisconsin Territory. Several of the Teed homes are still standing, including the home known as the Eghart House. Their granddaughter Jeannette Lewis Dallmann visited the Station in October, 2009.

  • George H. Rathbun, 1st Asst. October 3, 1889 – February 16, 1894 (Died)
  • Delos H. Smith, 1st Asst. February 26, 1894 – April 19, 1894 (Resigned)
  • William H. Duen. 1st Asst. April 30, 1894 – October 31, 1903 (Resigned)
  • Station remodeled, tower and lantern removed and dwelling converted to duplex, first and second floor apartments Station reactivated 1934
  • Arthur Almquist, wife Mae Almquist and children 1934-1946 USLHS Head Keeper, retired as USCG: Officer in Charge
  • Almquist children, now deceased, were the first of our keepers’ families to contribute their memories, starting back around 1998.

USLHS absorbed by USCG in 1939

Some keepers were allowed to finish their careers as civilians. Delphius (George) Pelletier was Port Washington’s last Lightkeeper, retiring in 1958. The Coast Guard did not use the rank of Lighthouse Keeper as this was exclusively used as a civilian designation.

  • Lester Struble, wife and children 1934-1941 USLHS Assistant Keeper
  • Lester donated a USLHS brass dustpan and photos to our archives in 1999, at age 100.

  • Marvin Cornell, wife and children May 1942-April 1945 USLHS Assistant Keeper
  • Robert Nelson December 1945 – Assistant, USCG
  • Charles Carpenter Winter 1946 – July, 1947 Chief BM USCG
  • Joseph Breisbacher July 1946 – USCG: Officer in Charge
  • Olsen, wife and children, Chief Boatswain Mate November 1947 - March 1948 USCG
  • Michael Stanley Drezdon, wife and children USLHS Assistant Keeper 1948-195?
  • Delphius (George) Pelletier (Pelky) and wife, Gladys Briggs USLHS Head Keeper March 1948 -1958, Port Washington’s LAST civilian Lightkeeper.
  • Laverne “Pete” Ortendahl circa 1956 USCG
  • Leland Scanlan, wife Virginia and children 1958-1961 USCG
  • Lee has contributed photos and artifacts from his stay.

  • Wayland Charles Graham, wife Shirley and children 1958-1962 USCG: Officer in Charge
  • Charlie’s daughter, Julie, contributed photos, memories and Charles’ military records to our archives.

  • Don Jenquin 1962-1964 USCG and brother Keith Jenquin (not really supposed to be living with brother.)
  • John Curran, wife Sondra and children 1964-1966 BM1 USCG: Assistant
  • John’s son, who worked on our pier, has donated photos.

  • Roy Neal USCG
  • Jim Midgett and wife, Estelle USCG
  • Narvel F. Kubena 1968 USCG
  • David Hays, wife and children 1969-1970 USCG: Officer in Charge
  • First former Coastie to donate his memories and entire USCG service record to the Light Station circa 1995.

  • Bobby Phillips USCG
  • Morris USCG

Light Station Port Washington deactivated circa 1976

The Pierhead Light was fully automated. The dwelling continued to be utilized as housing for Coast Guard Station Milwaukee personnel and their families, who commuted to Milwaukee from Port Washington.

  • Robert Robert, wife Veronica and children 1980’s USCG
  • Terry Kenyon USCG
  • Bosman, wife and children USCG
  • Michael Burgau, wife and children USCG
  • Don Dunn and wife, Betty 1980’s USCG
  • Walt Faria USCG

 

 

1860 Lighthouse and Light Station Port Exploreum Resource Center