Keeper Fannie Salter at Turkey Point Light Station

Fannie Salter and her son feed the turkeys at Turkey Point Light Station, Maryland. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard Historian’s Office

Fannie Salter was the last woman to serve as a civilian lighthouse keeper. After her keeper husband died, she tended the Turkey Point Light on the northern end of the Chesapeake Bay from 1925 to 1947. In 1943 Fannie had much to be thankful for when the light’s incandescent oil vapor lamp was replaced with an electric light bulb. She no longer had to make four or five daily trips to the top of the tower to ensure the light was burning properly. Only during cold weather were additional trips necessary to defrost the windows in the lantern. A spare lamp was always kept in readiness, however, should the the power fail.

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