On August 18, 2018, the late Barney Crockett Thomas (1896-1987), keeper at several lighthouses in Virginia and Maryland, was honored with a dedication ceremony and the placement of a commemorative marker placed on his gravesite at the Fairview Lawn Cemetry in Onancock, Virginia. The ceremony was attended by 17 family members along with members of the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society, members of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Unit 12-2, and Coast Guard personnel from the Cape Charles station.
Thomas and his wife Ella had two sons and four daughters. He started his lighthouse keeping career as a third assistant at the new Cape Henry Lighthouse in Virginia. He later served at seven other locations in Virginia and Maryland: Lower Cedar Point, Great Wicomico River, Solomons Lump, Ragged Point, Smith Point, Upper Cedar Point, and Tangier Sound. His longest stint (1936-42) was at the Tangier Sound Lighthouse. Following that, he joined the Coast Guard, retiring in 1950.
Thomas’s daughter, Violet Noda, spoke at the ceremony, and Coast Guard Auxiliarist played taps to honor Thomas.
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Candace was the US Lighthouse Society historian from 2016 until she passed away in August 2018. For 30 years, her work involved lighthouse history. She worked with the National Park Service and the Council of American Maritime Museums. She was a noted author and was considered the most knowledgable person on lighthouse information at the National Archives. Books by Candace Clifford include: Women who Kept the Lights: a History of Thirty-eight Female Lighthouse Keepers , Mind the Light Katie, and Maine Lighthouses, Documentation of their Past.