Historical Photos Illuminate Life of Green Island Light Keeper

Twelve antique original photographs of Green Island were recently acquired by Steven Nemec. The photos depict views of Captain William L. Gordon’s life.  Gordon was the last lighthouse keeper to serve at Green Island.  He served at the Green Island lighthouse from October 19, 1917 to March 31, 1926, when the government closed Green Island.  Several of the images from Mr. Nemec’s collection are posted below (click an image for a large view).

Captain William L. Gordon   Captain William L. Gordon

Green island LighthouseGreen island LighthouseCaptain William L. Gordon

The following text is courtesy of LighthouseFriends.com:

Lighthouse Friends

William L. Gordon, who served as the final keeper on Green Island, built a radio set that helped keep him in touch with the world. He expressed the enjoyment he received from the set in the following letter that appeared in the Lighthouse Service Bulletin in 1922:

I thought you might be interested to know that I have a small homemade radio set from which I receive, through WWJ, wireless broadcasting station of the Detroit News, the latest world news, the time, reports of sporting events, etc., musical concerts, and a talk every morning by the household editor, giving recipes for each day’s dinner, also on the care of flowers and the home. From WCX, of the Detroit Free Press station, we hear concerts, speeches, and the news. On Sunday morning and evenings we hear the services of the St. Pauls Cathedral of Detroit, Mich., through the broadcasting of WWJ. As we do not get ashore very often we enjoy all this very much. I think a radio receiving set is a wonderful thing for isolated stations.

In 1926, the Lighthouse Service automated Green Island Lighthouse and transferred Keeper Gordon to nearby South Bass Island Lighthouse, where his responsibilities also included the automated lights on Green Island and Ballast Island.

Lighthouse DigestLighthouseDigest.com offers more interesting details about the Green Island Lighthouse!

Green island Lighthouse
18 May 1904 image courtesy of United State Coast Guard