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Lighthouse Keepers' Documentation

Researching the career of anyone who served with the Lighthouse Service or the Coast Guard entails accessing documentation available at a number of different locations. Our office does not have any information on individual keepers. Personnel records for those who served in lighthouses prior to the Lighthouse Service's merger with the Coast Guard in 1939 need to contact the National Archives, which is the primary repository for all records concerning the Lighthouse Establishment & Service:

Write to them for further information:

National Archives and Records Administration
Textual Records
7th & Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20408

Or visit their website for further information:

If the individual(s) served with the U.S. Lighthouse Service or the Coast Guard, you will need to contact the National Archives branch in St. Louis, Missouri.  Please be advised that privacy restrictions apply to these records:

Civilian Employees (lightkeepers prior to 1939 were civilians, many stayed in as civilians after the Lighthouse Service merged with the Coast Guard after that date):

National Archives & Records Administration
ATTN: Archival Programs
P.O. Box 38757
St. Louis, MO  63138

Military Employees:

National Personnel Records Center
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, MO  63138

Phone: (314) 801-0800

Individual Lighthouse Sites

If you are researching a particular light station or tower, again, the records are primarily held by the National Archives at the address given above. These records include station logbooks, correspondence, site selection documentation, etc. The actual drawings and blueprints, however, are held at the Cartographic Branch of the National Archives building in College Park, Maryland:

Cartographic Branch
National Archives and Records Administration II
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740-6001

Original photography of the light stations taken by the Lighthouse Service and the Coast Guard is at the National Archives facility in College Park, Maryland, as well:

Still Picture Branch
National Archives and Records Administration II
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740-6001

Coast Guard Historians Office

Due to the small number of staff personnel at the Historians' Office we are not able to conduct research for patrons. Individuals are encouraged to visit the office at their convenience.

Before contacting our office concerning a request for information, please read through our lighthouse website to see if the information you need is available there. All of our lighthouse publications are now on-line.

Good luck with your research project!

Last Modified 1/12/2016