|Death: ||Apr. 1, 1819|
First Woman Lighthouse Keeper in America, Gurnet Point, Plymouth, Massachusetts. From 1776 to 1786, Hannah Thomas, widow of General John Thomas who died during the Revolutionary War, single-handedly ran the lighthouse which had been built on their property in 1769. After the American Revolution, the government bought the land the lighthouse was built on for $120. Gurnet Point Lighthouse is still standing but is automated. It has been rumored over the years that the lighthouse is haunted by Hannah Thomas.
Location: Gurnet Point, Plymouth, Massachusetts
When built: 1769; replaced in 1803, rebuilt in 1843 and 1924. The haunting: Built on the property of John and Hannah Thomas in 1769; they became the lighthouse keepers. John was killed during the Revolutionary War, leaving Hannah as America's first woman lighthouse keeper. The 1924 incarnation of the lighthouse is still standing, but is automated and no longer needs residents to keep it running. Yet some believe Hannah Thomas is still there haunting the lighthouse.
Many thanks to FAG Contributor A Marine's Daughter (#46506165) for the following information on Hannah Thomas:
Not a whole lot is known, but she's in a book called, "Women Who Kept The Lights", among others. She kept the Gurnet Point Light from 1776-1786 while her husband was off fighting the war. After that, the government bought the land from her for $120. Apparently, she really went through some rough times-- British ships shelling (or whatever they did back then) the island, rescuing shipwreck victims, storms, etc. And, the lighthouse actually was twin towers, not connected to each other, which she had to keep going by adding oil several times a night and trimming the wicks. Plus all the cleaning of the glass. She had it pretty rough.
John Thomas (1724 - 1776)*
Hannah Thomas Willis (1762 - 1834)*
John Thomas (1766 - 1853)*
Nathaniel Thomas (1769 - 1846)*
• Hannah, widow of Maj. Gen. John, Apr 1, 1819, 88 yrs
• John (Maj. Gen.), Jun 2, 1776, 52 yrs
Old Burying Ground
Plot: General John Thomas Tomb
Created by: Mayflower Pilgrim 332
Record added: Jul 25, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 39851631