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 • Historic Life-saving Service and G Ranch Cemetery
 • Marin County
 • California
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SMN John Korpala
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Birth: unknown, Finland
Death: Mar. 2, 1891
Marin County
California, USA

Death of a Lighthouse Keeper
Coroner Eden received a telegram this evening, informing him of the sudden death of John Karpela, one of the keepers of the Point Reyes Lighthouse. The coroner will go there tomorrow morning to hold an inquest.

published San Francisco Call
March 4, 1891

* * * *

Korpala had complained of having chills and a headache the day of his death and was confined to bed. He was found dead the next day at 6:00 am, yet death was estimated to be March 2. The Coroner ascertained death was from hemorrhage of the lungs.

Birth and Death

I cannot locate birth information.

Place of death back then was considered "Point Reyes Proper," which is modern day "Point Reyes National Seashore." The little township of Point Reyes Station is 25 miles away from "the point."

* * * *

It is possible that John Korpala was one of the original crewman of the Point Reyes Life-saving Station. I have added a bit of history about that on Andrew Anderson memorial. If so, then Seaman Korpala was helping those in peril about 17 months.

John Korpala immigrated to America from his native Finland and took a low paying and precarious job to save lives along one of the most dangerous maritime corridors on the Pacific coast. His intention was honorable and his time in maritime service was demanding in body, spirit and soul.

If one has visited the Point Reyes National Seashore, they know it is an experience like no other. It is the windiest place on the Pacific Coast and the second foggiest place in North America. A deceivingly beautiful place. The weather combined with pounding and unrelenting strong surf and rip currents is perilous. One can imagine what it was like in the 1890's.

Seaman Korpala experienced Point Reyes in all it's precarious glory and died while in service to others.

bio by Colletta

* * * *

The unofficial motto of the U.S. Life-Saving Service was; "You have to go out; you don't have to come back."

Native of Finland

Point Reyes Life Saving Station

Historic Life-saving Service and G Ranch Cemetery
Marin County
California, USA
Maintained by: Colletta
Originally Created by: Terry Eckhart
Record added: Oct 30, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 43726370
SMN John Korpala
Added by: Terry Eckhart
SMN John Korpala
Added by: Terry Eckhart
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- J
 Added: Jun. 11, 2010

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