St. Joseph Lifesavers
sources: various
lighthouse

Page is under construction as we find out more about these brave souls.

One of the earliest on Lake Michigan was the lighthouse was in 1832 when the town was still known as Newburyport before incorporating into the town of St. Joseph in 1834.

A wonderful site for the history of the lighthouse and its keepers may be found at: http://terrypepper.com/lights/michigan/stjoseph/stjoseph.htm  One note to this that might be added is among the ships that brought oil to supply the lighthouse was the Daplia.
The listing of the Lighthouse Keepers may be found here: http://terrypepper.com/lights/michigan/stjoseph/keepers.htm

Lifesaving Crews

In 1855 the US government began supplying equipment for use in maritime rescues. One of the earliest rescuers was Joseph Napier, a local farmer, who joined the Federal Lifesaving Service and heralded for many acts of bravery on the water. The men that would later be hired by the government and worked on these lifesaving crews were paid 10$ a month and laid off in the winter months. One of the more noted men was Captain William Stevens who the winter before lead successful rescue efforts for ships in distress on the lake.

The Coast Guard Station was originally established in 1874.

On August 9, 1884 the Herald reportes that W. B. Sprague recv'd appointment as Assistant Lighthouse keeper.

May 15, 1886 John Springsteen passed exam and was assigned to take Charles Mortons place when Morton goes to Holland to accept a new position.

Dec. 4, 1886: The Herald, St. Joseph, Michigan News was received in St. Joseph on Monday, that Keeper James Flynn, of the Point au Sable Life-Saving Crew, and two of his men—John Smith and Orrin Hatch—had lost their lives while on duty. As the Captain and Smith were former residents of St. Joseph, and having near relatives here, fuller particulars were awaited with much anxiety. Flynn's body was later brought back to Benton by his Father-in-law, Peter Yore .John Smith, also of Flynn's crew who also drowned at Point au Sable in the same rescue effort was taken to the residence of his grandmother Mrs. Lysaught. Mr. Smith was unmarried and 21 years of age.

Captain James Flynn was 33 years of age, married with two children.

In the same newspaper it also denotes that since the establishment of the Life Saving crew, five keepers of stations have been appointed from the crew. They were as follows: Henry J. Woods went to Muskegon; James Flynn we to Grand Point au Sable, Charles Lysaught went to North Maniton Island, Charles Morton to Holland and John Lysaught to Racine, Wisconsin.

On April 1, 1888 in the St. Joseph Herald, St. Joseph, Michigan, it notes warmer months crew was lined up for the season.  That being: Captain ,Wm. Stevens; First Mate, James Flynn; and other crewmen being Angus Morrison, Lew Matthews, Richard Stines, Charles Morton, Charles Lysaught, Charles A. Keeler and Abe Stevens.

We are in the process of accumulating more information about the life-saving crews and building in St. Joseph, Michigan.

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