Keeper Dwelling Engineering Patterns

Lighthouse keeper dwellings designs were often reused, especially after the Civil War. Many no longer survive. This page attempts to track dwellings of similiar design.

[Gulf Simple]
Station
State
Constructed
Removed
Status
Notes
Port Isabel
TX
1855
1861?
 
Fort Barrancas Range
FL
1887?
1920s?
demolished?
 

Characteristics: small 1-story or 1.5-story square wooden dwelling with porch on front.

 

Dog Island Screwpile
Station
State
Constructed
Removed
Status
Notes
Dog Island
FL
1855?
1873
destroyed by hurricane
first use; design by Daniel Ledbetter, 8th District Engineer
Chandeleur Island
LA
1856
1893?
destroyed by hurricane?
 
Cat Island
MS
1860?
1861?
burned during Civil War
 
Cape San Blas
FL
1860s
1883?
demolished/destroyed
site destroyed by erosion

Characteristics: octagonal wooden two-story dwelling, elevated on screwpiles
Note: designed by Daniel Ledbetter, 8th Lighthouse District Engineer

 

[Atlantic Square]
Station
State
Constructed
Removed
Status
Notes
Fenwick Island
DE
1858
n/a
extant
 
New Point Comfort
VA
1866?
1919?
demolished?
 
Oak Island Range
NC
1866?
aft. 1895
not extant
 
Georgetown
SC
1867
1968
destroyed by fire
 

Characteristics: 2 or 2.5 story wooden dwelling with gable roof. Chimney at one end. Front door is off center. 2 or 3 windows across the front, 2 windows on each side.
Variantions: Porch is either a small gable covering over the door or across the entire front. Kitchen in the back, either attached or slightly detached.

 

[Low Rectangular / Little T]
Station
State
Constructed
Removed
Quantity
Status
Notes
Morris Island (Charleston)
SC
1876?
1938?
1
demolished
 
Ponce Inlet
FL
1887
n/a
2
extant - museums

both assistant keeper dwellings (but not head keeper's dwelling)

Cape Romain
SC
1
destroyed
other keeper dwelling used different design
Fort McRae Range
FL
1889?
1910s?
1
destroyed or demolished
 
Tybee Island
GA
2
extant
 
Ship Island
MS
1
 
Elba Island
GA
1
 
Cape Fear
NC
1903?
3
extant - rental cottages
 
Southwest Pass (Entrance)
LA
1909
3
 

Characteristics: Rectangular or T-shaped 1.5-story dwelling (wood or brick), gable roof, front door with porch across "top" of T. If T-shaped, kitchen is in base of T. One chimney each end end. Sometimes built with detached kitchen which was subsequently connected.

 

[Big T]
Station
State
Constructed
Removed
Quantity
Status
Notes
Cape Hatteras
NC
1874
n/a
1
extant
 
Schuykill Range
PA
1884?
some modifications
Crisp Point
MI
1904
1
destroyed
 

Characteristics: T-shaped wooden 2-story dwelling, front door with porch on "top" of T, kitchen in base of T with first-floor porch on one side, three chimneys (one at each end).
Notes: Similiar design used for some early Navy wireless telegraph stations and some military family housing.

 

[Jerkinhead T]
Station
State
Constructed
Removed
Quantity
Status
Notes
Marrowstone Point WA          
Duluth South Breakwater Range MN          
Race Point MA          

Characteristics: T-shaped wooden 2-story dwelling with Jerkinhead roof. 1-2 chimneys on roof spine.

 

[Double Big T]
Station
State
Constructed
Removed
Quantity
Status
Notes
Hunting Island
SC
1873
1
destroyed
 
Morris Island
SC
1876
1
demolished (1938)
 
Currituck
NC
1876
n/a
1
extant
 

Characteristics: "+" shaped wooden 2.5-story dwelling (rectangular main portion with mirrored wings), kitchens in shorter arms with first-floor porch on one side, four chimneys (one at each end).
Notes: very similiar to the "Big T" design.

[Alaskan T]
Station
State
Constructed
Removed
Quantity
Status
Notes
Point Sherman

AK
         
Point Retreat
AK
         
Fairway Island
AK
         

Characteristics: T-shaped wooden(?) 2-story dwelling with cross-gabled roof, with attached one-story story kitchen(?). Off-center chimney.

 

[New York L]
Station
State
Constructed
Removed
Quantity
Status
Notes
Tibbetts Point NY          
Oak Orchard NY 1871?        
Fairhaven NY          
East Chop MA          
West Chop MA          
Maumee Bay Range OH          

Characteristics: L-shaped wooden 2-story dwelling with cross-gabled roof. 1 or 2 chimneys on roof spine.

 

Outer Banks Duplex
Station
State
Constructed
Removed
Quantity
Status
Notes
Cape Hatteras
NC
1850s?
n/a
1
extant - museum dwelling extended (1892)
Assateague
VA
   
Pensacola
FL
1868?
n/a
1
extant - museum shared by three keepers; later connected to lighthouse
wrap-around verandas later added around both floors
Bodie Island
NC
1872
n/a
1
extant - museum  
Cape Lookout
NC
1873
n/a
1
extant  
St. Augustine
FL
1874
n/a
1
extant - museum also has two detached kitchens flanking front porch
Concord Point
(Havre de Grace)
MD
1827/1884
n/a
1
extant originally a one-story building
resembles this style following rennovations & addition of second story (1884)
Turkey Point
MD
1833/1889
1
extant originally a one-story building
resembles this style following rennovations & addition of second story (1889)
Point Wilson
WA
   
Point No Point
WA
   
Fort Gratoit
(Port Huron)
MI
1875
  variant with Jerkinhead roof; also has attached one-story wing

Characteristics: brick two-story rectangular, front door on long side with first floor porch, chimneys at both ends

 

Pacific Northwest Duplex
Station
State
Constructed
Removed
Qty
Status
Notes
Turn Point
WA
1893
 
Umpqua River
OR
1894
 
Patos Island
WA
1894
 
Slip Point
WA
1905
 
Coquille River
OR
1896
not extant
 
Burrows Island
WA
1906
n/a
1
extant
 

Characteristics: symetric 1.5-story duplex with Jerkinhead roof. Wide central dormer with multiple windows. Two chimneys. Porche across front with two sets of stairs.

[[Gulf Rectangular Single Type 1]
Station
State
Constructed
Removed
Qty
Status
Notes
Cape St. George
FL
1853
1990s?
1
destroyed by erosion
 
Pass A L'Outre
(Pass a Loutre)
LA
1863
aft. 1930
1
destroyed
 
Bolivar Point
TX
1871
1915
1
destroyed by hurricane
identical to Pass A L'Outre dwelling

Characteristics: rectangular 1.5-story single-family brick dwelling with veranda, gable roof, and dormer on one or both sides.

[Gulf Rectangular Single Type 2]
Station
State
Constructed
Removed
Qty
Status
Notes
Jupiter Inlet
FL
1883
1959
1
demolished
head keeper's dwelling; expanded 1907 & 1929
Egmont Key
FL
1899
1954?
1
demolished
 
Cape San Blas
FL
1905
n/a
2
extant
moved 1918 & 2015
Bolivar Point
TX
1909?
1915
1
destroyed by hurricane
 
Cedar Point Range
MI
1
extant - vacation home  

Characteristics: rectangular wooden two-story dwelling with wrap-around veranda, front entrance at short end

 

West Indian Vernacular
Station
State
Elevated?
Quantity
Constructed
Removed
Status
Notes
Cat Island
MS
no
1
1856?
1859?
destroyed by hurricane?
designed, but unclear if a structure of this design was ever built at the station
Sand Island
AL
yes
1
1858
1863
destroyed during Civil War
 
Cape St. George
FL
slightly
1
1877
1961
destroyed by fire
 
Tortugas Harbor (Garden Key)
FL
no
1
1878?
1911?
destroyed by fire
 
Sanibel Island
FL
yes
2
1884
n/a
extant
 
Cape San Blas
FL
yes
2
1885
1894
destroyed by hurricane
 
Amelia Island
FL
partly
(on slope)
1
27 Apr 1886
1960
demolished
replacement dwelling
Ship Island
MS
no
1
1886
1949
dismantled & rebuilt elsewhere
replacement dwelling
dwelling reportedly rebuilt in Biloxi after 1949
Tchefuncte River
LA
no
1
1887
1955
sold & moved offsite
replacement dwelling
now at Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum
Ponce Inlet
FL
no
1
1887
n/a
extant - museum
head keeper's dwelling
Anclote Keys
FL
yes
2
1887
1980s?
destoryed by arson
brick pilings remain
Key West
FL
no
1
1887
n/a
extant - museum
 
Aransas Pass (Lydia Ann)
TX
yes?
1
1888
n/a
extant - privately owned
other dwelling is of different design
Crooked River
FL
no
2
1895
1950s?
one destroyed offsite
one extant offsite
replica built at station ca. 2010
Brazos River
TX
yes
2
1896
1967?
demolished?
 
Chandeleur Island
LA
yes
2
1896
1950s/1969
destroyed
one destroyed by unknown causes (1950s)
one destroyed by Hurricane Camille (1969)
Round Island
MS
yes
1
1902?
aft. 1954
not extant
 
Sapelo Island
GA
yes
2
1905
1933
demolished?
removed after light station discontinued
Bolivar Point / Point Bolivar
TX
yes
2
1917
n/a
extant - privately owned
replacements dwellings
earlier dwellings destroyed by hurricane (1915)

Characteristics: square wooden one-story dwelling with central chimney.
Variantions: sometimes elevated on pilings, sometimes included a kitchen extension.
Notes: most commonly (but not exclusively) used in pairs with Sanibel-style lighthouses.