In a talk sponsored by the South Dorchester Folk Museum on Wed., March 6, Jack Messick will share memories of day-to-day life during times gone by on a screwpile lighthouse standing out in the middle of the Choptank River.
Mr. Messick’s father, Harold, was the last live-aboard keeper of the original Choptank River Lighthouse, which stood near the mouth of the Tred Avon River up until the 1960s. In his younger years, Mr. Messick spent countless hours living out on that lighthouse, as he would live aboard for two weeks at a stretch while helping his father tackle all manner of tasks, from cleaning the Fresnel lens to testing the fog bell and shining brass door handles. He is currently at work writing and recording his memories of those lighthouse days.
A 1960 graduate of what was then called Salisbury State College, Mr. Messick spent 20 years in the U.S. marines and then returned to his native Eastern Shore and became a schoolteacher, leading classrooms at both Hurlock Elementary School and Cambridge South Dorchester High School. He is now retired. He and his wife, Rose, volunteer once a month to serve as docents welcoming visitors to the replica Choptank River Lighthouse that now stands at Long Wharf on the waterfront in Cambridge.
Mr. Messick’s presentation will be facilitated by Jim Duffy, the executive director of the Cambridge Lighthouse Foundation, a nonprofit group that manages exhibits, events, and the visitor experience at the replica lighthouse.