Robert Inness Smith was the first keeper of Port Mouton Light, a position he held for 17 years before moving with his family to Massachusetts in 1889.
There passed away at the Dearborne Hospital, Medford, Mass., Jan. 7, 1926, Robert Inness Smith.
Mr. Smith was a native of Queens County, the oldest son of the late John and Ellen Inness Smith of Beech Hill Farms, a brother of the late Franklin Smith.
In early life he followed the sea, later was the first keeper of Port Mouton Light for seventeen years. He moved with his family to Mass. in 1889 and lived in Lynn, Mass about thirty years. For the last three years, he made his home with his daughter, Mrs. William Maxwell, in Malden, where the funeral was held Sunday, Jan. 10th. The remains were buried in the family lot in Pine Grove Cemetery, Lynn, Mass. Mr. Smith was 81 years and 7 months. He had been failing for the past two years.
He leaves to mourn their loss seven children, eighteen grandchildren, five great grandchildren. The children are Mrs. W. Maxwell, Malden, Mrs. W. D. Smith, Malden, Mrs. Edwin Wright, Springfield, Mass., Mrs. Harold F. Whitney, Long Hill, Conn., Mrs. John Alexander, Beverly, Mass., Frank L. Smith, Revere, Brenton Smith, Lynn, Mass.
From the journal of Franklin Smith of Beech Hill:
Oct. 3, 1889 - Robert I. Smith and family left Spectacle Island in Schooner (Orstims?) for Waltham, Mass.
(Thanks to Barbara Cook Meredith for information on Harold Cook)
Joshua Harold Cook, born in Port Mouton in 1892, was the lighthouse keeper during the early 1920s. A new government home was built on the island during that time frame.
He married Winifred Wharton in 1916 when he was 24 and she was 16..
Their first son, Bernard (Bernie) remembers the day a cow was brought over to the Island in an old seine type of boat and that it was great fun watching them trying to tip the boat to get the cow out.
Bernie's recall: "All of the supplies were brought over to the landing and then were hawled about 800 yards up from there. Harold, my Dad, had
an accident in his boat when his feet slipped on a fish, and the boat
lurched just after he kicked the engine over and the pin of the flywheel
drove his ribs right in on his lungs. During the time Harold was away
in hospital, Winnie ran the lighthouse, and during the winter Laurie
Hanson from Willow Cove dragged a skiff all the way over on the ice to
Spectacle Island to ensure that Winnie/Mom and we kids did not run out
of food." Harold never could return to the Lighthouse. He was only 34 years
old when he died on March 15, 1926. The death certificate said, Harold had pulmonary tuberculosis for six years.
Harold and Winnie Cook�s daughter, O'Nita, was born on Spectacle Island circa 1923. She was 70 when she died in 1993
at New Ross and her obit said she was born on the island
Old Land Petition 1700s
Stuart, Gamaliel and Others
The Island of Spectial or Saddle, in the Harbour of Port Matoon (Mouton), was given by licence of occupation to Capt. Donald McPherson, now in Shelburne County, who failed to occupy or improve it. Memorialists are distressed for want of some place suitable for bringing forward their young cattle and for keeping sheep and request a licence to occupy the island.
No description for a licence was ever made at this office for the person within named. It may be a licence given by the late gov't and entered at the secretary's office. C.M.
LINKS OF INTEREST:
Port Mouton Light - Aerial photos
Painting Of Spectacle Island Lighthouse by well-known artist William Hays, on his website.