Born in 1806, William Whiting Wetmore was the lighthouse keeper of New York’s Plum Island Lighthouse from 1861 until his death at the age of 85, in 1892. He had the distinction of being the last keeper of the original 1827 Plum Island Lighthouse and its replacement structure in 1870. It was reported at the time of keeper Wetmore’s death, that he was the oldest lighthouse keeper in the nation. He was replaced as the keeper by his son, William Walker Wetmore, who served at Plum Island until 1903.
Stories abound about keeper William Whiting Wetmore’s prowess as an expert angler, and some of New York’s rich and famous would often stop by to going fishing with him. At one time, President Grover Cleveland, during his first term in office, from 1885 to 1889, visited Plum Island Lighthouse to get some fishing advice from keeper Wetmore on catching bluefish.
(Photo courtesy U.S. Lighthouse Society)
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