Digest>Archives> Jan/Feb 2017

Family Bonds


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Vinal Beal and his wife Nettie. (Photo courtesy ...

Lighthouse keeper Vinal Beal and his wife Nettie are shown here at Franklin Island Lighthouse, circa 1918. Nettie and Vinal Beal were married on May 8, 1889 when Nettie was just 15 years old. Nettie was Vinal Beal’s second wife. His first wife, who he had daughter Lois with, died.

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Nathaniel Alley Sr., father of Lubec Channel ...

Nettie Alley Beal was born Tryphena Phena Etta, a name that she apparently did not like. Some records indicate that she was sometimes referred to as Phena, or Phenia. She eventually, unofficially, changed her name to Nettie Etta Alley and from thereon she was also referred to as Nettie. Vinal and Nettie Beal had seven children together. Interestingly, Nettie Alley Beal was the sister of lighthouse keeper Nathaniel S. Alley, Jr., who lost his life in 1934 after breathing in fumes from a coal stove at the Lubec Channel Lighthouse in Lubec, Maine. Nathaniel Alley Sr., father of Lubec Channel Lighthouse keeper Nathaniel Alley Jr., had a brother named Ephriam who had twin sons, Alamander B. Alley, (left) and Frank William Alley, (right) who also became lighthouse keepers. (The man in the middle is not identified.) Alamander Alley served at Saddleback Ledge Lighthouse from 1925 to 1949 and Frank Alley served at Petit Manan Lighthouse, Whitehead Lighthouse and at Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse.

Then there was Nathaniel’s third brother, Joshua Jr. whose grandson was Charles L. Alley, also became a lighthouse keeper. And, lighthouse keeper Vinal O. Beal’s nephew was Arthur J. Beal, who was a keeper at Whitehead Lighthouse from 1929 to 1950. To make it more interesting, lighthouse keeper George L. Alley’s sister, Olive Alley, married lighthouse keeper Thomas “Frank” Faulkingham.

This story appeared in the Jan/Feb 2017 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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