Abbie Burgess was born in 1938 in Maine, she was one of ten children. She had two older sisters, one older brother, five younger sisters and her youngest sibling was a boy. She had limited formal schooling and was, instead, home-schooled by her mother. She could read and write.
In 1853, Abbie's father, Sam Burgess, was appointed Lighthouse Keeper at Matinicus Rock. As a young woman she married Isaac Grant, son of Captain John Grant, the keeper of Matinicus after her father. Together they had four children: Francis, Melvina, Mary Louise and Harris.
Although her father and father-in-law held the title of Lighthouse Keeper at Matinicus Rock, it was Abbie that was in charge of the work. In 1873, Isaac was appointed Keeper at the White Head Light Station and he and Abbie tended the lights there. In 1875 Abbie received her appointment of assistant keeper at White Head. Unfortunately, in 1890 she was forced, by illness, to retire.
At the time of her death in 1892 she was living in a house on Maple Street in Portland, Maine.
Copyright M. A. Webb, 2005. All Rights Reserved
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