Augustus H. Etheridge Papers, PC.5347


Augustus H. Etheridge Papers, PC.5347


Augustus H. Etheridge was a member of the Etheridge family of Roanoke Island. This collection focuses on Etheridge's service with the United States Lighthouse Service in his later life, primarily consisting of correspondence surrounding his various appointments and requests for transfer or promotion.

Descriptive Summary

Augustus H. Etheridge Papers
Call Number
Etheridge, Augustus Holly, 1860-1941
0.200 cubic feet
Outer Banks History Center

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Available for research.

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Copyright is retained by the authors of these materials, or their descendants, as stipulated by the United States copyright law (Title 17 US Code). Individual researchers are responsible for using these materials in conformance with copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying these materials.

Preferred Citation

[identification of item], PC.5347, Augustus H. Etheridge Papers, Outer Banks History Center, Manteo, NC, U.S.A.

Collection Overview

Most of the documents in this collection relate to Augustus Etheridge's career with the United States Lighthouse Service, primarily consisting of correspondence surrounding his various appointments and requests for transfer or promotion. Included is a 15 January 1921 love letter to his wife, Roxana, on the occasion of their 33rd wedding anniversary and a document from the United States Coast Guard confirming Etheridge's years of service at the Virginia Beach Lifesaving Station. Also included are several documents describing the medical care available to members of the Lighthouse Service, as well as several documents pertaining to posthumous pay sought by Roxana following his death.

Arrangement Note



Augustus Holly Etheridge was born 5 July 1860 in Manteo, North Carolina. His parents were Frances Baum Etheridge (1826-1894) and Adam Dough Etheridge (1813-1868). He had at least five siblings: Josephine Etheridge Drinkwater (1849-1917), Patrick Henry Etheridge (1851-1920), Adam Dough Etheridge (1852-1880), Jesse Benjamin Etheridge (1856-1924), and Margaret E. Etheridge (1861-1870). His family homestead was located on Roanoke Island and has been preserved by the Outer Banks Conservationists as an historic site called the Island Farm.

Etheridge was educated in the local public school system and graduated high school in 1878. In January 1888, he married Roxana A. Etheridge (1870-1943), and the couple had three children: Amanda Etheridge (1888-1945), Thomas Dixon Etheridge (1891-1953), and Fannie Etheridge Dough (1897-1967). He worked on his family's farm and as a surfman with the United States Lifesaving Service before serving as the sheriff of Dare County from 1899 to 1906. He then moved to Virginia Beach, where he operated a boarding house on his sister Josephine's farm during the 1907 Jamestown Exposition. Etheridge returned to Roanoke Island and served a second term as sheriff from either 1908 or 1910 to 1912. He was elected to the North Carolina State Senate in 1913 and served until 1917. He was a Democrat and a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons.

In October 1920, Etheridge was appointed assistant keeper of the Mathias Point Light Station, a screwpile lighthouse in Maryland's Potomac River. He applied for a promotion to the position of principal keeper of Old Point Comfort Light Station in 1923, but he was not selected due to his limited years of service. He served as a substitute keeper for the Gull Shoal Light Station in Engelhard, North Carolina, during the keeper's absence from December 1924 to May 1925. He was then temporarily transferred to the Cobb Point Bar Light Station in Rock Point, Maryland, before being named assistant keeper of the Upper Cedar Point Lighthouse in Mathias Point, Virginia. He retired from the Lighthouse Service in June 1930. He died 20 March 1941.

Contents of the Collection

Augustus H. Etheridge Papers, 1917-1941
Box 1

Subject Headings

  • Etheridge family
  • Lighthouses--Maryland--History
  • Lighthouses--North Carolina--Engelhard
  • Lighthouses--Virginia--History
  • Gull Shoal Lighthouse (N.C.)
  • United States--Lighthouse Service
  • Acquisitions Information

    Purchased from Kenrick A. Claflin and Son and donated by the Friends of the Outer Banks History Center, April 2022.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Samantha Crisp, April 2022.