Outer Island Light Station, September 21, 1946:
General duties around Station. Boat returned from Bayfield with Munn, Eugene W., 232‑364, BM1C, for assignment to duty as Officer in Charge, replacing Barningham, Vernon T., 213‑716, BM1C, in accordance with District Order # 090976. Mrs. Barningham returned to pack personal belongings. Light S. W. wind, cloudy.
Thus departs the last civilian keeper of the Outer Island lighthouse: though identified here as Boatswain’s Mate First Class, Vern Barningham had originally tended the beacon as an employee of the U.S. Lighthouse Service. With the absorption of the Lighthouse Service into the U.S. Coast Guard in 1939, Barningham accepted the offer to enlist in the Coast Guard at a commensurate rank. The amalgamation of agencies resulted in a drastic change in the lighthouse environment: what had once been family homes gradually took on the aspect of military posts. Mrs. Barningham returned the next day to pack up her personal belongings; in a few years, wives and children would no longer be allowed at the lighthouses.