Thomas Henry Orcutt, Wood Island Lighthouse, ca. 1896

Contributed by Friends of Wood Island Lighthouse


Thomas Henry Orcutt was the keeper at Wood Island Light Station from 1886 to 1905. It is believed that this photo was taken ca. 1896.

He maintained the lighthouse for 19 years, the longest tenure of any Wood Island Lighthouse keeper. He was born in Brooksville in 1833 and died in 1906. He and his wife, Hannah, had five children.

During his tenure a murder/suicide took place on Wood Island. A man named Hobbs rented a small residence on Wood Island from a man named Milliken, who was a very big and strong man. It is reported that Milliken went to collect the rent and found Hobbs drunk and brandishing a rifle.

Milliken attempted to disarm the dangerous Hobbs and was fatally shot. Hobbs was distraught and went to keeper Orcutt's house to turn himself in. It is believed that Thomas Orcutt's 17-year-old son opened the door. He or perhaps his father told Hobbs to turn himself into authorities on the mainland.

Instead Hobbs returned to his abode and took his own life.

The photo resides with Roderick Jeffers, a descendent of Thomas Henry Orcutt.

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About This Item

  • Title: Thomas Henry Orcutt, Wood Island Lighthouse, ca. 1896
  • Creation Date: circa 1896
  • Subject Date: circa 1896
  • Local Name: Wood Island
  • Town: Biddeford
  • County: York
  • State: ME
  • Media: Photographic print
  • Collection: Private Collection
  • Object Type: Image

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For more information about this item, contact:

Friends of Wood Island Lighthouse
PO Box 26, Biddeford Pool, ME 04006
(207) 286-3229

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