Category Archive: Crossed the Bar

York Spit Lightship

The station was established in 1855 and located in the Chesapeake Bay near the entrance to the York River in Virginia. The first lightship to mark this spot is not identified. In 1861 lightship “T” was on station and was sunk, destroyed or removed by Confederate forces during the U.S. Civil War. From 1861 to …

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Winter Quarter Shoal Lightship

Station was located approximately 8.5 miles off Assateague Island, Virginia, 13 miles and 080 degrees from the Assateague Lighthouse. It marked the approach to the Chesapeake Bay from the north. From 1874-1875, LV24 served this station. The ship was built in 1863 by Stephen Andrews of New Bedford, Massachusetts. In November, 1875 LV24 was replaced …

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Windmill Point Lightship

Station was located in the Chesapeake Bay, near the entrance to the Rappahannock River in Virginia. Lightship “U” was assigned in 1834 when the station was established. It stayed on station until 1861 when Confederate forces sunk, destroyed or removed the ship. The station was vacant from 1861-1863. It is not known what vessel was …

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Upper Cedar Point Lightship

Station was located in the Potomac River, approximately 44 miles upriver from the Chesapeake Bay. Anchored on the south side of the channel off the mouth of the Tobacco River, about 2.75 miles from the route 301 bridge. In 1821, the first lightship placed on this station was designated “LL”. It is not known how …

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Thirty-Five Foot Channel Lightship

Located on the lower Chesapeake Bay 10.9 miles and 331 degrees from Cape Henry, Virginia. Station was served by LV45 from 1908-1918. The ship was built in 1887 by Houston & Woodbridge of Lynwood, Pennsylvania. It was a sister vessel of LV46 which served at Tail of the Horseshoe seven miles away. LV45 was originally …

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Tail of the Horseshoe Lightship

Located on the lower Chesapeake Bay 3.4 miles and 331 degrees from Cape Henry, Virginia. From sometime in 1900 until June 22, 1901 the station was served by LV71. LV71 was primarily used on Diamond Shoal in North Carolina. It was built in 1897 by Bath Iron Works, Ltd in Bath, Maine. While on station …

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Wolf Trap Lightship

The first lightship stationed at Wolf Trap Shoal, designated “S”, was built in 1820 and stationed at the shoal in 1821. No record as to how long it was on station or what happened to the ship. The next lightship (“T”) stationed at the shoal was built in 1856 at the Philadelphia Navy Yard and was …

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Willoughby Spit Lightship

The Willoughby Spit was a 120-ton wooden hull ship built in 1821. It replaced lightship “C” when it was moved to Craney Island. The station marked the south side of the channel for entering Hampton Roads. This ship served on station from 1821-1847 when it was replaced with a 400-ton iron hull ship. This was …

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Smith Point Lightship

LV23 (designed Smith Point) was stationed off to the south side of the Potomac River entrance from the Chesapeake Bay. The lightship was moored about three miles offshore guarding the shoal area off Smith Point. It served as a reference mark for the southern approach to the Potomac River. It also served as a waypoint …

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Lower Cedar Point Lightship

LV24 (designated Lower Cedar Point) was stationed in the section of the Potomac River referred to as the “narrows of the Potomac”. The narrows lie about 40 miles upriver from the Chesapeake Bay. The lightship was moored off the present Naval Proving Ground at Dahlgren, Virginia, and about one mile south of the Robert Nice …

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Janes Island Lightship

Lightship on station from 1853 to 1867 located east side of the Chesapeake Bay, between Smith Island and the eastern shore of the Bay. Station was disestablished and replaced with Janes Island lighthouse. No photo available.     TIMELINE MAP/DIRECTIONS Geocache GPS:   

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Craney Island Lightship

Only one lightship ever marked this location. Lightship “C” (lightships were designated by a single letter prior to the LV or “Light Vessel” system) served on station from 1820-1859. It was the first U.S. Lightship and was originally placed at Willoughby Spit before moving to Craney Island. It was replaced by the Craney Island Lighthouse. No …

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Hooper Strait Lightship

LV25 (designated Hooper Strait) was built in 1827 in the Chesapeake Bay region. It was a 41-ton wooden hull ship. It was stationed in Hooper Strait beginning in 1827. It was the only lightship ever stationed in Maryland waters, except for the Potomac River. The station was disestablished September 14, 1867 after the Hooper Island …

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Bush Bluff Lightship

LV97 (designated Bush Bluff) was stationed in the Elizabeth River about three miles south of Sewells Point and 1 and 1/2 miles north of Craney Island. It was used to marked Bush Bluff Shoal and served as a guide for approaches to the harbors of Portsmouth and Norfolk. The Bush Bluff first served on station …

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Blakistone Island Lighthouse

  Blakistone Island Light was once located on Blackston Island. Today the island is better known as St. Clement’s Island. The island is only 5 miles downriver from Cobb Point Bar light. Congress appropriated $3,500 in 1848 for the lighthouse construction. John Donahoo was awarded the contract at a cost of $4,535. The structure was …

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Brewerton Range Front Lighthouse

                The two Brewerton Channel Range Lights were lighted on November 1, 1868. One structure was near Hawkins Point and the other on Leading Point. Together they marked the Brewerton Channel in the Patapsco River into Baltimore. The channel and range lights were named after Henry Brewerton, an …

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Lazaretto Point Lighthouse

The original tower on this point was built in 1831 by John Donahoo, the builder of 12 Chesapeake Bay lights. This was the tenth light that he was to build. It was 31 feet tall and was built of brick. The decision to build here was made because the government already owned five acres of …

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Upper Cedar Point Lighthouse

Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard Upper Cedar Point Lighthouse was constructed in 1867 as a square screwpile lighthouse. It was located 2 miles west of Mathias Point on the Potomac River. Prior to the lighthouse being built a lightship was placed at this location in 1821. In the 1870s the lighthouse had African-American …

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Somers Cove Lighthouse

Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard Somers Cove Light was constructed in 1867 as a cottage screwpile lighthouse with a sixth order Fresnel lens. The cost of the construction was approximately $10,000. The lighthouse marked the entrance to Little Annemessex River at Crisfield, Maryland. The lighthouse was dismantled in 1932. Some of the original …

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Sharkfin Shoal Lighthouse

Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard Sharkfin Shoal Light was constructed as a cottage screwpile lighthouse in 1892 with a fourth order Fresnel lens. It was located two miles southwest of Clay Island at the Nanticoke River. This lighthouse replaced the Clay Island Light that was located two miles to the northeast. The lighthouse …

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Ragged Point Lighthouse

Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard Ragged Point Light was constructed in March 1910 as a hexagonal screwpile lighthouse with a fourth order Fresnel lens. It was the last lighthouse built in the Chesapeake Bay area. It was built at Coles Point, near the Virginia shore in Westmoreland County, to mark a shoal that …

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Mathias Point Lighthouse

Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard Mathias Point Shoal Lighthouse was built in 1876. It was a hexagonal screwpile cottage lighthouse described as resembling a wedding cake. The light had a fifth order Fresnel lens. It was located between the Port Tobacco River and Potomac River near the Virginia shoreline upriver from Dahlgren, VA. …

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Maryland Point Lighthouse

Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard Maryland Point Light was a white hexagonal screwpile cottage with dormer windows and a red roof built in 1892. The light was located in middle of the Potomac River halfway between Fairview Beach, VA and Caledon Natural Area State Park in King George County, VA. The cottage was …

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Lower Cedar Point Lighthouse

Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard Lower Cedar Point Light was established in 1867 to replace a lightship (1825-1861) that was burned and destroyed by Confederate forces. A second lightship provided services in 1864. A screwpile lighthouse was built in 1867 in the middle of the Potomac River downstream from the Potomac River Bridge …

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Bowlers Rock Lightship

LV28 (designated Bowlers Rock) was stationed in the upper Rappahannock River, about 34 miles above its entrance into the Chesapeake Bay, and approximately 8 1/2 miles downriver from the town of Tappahannock. The lightship served from 1864 until 1868. Prior to 1867, when LV 28 was assigned, official records identify the vessel as Bowlers Rock …

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Love Point Lighthouse

Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard Love Point Light was a hexagonal screwpile lighthouse built in 1872 at a cost of $15,000. It was located at the mouth of the Chester River and the Chesapeake Bay. It was a duplicate of the original Choptank River Light. Two of the main columns of the lighthouse …

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Janes Island Lighthouse

Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard Janes Island Lighthouse was a screwpile built to replace a lightship that was stationed at Tangier Sound in the entrance to Little Annemessex River just west of Crisfield, MD. The first lighthouse was constructed in 1867 and destroyed by moving ice on January 20, 1879. The next lighthouse, …

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Holland Island Bar Lighthouse

Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard   Holland Island Bar Light was originally a white hexagonal cottage screwpile structure built in 1889. The light was located in the Chesapeake Bay west of Holland Island, north of the Smith Island. In 1931 the lighthouse keeper was mysteriously found dead in his bed at the lighthouse. …

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Greenbury Point Shoals Lighthouse

  Greenbury Point Shoal Light Station was constructed in 1849. It was located in the mouth of the Severn River marking the entrance to Annapolis Harbor. It was equipped with a steamer’s lens on May 14, 1855. The lighthouse was a 1½ story dwelling with a tall octagonal tower rising from its center. Lighthouse Board …

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Great Shoals Lighthouse

Photo courtesy of Coast Guard. Great Shoals Lighthouse was constructed in 1884 at the entrance to Wicomico River, Chesapeake Bay. The square cottage was pre-fabricated at the Lazaretto Depot in Baltimore and all the components were shipped to the construction site in July 1884. The light was completed in 32 days. In 1884 a fifth …

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