(Located at the confluence of the James River and the Chesapeake Bay, Newport News, VA.)
1891 56-foot tall caisson with tower and cast-iron lantern built on L-shaped Middle Ground shoal. Fitted with 4th- order Fresnel lens and fog bell.
1954 Automation. Keeper and assistant leave. Light & fog bell characteristic changed. Light downgraded to a “second-class tall nun buoy”.
1979 Ship hits lighthouse, damaging lower portion of caisson.
1982 Coast Guard inspects lighthouse- general repairs made.
1986-1987 Solar panels added. Light moved to a pole outside of tower.
1988 Coast Guard sandblasts, paints & does repairs. Deterioration of lighthouse continues.
1992 CG inspection reveals extensive corrosion of foundation.
2000 CG replaces white light with more powerful red lamp and moves light back inside tower.
2003 Lighthouse becomes available for ownership under the provisions of the NHLPA.
2005 Lighthouse sold to Robert Gonsoulin of Williamsburg, VA for $31,000. Light remains active.
Source: Bay Beacons by Linda Turbyville, Chapter website www.cheslights.org and the Lighthouse Directory (http:www.unc.edu/~rowlett/lighthouse/Va.htm)