Maria Alvarez

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Timeline: Wolf Trap Lighthouse

(Located three miles offshore, between the York & entrance to Rappahannock Rivers, Mathews County, VA – 03-14-18) 1821 Lightship stationed on Wolf Trap Shoal. 1861 Confederate troops destroy lightship. 1864 Lightship station re-established. 1870 Screw pile lighthouse built on shoal. 1893 Lighthouse destroyed by ice floes and swept 20 miles down the bay, settling near …

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Timeline: Thimble Shoal Lighthouse

(Located 3.5 miles east of Old Point Comfort, at the mouth of James River, Hampton Roads, VA – Updated 5/27/2020) 1821: Lightship stationed near Thimble Shoal. 1872: First lighthouse, a screwpile, erected. 10/30/1880: Screwpile cottage destroyed by fire. Foundation survives. 12/24/1880: Screwpile cottage, destined for Bells Rock, VA installed instead on existing ironwork. 2nd fog …

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Timeline: Smith Point Lighthouse

(Located 80 miles south of Baltimore on the Virginia side of the entrance of the Potomac River, 2.5 miles east-southeast of Smith Point) 1802-93 Two land-based lighthouses, two lightships and one screwpile in service. 1893 Screwpile damaged by ice. Keepers abandon station. 1895 Screwpile carried away by ice. 1897 Present 52 foot tall caisson light …

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Timeline: Newport News Middle Ground Lighthouse

(Located at the confluence of the James River and the Chesapeake Bay, Hampton Roads, Newport News, VA. Oldest caisson lighthouse in Virginia. Updated 5/27/2020) 1891: 56-foot tall caisson with tower and cast-iron lantern built on L-shaped Middle Ground shoal. Five levels with basement in the top of the caisson. Fitted with 4th-order Fresnel lens and …

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Timeline: New Point Comfort Lighthouse

(Located at the entrance of Mobjack Bay, 21 miles north of Old Point Comfort, in Mathews County, VA. Visible from observation platform /walkway at VA Nature Conservancy’s New Point Comfort Preserve, Bavon, VA – Updated 5/27/2020 1804: 58-foot octagonal cut-stone tower, 3rd oldest lighthouse on the Bay built by the first keeper, Elzy Burroughs. 1865: …

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Timeline: Jones Point Lighthouse

(Located one mile south of Alexandria, VA – on west bank of Potomac River, Jones Point Park, just south of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge) (Revised-04/18/13) 1856 Present white wooden frame dwelling with integral roof-mounted black lantern constructed by Charles Church. Illumination by whale oil lamps in 5th –order Fresnel lens. 1858 Light fueled by newly …

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Timeline: Assateague Island Lighthouse

(Located within Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Chincoteague, VA) 1833 First brick tower, 45 foot tall, built. 1860 Construction of second and present tower begun. Work suspended during the Civil war. 1866-1867 Construction of 142 foot brick tower resumed and completed. Fitted with first-order Fresnel lens. Large keepers’ dwelling constructed. 1874 Life-saving station established three miles …

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Lyceum Museum – (4th & 5th Order Fresnel lenses)

The Lyceum is Alexandria’s History Museum. Originally built in 1839 as a community center and library, this elegant Greek revival structure still serves as an educational and cultural focal point. An ongoing exhibition tells the story of Alexandria, founded in 1749 and once one of the busiest ports in America. Using archaeological finds, old photographs, …

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York Spit Station

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 Station

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 Station

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 Station

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 Station

Thirty-Five Foot Channel, 1908-1919 Located on the lower Chesapeake Bay 10.9 miles and 331 degrees from Cape Henry, Virginia, this station marks the junction for the westbound York River entrance and the northbound Chesapeake channel. This station was served by LV-45 from 1908-1918. The 124-foot-long schooner was built in 1887 by Houston & Woodbridge of …

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Tail of the Horseshoe Station

Tail of the Horseshoe, 1901-1922 As early as 1895, petitions were being made to Congress from steamship lines running out of Baltimore, MD, Norfolk, and Newport News, VA., to place a lightship at to mark shoals at The Tail of the Horseshoe. The Tail of the Horseshoe Shoal was an extensive shoal that extended approximately …

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Wolf Trap Station

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 Station

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 Station

Smith Point, 1821-1897 Smith Point Station in Virginia served several purposes. It marked the south side of the entrance to the Potomac River on the west side of the Chesapeake Bay. Almost 100 miles up the Potomac are the busy ports of Alexandria, Virginia, and Washington D.C. In 1881, a total of 1,889 ships visited …

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Lower Cedar Point Station

Lower Cedar Point, 1825-1867 In 1825, the first of two lower Cedar Point lightships were positioned in the section of the Potomac River often referred to as the “narrows of the Potomac”.  This is approximately 40 miles upriver from the Chesapeake Bay.  From 1825-1861, the lightship designated as “DD”, occupied this position until the ship …

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Timeline: Overfalls Lightship

(Located – Lewes & Rehoboth Canal at end of Shipcarpenter Street, Lewes, Delaware. Lightship designations: LV118, WAL539. The last lightship built by the Lighthouse Service. (04/11/2013) 1938 Built at East Boothbay, Maine by Rice Brothers. 116 feet long, 25 foot beam. Displaces 412 tons. Fitted with Duplex 375mm electric lens lantern. 1938 Stationed at Cornfield …

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Janes Island Station

Janes Island, 1853-1867 The Janes Island station was located on the east side of the Chesapeake Bay between Smith Island and the eastern shore of the Bay. The station was held from 1853-1867, a total of 14 years, and marked the entrance to the Little Annamessex River, Tangier Sound, Maryland. Built in 1853, the vessel …

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Lightship Overfalls

LV118/WAL539 was built by the Rice Brothers of East Boothbay, Maine in 1938. The contract price was $223,900. The lightship served at the Cornfield Point (1938-1957), Cross Rip (1958-1962) and Boston (1962-1972) stations, but never served at Overfalls. The ship was decommissioned in November, 1972, then donated to the Lewes Historical Society in August of the following year. After that …

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Craney Island Station

Craney Island Station, 1820-1859 Only one lightship ever marked this location and it was also the first U.S. Lightship. Lightship “C” (lightships were designated by a single letter prior to the LV or “Light Vessel system) was stationed from 1820-1859. Serving as a guide to vessels approaching the Norfolk & Portsmouth Harbors, it was stationed …

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Hooper Strait Station

Hooper Strait, 1827-1867 LV-25 was a 61-foot wood schooner built in the Chesapeake Bay area and stationed in Hooper Strait in 1827. The lighting apparatus was a single lantern, an oil lamp with 11 cylindrical wicks. There was also a hand-operated bell and horn which served as the fog signal. The condition of the schooner …

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Bush Bluff Station

Bush Bluff Station, 1891-1918 The Bush Bluff station was stationed in Elizabeth River in the lower bay approximately one mile north of Craney Island. It was used to mark the dangerous Bush Bluff Shoal and serve as a guide in the approach to the harbors of Portsmouth & Norfolk. The U.S. Lighthouse Board had originally …

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Workday: Historic Ships of Baltimore November 19, 2011

Volunteers helped scrape and paint an old binnacle in preparation for creating a donation box. While some volunteers worked on the binnacle, others pulled some of the old electrical cable. Some new cable was inserted. Some of the light bulbs in the engine room were replaced.

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/lightship-chesapeake-november-19-2011-2/

Bowlers Rock Station

Bowlers Rock Station, 1835 – 1868 A total of two lightships were stationed to the Bowlers Rock station in the upper Rappahannock River approximately 34 miles above its entrance into the Chesapeake Bay and approximately 8-1/2 miles downriver from the town of Tappahannock to mark a large rock on the east side of the channel, …

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Lightship Portsmouth

LV101 was built in 1915 and was first stationed off Cape Charles, VA at the CHARLES light station. She served there until 1924, when she was moved to the OVERFALLS light station off the Delaware Bay. She served at that station from 1925 until 1951, when she was moved to several stations in New England …

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Lightship Chesapeake

LV116 was built by the Dry-dock & Machine Company in Charleston, SC in 1929. The contract price was $274,434. The LV116 was launched on October 22, 1929 and completed fitting out by August 14, 1930. She was considered “the finest afloat”. She was driven by diesel electric propulsion, with one 350 h.p. electric motor turned …

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Delaware Breakwater East End

Delaware Breakwater Light was built in 1885 and positioned such that it could be seen from both the harbor and the ocean. It is a brown brick conical tower on a concrete and stone caisson. The light originally had a fourth order Fresnel lens but was replaced with an airport-style beacon in 1973. The Delaware …

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Harbor of Refuge

Harbor of Refuge Breakwater Light is the third lighthouse to be built on this site. In 1825 Congress authorized construction of a breakwater at Lewes to meet the demands for a place where ships could seek shelter behind Cape Henlopen, Delaware. The Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse sits at the end of a breakwater on the …

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