Cape Charles Light Station, 1888-1926
Established in 1888, The Cape Charles Light Station was located 9.3 miles and 102 degrees from the Cape Charles Lighthouse, marking the north side of the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay. Light Vessel LV-46 was the first assigned to this light station, serving there until 1891 and marked CHARLES. We have not found a photo of LV-46 marked CHARLES.
In 1891 the Light Vessel LV-49 relieved LV-46 on the Cape Charles Light Station, remaining there until 1916. A photo of LV-49 dated 1891. marked as CHARLES is attached. Photo courtesy of the Cape Charles (VA) Historical Society.
In 1916 the Light Vessel LV-101 relieved LV-49 on the Cape Charles Light Station. LV-101 remained on the CHARLES station during World War 1. In 1922 the Cape Charles Light Station was moved southwest into deeper water to accommodate deeper draft vessels entering the Chesapeake Bay. LV-101 remained on this station until 1924. LV-101 is currently a museum ship docked in Portsmouth VA. See the Lightship Portsmouth Museum Ship entry on our web site. A U. S. Coast Guard photo of LV-101 marked CHARLES dated 1916 is shown.
In 1924 the Light Vessel LV-80 relieved LV-101 on the Cape Charles Light Station. A photo of LV-80 marked CHARLES; date unknown is shown courtesy of the National Archives.
In 1926 the Light Vessel LV-72 relieved LV-80 on the Cape Charles Light Station. A U. S. Coast Guard photo of LV-72 from 1928 as CHARLES is attached.
To further adapt to larger ships requiring deeper water, this light station was discontinued and replaced by the Chesapeake Light Station in 1928. The lightship LV-72 was moved to that station and marked CHESAPEAKE.