Category: Heritage-Lightships

Choptank River Station

There are no photos of LV-25 marked as Choptank known to exist. If one is found, please contact the Chapter Historian. (See contact information at the bottom of this page) Choptank River Station, 1870-1871 LV-25 was placed at the entrance to the Choptank River at the junction with the Tred-Avon River in January 1870 to …

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Timeline: Chesapeake Lightship

(Located – Pier 3, Inner Harbor, Baltimore, MD. Moored next to National Aquarium. Lightship designations: LV116 / LS116/ WAL538/WLV538 – revised 04/29/13) 1930 Built and placed in service with the US Lighthouse Service in Charleston, SC. 133 feet long w/30 foot beam and a 375mm electric lens fitted on each masthead. First Light Station assignment …

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Timeline: Portsmouth Lightship

(Located at the foot of London and Water Streets, Portsmouth, VA. Lightship designations: LV101/WAL524 – 04/28/2013) 1915 Built at Wilmington, DE. 102 feet long, 25 foot beam, 360 ton displacement. Fitted with 500mm lens with six flash panels and kerosene lamp. 1916 Stationed at Smith Island Shoals, Cape Charles, VA. Known as Charles. 1917 Illuminant …

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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

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 Station

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 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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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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