Category: Craney Island

Keeper Bio: John Filmore Hudgins

Date of Service: 1895 – 1923 1856: Born on January 17 in Mathews County, VA1879 or 1880: Married Ellen Gertrude “Mittie” Thomas and raised eleven children.1895: Serves at the Smith Point Lighthouse. The Chesapeake Bay freezes. Ice strikes lighthouse – carries it six miles away from the foundation. Lantern, fog-bell apparatus, oil and some supply …

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Timeline: Craney Island Lighthouse

1857: The Lighthouse Board recommends building a small screwpile lighthouse for a price of $10,000-$12,000 to replace the lightship that had served the station since 1820. 1859: The lightship is replaced by a square wooden structure on a screwpile foundation. 1861: The Confederates remove the lens & destroy the lighthouse. 1862: On June 23, 1862, …

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Craney Island

Photo courtesy U.S Coast Guard (1884 lighthouse). The first permanent lightship station in the United States was anchored in 1820 in the lower Chesapeake Bay on the west side of the channel near the mouth of the Elizabeth River to guide vessels approaching Norfolk & Portsmouth harbors. This lightship was originally stationed at Willoughby Spit, …

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