Hog Island

The first Hog Island Lighthouse was built in 1852. It was a white conical brick tower equipped with 15 lamps set in 21-inch reflectors exhibiting a fixed white light that could be seen for 13 miles.  Adjacent to the lighthouse was a keeper’s dwelling.  In 1855, the lamps were replaced with a fourth-order Fresnel lens.

This lighthouse lasted until 1896 when it was replaced with a 150-foot tall, black, cast-iron pyramidal steel tower with a central cylinder. The lens used at the Cape Charles light station is removed and installed at the new Hog Island tower. It was exhibited for the first time on January 31, 1896.The new first-order light shows a white flash of 3 seconds’ duration at intervals of 45 seconds. Also built, were three keeper dwellings.  Both lighthouses were built on what was the southern end of Hog Island. Hog Island was the northernmost part of the natural barrier islands between Virginia’s Eastern Shore and the Atlantic Ocean.

By the 1920s the ocean had eroded much of the island. A hurricane in the 1930s claimed even more of the land. The lighthouse was demolished using 350 pounds of TNT in 1948. The land the lighthouse stood on is now underwater. The southern end of the island is no higher than 12 feet now. Now only an abandoned Coast Guard station and a watchtower remain. The University of Virginia maintains an Internet viewable directable camera
on the tower. Most of these islands are owned by the Nature Conservancy and completely uninhabited. What’s left is now part of a bird sanctuary.

The 10-foot high lens, a first-order produced by the Henry-LePaute company in France, was removed from the lighthouse before the final destruction of the facility. It was loaned to the City of Portsmouth, VA and is now on display on the Portsmouth Seawall. For more information, you can call the Portsmouth Visitors Center at 1-800-767-8782.

Head Keepers:  Luther H. Read (1852 – 1853), Richard Walter (1853 – 1862), Louis J. Carpenter (1862), J.G. Potts (1862 – 1864), David N. Bool (1864 – 1872), Isaac D. Robins (1872 – 1879), Thomas H. Braxton (1879 – 1883), Frank Hoskins (1883 – 1885), Joseph B. Ames (1885 – 1886), George W. Doughty ( 1886 – 1908), James G. Williams (1908 – 1911), Walter S. Hudgins (1911 – at least 1913), Allie L. Davis (1914 – 1919), Clarence W. Salter (1919 – 1922), John Higbee (bef 1920), James Hillary Quillen (1922 – at least 1931)

First Assistant:  Sallie Bool (1867 – 1871), E.B. Custis (1871), Sallie Bool (1871 – 1872), E. B. Custis (1872 – at least 1873), Anderson Dumas (1874 – 1879), Alfred J. Spady (1879 – 1880), Frank Hoskins (1880), Victor C. Collins (1880 – 1882), William C. Beckett (1882 – at least 1883), Belford Francis (1884 – 1885), George W. Doughty (1885 – 1886), Francis J. Rolley (1896 – 1900), John Spence (1900 – 1902), George P. Hudgins (1902 – 1906), Arthur L. Small (1906 – 1908), George A. Fowler (1908 – 1915), Clarence W. Salter (1915 – at least 1917), Andrew J. Jarvis (1917), Hillary Quillen (1917 – 1918), Clarence W. Salter (1919), Carl G. Marsh (1919 – at least 1925), Eldred J. Cherrix (1925 – 1929), William S. Etheridge (at least 1930)

Second Assistant:  Fletcher Browne (1896 – 1901), Ray Phillips (1901), George P. Hudgins (1901 – 1902), Charles A. Sterling (1902 – 1905), Andrew J. Jarvis (1905 – at least 1917), Carl G. Marsh (1919), Ray Phillips (at least 1919), Caleb W. Evans (1920 – 1921), Alexander E. Mann (1921 – 1922), Eldred J. Cherrix (1922), William S. Etheridge (at least 1926), Utah C. Jenett (1930), Robert L. Carpenter (at least 1930)

Updated 5/30/2019


TIMELINE

MAP/DIRECTIONS

Geocache

GPS:

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/hog-island/