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 was 76-feet long, a cream-colored hull with big black letters on each side. It also had a fog bell and foghorn which were sounded alternately every five minutes. It had a casts octagonal iron lantern with a fixed white light. There are no records identifying the specific ship number.
Janes Island Station continued during the Civil War. The U.S. Lighthouse Board reported in 1862 “All the light-vessels from Cape Henry southward, including the two in the Potomac River and these in Chesapeake Bay (except Hooper’s Straits and Jane’s Island,) have been removed and sunk or destroyed by the insurgents.”
In December 1866, the vessel was reported to be leaking badly. The Relief vessel was sent to take her place and the vessel was sent to Baltimore for inspection. The estimate for the repairs, more than $8,000, was more than the ship was worth after the repairs. The vessel was stripped of all public property and sold at an auction for $518.55. The lantern and other accessories were sent to the Staten Island lighthouse depot.
The Relief vessel remained at the station until the Janes Island Lighthouse was completed and light first displayed on October 7, 1867.
No photo available.
Crew Members: John Wilson (1852 – 1853), John Cullen (1853 – 1857), Littleton Dryden (1857 – 1861), Noah Stirling (1857), Ephraim Dize (1861 – 1865), Noah M. Lawson (1865 – 1867)