On July 7, 1884, Congress appropriated $10,000 to construct a light on the north end of the Chincoteague Channel just adjacent to Chincoteague Island, known as the Killock Shoal Lighthouse (sometimes spelled Killick). After the site was selected, borings were made at a depth of seventeen feet, which showed that the bottom of the Bay was a sand a clay mixture.
The red screwpile foundation was delivered to the Chincoteague buoy depot in November 1885 and construction of the square cottage began in December. The cottage was a square, four-room, one- and one-half story white structure with lead color trim and green shutters on the windows. This screwpile structure was different from others in the region because the lantern and light were in the corner of the structure rather than in the center. The lantern was black and equipped with a fourth-order Henry LePaute lens which exhibited a fixed white light. The framed privy was located on the walkway surrounding the cottage. Four 340-gallon cedar tanks were in the basement area to collect rainwater from the roof. It was also equipped with a machine operated Stevens fog bell. The light was exhibited for the first time on March 10, 1886.
Head Keeper William M. Parker was stationed at the lighthouse for 26 years, 1886-1912. His wife, Venus, was his Assistant Keeper during that time. In January 1926, William Parker’s wife rowed across the bay to visit friends. When people in the area noticed that the light did not come on in the lighthouse at the usual time, men from the mainland made a trip to the lighthouse in their boat to find out what was wrong. When they arrived, they found William Parker lying across his bed, dead from apoplexy, a stroke or cerebral hemorrhage. He was only 57 years old and noted as a “faithful lighthouse man and had the confidence of his superiors in the service”.
On May 5, 1927, Assistant Keeper John E. Stubbs rescues a man from the bay. In June 1927, the United States Lighthouse Service awards a citation for meritorious service to Keeper Stubbs on June 5, 1927.
In 1939, the lighthouse was deactivated and dismantled. It was replaced with an automatic light mounted on top of a metal tower that was attached to the remaining screwpile foundation.
Photo courtesy U.S. Coast Guard.
Head Keepers: Samuel E. Quillen (1886), William M. Parker (1886 – 1912), Isaac D. Peterson (1912 – 1939)
Assistant: William T. Collins (at least 1917 – at least 1919), Charles McGee (at least 1921), John E. Stubbs (at least 1925 – at least 1930)
1. Annual Report of the Lighthouse Board, various years.
2. 1907 Inspection Report
3. Evening Star, January 26, 1912
4. The Decatur Herald, June 22, 1927