Timeline: Cherrystone Bar Lighthouse

1853: It is recommended by the Lighthouse Board to construct a small screwpile lighthouse on the shoals or Sandy Point to mark the entrance to Cherrystone Harbor for a price of $10,000.

1854: $10,000 is appropriated by Congress on August 3rd to construct the lighthouse.

1855: An additional request is made by the Lighthouse Board to construct the lighthouse.

1856: The site where the lighthouse is to be constructed is selected and plans are prepared.

1858: The lighthouse is completed and first lit on January 1, 1858.

1861: The lighthouse is attacked by Confederates during the Civil War.

1862: The lighthouse is re-established by Union forces.

1869: Renovations are performed on the lighthouse. Rust is removed from the ironwork & painted. The outside of the lighthouse and lantern room are also painted, the deck is repaired and painted, and glass is reset in the windows.

1883: New boat hoisters are installed, and the fog bell is repaired.

1888: It is recommended by the Lighthouse Board to place a red sector to mark the turning point after the shoal is crossed. It will also help distinguish the light from the one on Old Plantation Flats. The light is installed on October 15, 1888.

1916: After harbor improvements at Cape Charles, it is recommended to replace the lighthouse with a new structure using acetylene gas at a price of $12,800.

1917: $12,800 is appropriated by Congress on June 12, 1917, for the new acetylene gas light and fog bell.

1918: The new acetylene gas light and fog bell are installed on a black skeleton tower attached to a black caisson in six feet of water.

1919: The fourth-order lens is removed and sent to Solomon’s Lump Lighthouse. The fifth order lens from Solomon’s Lump is sent to Cherrystone Bar Lighthouse. The lighthouse is finally deactivated on October 1, 1919.

1920: Because the Cherrystone Bar Lighthouse is in such good condition, it is removed and put on a barge sent to Cape Charles where it was stored on land for the winter.

1921: In the spring, the lighthouse is put on a barge and towed up the bay to the site of the old Choptank River Lighthouse in Maryland, where it was stationed for the next 43 years.

1923: The annual cost to maintain the new acetylene light & fog bell is $125.00.

Sources:
1. Annual Report of the Lighthouse Board, various years.
2. Annual Report of the Secretary of the Treasury, various years.
3. Forgotten Beacons, Patrick Hornberger & Linda Turbyville, 1997.

 

 

 

 

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