Timeline: Great Wicomico River Lighthouse

1888: On October 2, Congress appropriates $25,000 to build a lighthouse at the mouth of the Great Wicomico River on Virginia’s Western Shore.

1889: Proposals for bids to furnish the ironwork went out in January and bids received were opened on February 13. The winning bid was $13,975 for this lighthouse and the Holland Island Bar Lighthouse. Construction of the superstructure is done at Lazaretto Depot and ready for transport to the site in early August. Construction of the hexagonal shaped lighthouse is completed by the end of September and is first lighted on November 10 with a fourth-order lens.

1899: New fourth-order lamps were installed, and repairs are made to the fog bell machine.

1918:  Keeper Samuel L. Nelson is awarded the inspector’s efficiency star.

1955: The lighthouse is automated in July.

1967: The lighthouse is dismantled, and light is mounted on top of a skeletal tower which was mounted to the remaining screwpile foundation.

2014: The Coast Guard intends to discontinue the light at Great Wicomico River due to structural failure.

2015: The light is discontinued and the screwpile foundation is removed.

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

Updated 5/27/7070

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