Timeline: Janes Island Lighthouse

1850:   Congress appropriates $8,000 for a lightboat to be stationed off the southwest point of Janes Island on September 18.

1852:   John T. Tardy & Phillip Auld are awarded the contract to build the lightship at Janes Island with a low bid of $5,990.

1853:   The lightship is constructed and put into service. The 76-foot long ship has the name painted on each side in black letters on a cream-colored hull, with a fixed light at 30-feet.

1856:   The lightship is repaired and refitted.

1866:   The lightship is reported to be leaking badly and replaced by a relief lightship on December 18. The estimate of repairs is more than the ship is worth and sold at auction for $518.55. It is recommended to construct a screwpile lighthouse.

1867:   The new hexagonal screwpile lighthouse is completed and fitted with a fourth-order Franklin lens exhibiting a fixed white light. It is first exhibited on October 7.

1869:   Two plates of glass are replaced in the lantern to replace existing ones broken by wildfowl.

1879:   The lighthouse is destroyed by ice on January 20. Congress appropriates $25,000 on March 3 for a second lighthouse to be constructed. Plans are made to build a second screwpile lighthouse like the Hooper Strait Lighthouse. The hexagonal lighthouse is completed, and fourth-order light is first exhibited on December 20.

1885:   Minor repairs are made, and two boat hoisters are installed.

1893:   The fog bell is pulled from the support by floating ice and severely damages the station boat and boat hoister in January.

1899:   New model fourth-order lamps are installed

1901:   Soundings are made around the lighthouse and miscellaneous repairs are made.

1917:   The Secretary of Commerce commends Keeper Henry S. Moore, who helped two men in a boat stranded in the ice by taking them to the lighthouse and furnishing them with food and lodging on February 13.

1920:   The red sector in the light is discontinued on February 18.

1928:   Keeper Luther E. Bozman and Assistant Keeper Gordy Parks aid a disabled powerboat near the station.

1935:   Keeper Luther E. Bozman follows the order to abandon the lighthouse due to life-threatening ice conditions. The screwpile lighthouse is destroyed on February 8.

1936:   The lighthouse is replaced by an automatic light & bell constructed on a skeletal tower supported on a caisson base.


  1. Annual Report of the Lighthouse Board, various years.
  2. Annual Report of the Secretary of the Treasury on the State of Finances, various years.
  3. Forgotten Beacons, Patrick Hornberger & Linda Turbyville, 1997
  4. Commerce Reports, Volume 2, Issue 77

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