Timeline: Assateague Island Lighthouse

(Located within Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Chincoteague, VA)

1833 First brick tower, 45 foot tall, built.

1860 Construction of second and present tower begun. Work suspended during the Civil war.

1866-1867 Construction of 142 foot brick tower resumed and completed. Fitted with first-order Fresnel lens. Large keepers’ dwelling constructed.

1874 Life-saving station established three miles SW of lighthouse.

1891 President Benjamin Harrison’s yacht, Dispatch, wrecks off coast. No deaths but yacht & cargo valued at $135,000 declared a total loss.

1898 Telephone line installed – tower connected to life-saving station.

1910 Small two-story keeper’s quarters built.

1922 Present Life-saving station constructed.

1933 Electric light, powered by generators replaces oil lamp.

1963 Red & white bands painted on tower. Power line and directional coded beacon installed. Fresnel lens removed and later donated to Oyster and Maritime Museum.

1994 Tower repainted.

2004 Ownership of tower transferred from the Coast Guard to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Source: Lighthouses and Lifesaving Stations of Virginia by Patrick Evans-Hylton and Lighthouses of Maryland/Virginia – History, Mystery, Legends and Lore by Bob Trapani, Jr.

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/timeline-assateague-island-lighthouse/