Timeline: Bells Rock Lighthouse


1880:  Congress appropriates $35,000 to construct a lighthouse at Bells Rock on June 16th.

1881: The first lighthouse is completed at Lazaretto Depot in Maryland on November 26, 1880, but instead is used in the rebuilding of the Thimble Shoal Light, which burned down.

1880: Iron work for the second lighthouse is manufactured by Messers, Paulding, Kemble & Co. in Cold Springs, NY., and completed in November.

1881: The superstructure for the lighthouse is completed in February and towed to the site. The lighthouse is first lit on May 30th.

1883: A new support column was installed to replace a broken column. New tanks are also installed.

1884: A schooner hits the foundation of the lighthouse in June, breaking  three support columns. They are replaced a few weeks later.

1892:  A red sector was installed into the fixed white light on March 10th.

1899:  New model fourth-order lamps are installed

1900:  A storage platform is built under the house.

1928: The lighthouse is dismantled and replaced by an automatic light on the original foundation.

2018: The automatic light can still be viewed from shore near Belleview, Virginia.

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

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