Timeline: New Cape Henry Lighthouse

(Located on grounds of Fort Story, northern end of Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA – (Active Military base – Identification, Insurance proof, vehicle search required) (Revised 03/25/2013)

1881 163 foot tall tower of white and black prefabricated cast-iron plates built 350 feet southeast of old tower. Jay Edwards, first keeper lights first-order Fresnel lens. Old tower darkened.

1891 Norwegian bark Dictator runs aground 350 yards off Cape Henry.

1912 Lard-oil lamps replaced with incandescent oil-vapor lamps, fueled by kerosene.

1916 U.S. Army establishes Fort Story.

1922 Characteristic changed from fixed white to a group-flashing light.

1923 Electric wiring and radio fog signal installed. Letter “U” assigned to station.

1929 World’s first synchronized radio beacon installed.

1939 U.S. Coast Guard assumes jurisdiction of lighthouse and all other lighthouses.

1983 Automation – beam now visible 17 miles away.

1984 CG firefighter Michael Brulz becomes last human to man Cape Henry Light station.

1990 Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (APVA) expresses interest in leasing lighthouse.

2000 Portions of the movie – Hearts in Atlantis filmed at tower site.

2005 APVA seeks management of tower and two keeper’s houses with Coast
Guard. As of 2012 – no agreement has been reached.

Source: Bay Beacons by Linda Turbyville, APVA and Lighthouse Directory  – http://www.unc.edu/~rowlett/lighthouse/va.htm.

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