Timeline: Old Point Comfort Lighthouse

(Located on East Mellen Street, in front of Fort Monroe, facing the Chesapeake Bay, north side of the entrance to Hampton Roads, VA – Revised – 04/26/13)

1802/1803 54 foot octagonal cut-stone tower built by Elzy Burroughs – 2nd oldest lighthouse on the Bay; location- Fort George.

1812 British troops capture Fort George and use lighthouse as an observation post.

1819-1834 Fort George replaced by Fort Monroe.

1823 Keeper’s house built.

1855 Fog bell tower added.

1862 Ironclads USS Monitor & CSS Virginia battle to a draw within sight of the lighthouse.

1891 New two-and-a half story keeper’s house built. Eleven lamp reflector system replaced by 4th order Fresnel lens. Beam visible for 18 miles.

1954 Spokes, equipped with 250 watt bulbs, added to catwalk.

1973 Station and lighthouse automated. US Army leases keepers’ house.

1989-90 Coast Guard does extensive maintenance on tower.

2005 U.S. Defense Base Closure & Realignment Commission votes to close Fort Monroe.

2006 Lighthouse remains an active aid to navigation, maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Group Hampton Roads.

2011 Army post closed. Fort Monroe designated a National Monument. Lighthouse maintained by U.S. Coast Guard.

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

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/timeline-old-point-comfort-lighthouse/