Timeline: Overfalls Lightship

(Located – Lewes & Rehoboth Canal at end of Shipcarpenter Street, Lewes, Delaware. Lightship designations: LV118, WAL539. The last lightship built by the Lighthouse Service. (04/11/2013)

1938 Built at East Boothbay, Maine by Rice Brothers. 116 feet long, 25 foot beam. Displaces 412 tons. Fitted with Duplex 375mm electric lens lantern.

1938 Stationed at Cornfield Point, near Old Saybrook, CT.

1942 – 1945 – Remained at Cornfield Point – no armament provided.

1943 Fitted with detection radar.

1958 Moved to Cross Rip (MA) station near Martha’s Vineyard.

1962 Moved to Boston station, marking the entrance to Boston harbor.

1972 Decommissioned.

1973 Donated to Lewes Historical Society. Named Overfalls to recognize the lightships stationed on Overfalls Shoal, though never assigned to that station.

1988 Placed on National Register of Historic Places.

1999 New group – Friends of the Lightship Overfalls begins restoration of vessel. Logs over 27,000 volunteer hours through 2011.

2000 Engineering studies reveal ship in bad shape and advised moving onshore for preservation.

2001 Overfalls Maritime Museum Foundation (OMMF) takes ownership of vessel.

2004 Electrical system rebuilt.

2005 OMMF receives $275,000 federal grant for restoration.

2008 Ship towed 275 miles to Colonna Shipyard, Norfolk for hull replacement and other repairs.

2009 Delaware Department of Transportation provides $400,000 of federal stimulus funds for construction of a permanent dock.

2010 New slip and park landscaping completed. Vessel open for visitation.

2011 Designated a National Historic Landmark.

(Source: A History of U. S. Lightships by Willard Flint, Overfalls Maritime Museum Foundation website- http://www.overfalls.org/)

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/timeline-overfalls-lightship/