Timeline: Stingray Point Lighthouse

Stingray Point Lighthouse (Replica) Timeline
(Located at Stingray Point Marina, Deltaville, VA – off VA Route 33 – 1.8 miles west of the original site on
the Chesapeake Bay – 02/24/14)

1858 Original one story hexagonal three-room wood screwpile built on a shoal between
the Rappahannock and Piankatank Rivers.

1/1/1859 Fixed white light lit from sixth-order Fresnel lens. Changed to fixed red in
February. Samuel Cole serves as the first keeper.

1861 On July 15, six enslaved men, (Alexander Franklin, David Harris, John Hunter, Miles Hunter, Peter Hunter, and Samuel Hunter), sought refuge at the lighthouse, fearing impressment into Confederate service. They eventually hailed the USS Mount Vernon off the coast of Middlesex County, Virginia. The U.S. Secretary of the Navy authorized the employment of self-emancipated men and two months later approved their enlistment in the U.S. Navy, nearly a year before black men could enlist in the U.S. Army.

1865 Lighthouse apparently ransacked and the light extinguished during the Civil War.
Repairs made and light back in service.

1874 Brass fog bell installed.

1889 Levi (also known as Larry) D. Marchant starts long tenure as a keeper.

1893 Ice prevents Marchant, who is on shore leave from returning to lighthouse.

1899 Fifth order lens, removed from Old Plantation Flats Lighthouse installed.

1912 Severe winter isolates Marchant at lighthouse for 30 days.

1921 After 38 years of duty in the lighthouse service; 32 at Stingray Point, Marchant retires. One of the longest keeper tenures in U.S.history.

1950 Automated electric light bulb replaces kerosene lamp. Structure boarded up.

1965 Contractor removes dilapidated lighthouse by barge to Broad Creek and eventually demolished. Coast Guard installs pole light on screwpile foundation.

2002 Marina owners Brent Halsey and Jimmy Rogers decide to construct full-scale replica at Stingray Harbor Marina. Architect Randall Kipp uses original plans from National Archives. Built by Northwind, Inc., Atlantic Metals (piles), and Charles Yeager Designers and Fabricators (lantern room). Fitted with a fifth-order drum-style Fresnel lens. 1942 bronze fog bell and a circa-1880 Gamewell bell striking mechanism installed.

2003 Replica completed.

Sources: Stingray Point Marina – www.stingraypointmarina.com, September 2003 edition of Lighthouse Digest , Lighthouse Friends web site – www.lighthousefriends.com/light.asp?ID=1693 and Lighting the Bay – Tales of Chesapeake Lighthouses by Pat Vojtech, https://www.dhr.virginia.gov/press_releases/35-new-historical-markers-approved-in-june/  accessed July 29,2020

Updated 7/29/2020

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