Timeline: Wolf Trap

(Located three miles offshore, between the York & entrance to Rappahannock Rivers, Mathews County, VA)

1821 Lightship stationed on Wolf Trap Shoal.

1861 Confederate troops destroy lightship.

1864 Lightship station re-established.

1870 Screwpile lighthouse built on shoal.

1893 Lighthouse destroyed by ice floes and swept 20 miles down the bay, settling near Thimble Shoal. Temporary lightship on duty.

1894 Present 52-foot tall caisson tower built. Equipped with 4th order Fresnel lens.

1904 Schooner Dorothy Palmer runs aground at lighthouse.

1909 Schooner Cary Ann Bell sinks near lighthouse.

1918 Ass’t Keeper John Morgan rescues crew of disabled plane.

1919 Keeper and assistant aid family of six stranded by storm.

Late 1920s Exterior brick painted red for protection from salt spray.

1971 Automation.

2004/2005 Lighthouse becomes available for ownership under the provisions of the NHLPA. Sold at auction to James Korstad of Seattle for $75,000.

2006 Korstad sells lighthouse to veterinarian James Southard, Jr. for $119,000. Lighthouse remains active.

Source: Bay Beacons by Linda Turbyville and Lighthouses of Maryland/Virginia-History, Mystery, Legends & Lore by Bob Trapani, Jr.

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/timeline-wolf-trap/