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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Lewes in Sussex County, Delaware — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Lightship Overfalls

 
 
Lightship Overfalls Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Richard E. Miller, May 14, 2009
1. Lightship Overfalls Marker
Inscription. Responsible for establishing aids for the navigation of our nation’s waterways, the United States government Initiated the use of manned lightships or “floating lighthouses" in 1820. These vessels addressed many needs. They could be placed in locations where deep water or shifting shoals made fixed structures impractical or impossible, and they could be moved and repositioned easily. The beacon on the lightship’s mast and the sound of its foghorn contributed greatly to the safe passage of ships in various weather conditions. By the mid-20th century the increasing use of automated lights and radio signals made these vessels obsolete. With the decommissioning of the last vessel in 1985, the era of the lightship was ended.

The Lightship Overfalls (LV-118 or WAL-539) was built in 1938 at the Rice Brothers Shipyard in East Boothbay, Maine. It was one of the last lightships constructed. Duty stations included Boston Harbor and two locations near Long Island, New York. After retirement from active service it was given to the Lewes Historical Society in 1973. The ship was renamed to recognize the lightship station on Overfalls Shoals that marked the southern entrance to the Delaware Bay. On December 7, 2001, ownership of the ship was transferred to the Overfalls Maritime Museum Foundation. The Lightship Overfalls is listed in
Lightship Overfalls Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Richard E. Miller, May 14, 2009
2. Lightship Overfalls Marker
the lightship's moorings (center background) are presently empty - a large model of Overfalls is in view on the trailer, center right.
the National Register of Historic Places.
 
Erected 2003 by Delaware Public Archives. (Marker Number SC-175.)
 
Location. 38° 46.669′ N, 75° 8.492′ W. Marker is in Lewes, Delaware, in Sussex County. Marker is on Shipcarpenter Street, on the left when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is on a median island in the service road south of the lifesaving station and north of the Shipscarpenter Street, Pilottown Road, Front Street (DE-267) intersection. Marker is at or near this postal address: 110 Shipcarpenter Street, Lewes DE 19958, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Overfalls Lightship (within shouting distance of this marker); Life Saving Station (within shouting distance of this marker); The Blizzard of 1888 (within shouting distance of this marker); Menhaden Fishing Industry (within shouting distance of this marker); Hiram Rodney Burton House (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); John Penrose Virden (about 700 feet away); Ryves Holt House (about 700 feet away); Lewes (about 800 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Lewes.
 
Regarding Lightship Overfalls. The Lightship Overfalls is owned by the Overfalls Maritime Museum Foundation. Presently,
Lightship Overfalls Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, October 15, 2010
3. Lightship Overfalls Marker
Shares location with "The Blizzard of 1888" Marker, seen in background
it is undergoing repairs in Virginia, but it is due to return to Lewes after the repairs are finished.
 
Also see . . .
1. Lightship Overfalls. (Submitted on May 24, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
2. Maritime Museum Foundation. (Submitted on May 24, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
3. Lewes Historical Society. (Submitted on May 24, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
4. Lightship Overfalls. From Friends of the Lighthouse. (Submitted on May 25, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Additional keywords. U.S. Coast Guard
 
Categories. Waterways & Vessels
 
Lightship Overfalls Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, October 15, 2010
4. Lightship Overfalls Marker
Lightship Overfalls Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, October 18, 2011
5. Lightship Overfalls
Lightship Overfalls Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, October 18, 2011
6. Lightship Overfalls
National Register of Historic Places:Lightship WLV 539 *** (added 1989 - Structure - #89000006)
• Also known as S-7857 The Lightship "Overfalls"
• Period of Significance: 1925-1949
Lightship Overfalls image, Click for more information
7. Lightship Overfalls
The Overfalls either returning from or to her station. An undated photograph from the files of the US Coast Guard Historian's office.
Click for more information.
Lightship Overfalls Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Wintermantel, May 14, 2005
8. Lightship Overfalls
At its first docking place in May of 2005, before it was refurbished
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,109 times since then and 60 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   3. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   7. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   8. submitted on , by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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