Lewes in Sussex County, Delaware — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Lewes Maritime History Trail
Several of these ships served in and around Delaware Bay from 1823 to 1972, eventually being replaced by either lighthouses or buoys. Throughout this period the ships were constantly being upgraded: from sail to mechanical propulsion, from wood to steel construction, from oil lams to electric lights, and a variety of improvements that added to human safety and comfort. Even so, lightship duty was hazardous for the crews because the ships remained on station in severe storms when all other vessels were advised to seek shelter. In addition, the foghorns were deafening for those on board and often led to permanent hearing damage. Foghorns on the vessel in front of you, for example, could be heard for up to five
Although the lightship, LV 118, did not serve on the Overfalls station, she is similar to the last ship that did. And she is an historic vessel in her own right, serving on three stations on the New England Coast from 1938 to 1972. In 1973, she was brought to Delaware and given the name Overfalls in honor of the lightship station closet to Lewes.
Erected by City of Lewes.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Lighthouses series list.
Location. 38° 46.683′ N, 75° 8.482′ W. Marker is in Lewes, Delaware, in Sussex County. Marker is on Shipcarpenter Street near Pilottown Road, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Lewes DE 19958, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Life Saving Station (here, next to this marker); The Blizzard of 1888 (a few steps from this marker); Menhaden Fishing Industry (a few steps from this marker); Lightship Overfalls (within shouting distance of this marker); Frederick E. Hudson (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Hiram Rodney Burton House (about 600 feet away); Harbeson Railroad Station PrivyMilk House (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lewes.
Also see . . .
1. From Friends of the Lighthouse. The Overfalls Lightship Station was located near the mouth of Delaware Bay, roughly three miles east of Cape Henlopen and 8.5 miles southwest of Cape May, and marked the Overfalls Shoal where the shallowest spot had a depth of only ten feet. (Submitted on December 9, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.)
2. Historic Naval Ships Association. The Lightship Overfalls was the last lightship built by the United States Lighthouse Service. She was commissioned as the LV (light vessel) 118 in 1938 and was considered at that time to be "state of the art" in lightship design. (Submitted on December 9, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.)
Credits. This page was last revised on August 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 9, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 702 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on December 9, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.