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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Chincoteague in Accomack County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Still Shining…After All These Years

 
 
Still Shining... After All These Years Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, July 14, 2013
1. Still Shining... After All These Years Marker
(Note: Top panel not shown here. See additional photos below.)
Inscription.  
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Assateague Island Lighthouse is a striking landmark that attracts many visitors. At the same time, it is an active aid to navigation, operated by the U.S. Coast Guard, that gives ships a visual point of reference and warns them to stay away. Assateague Lighthouse is owned and operated by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and maintained by the Chincoteague Natural History Association.

The Lighthouse Grows...and Gets Its Stripes
Built in 1833, the first Assateague Lighthouse was just 45 feet high, less than a third the height of the building before you. Eleven small fish oil lamps provided all the light, so it was not completely effective as a warning to sailors.

The Current lighthouse, built in 1866 and 1867, is 142 feet tall and rooted in the sand by a foundation that is 12 feet deep. The stripes were not added until 1963.

Turn Up the Light
For many years, a Fresnel lens focused the light of a single, 4-wick fish oil lamp. Then, in 1963, the oil lamp was replaced by an automated electric lamp, which creates a double flash every
Still Shining... After All These Years Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, July 14, 2013
2. Still Shining... After All These Years Marker
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(top panel)
The Wreck of the President's Yacht
Shipwrecks were common along this coast, and staff from several lifesaving stations on Assateague Island saved many lives over the years. The most famous occurred in 1891, when President Benjamin Harrison's official yacht, the Despatch, wrecked. Staff from a lifesaving station about a mile south of here saved the entire crew.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: CommunicationsWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #23 Benjamin Harrison, and the Lighthouses series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1833.
 
Location. 37° 54.669′ N, 75° 21.375′ W. Marker is near Chincoteague, Virginia, in Accomack County. Marker can be reached from Beach Access Road north of Boat Ramp Access Road, on the right when traveling south. Public access only via short Lighthouse Trail footpath. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 8244 Lighthouse Trail, Chincoteague Island VA 23336, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Assateague Light House (here, next to this marker); Welcome to Assateague Village (a few steps from this marker); The Wild Ponies (approx. half a mile away); Keeping the Forest Full of Life (approx. 1.1
Still Shining... After All These Years Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, July 14, 2013
3. Still Shining... After All These Years Marker
miles away); Miss Mollys Inn (approx. 1.9 miles away); Watson House (approx. 1.9 miles away); The Watson Light (approx. 1.9 miles away); Misty of Chincoteague (approx. 2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chincoteague.
 
Still Shining... After All These Years Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, July 14, 2013
4. Still Shining... After All These Years Marker
Photo of <i>Despatch</i> [top panel] image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, July 14, 2013
5. Photo of Despatch [top panel]
Still Shining...After All These Years Marker [top panel] image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, July 14, 2013
6. Still Shining...After All These Years Marker [top panel]
From inside the lighthouse, you can see how far the building is from the water.
Still Shining...After All These Years Marker [top panel] image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, July 14, 2013
7. Still Shining...After All These Years Marker [top panel]
Built in the early 1900s on Assateague Island's North Beach, this lifesaving station provided lodging for rescuers as well as basic lifesaving equipment.
Still Shining...After All These Years Marker [top panel] image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, July 14, 2013
8. Still Shining...After All These Years Marker [top panel]
Rescuers in uniform pose in front of on of four lifesaving stations built on Assateague at the turn of the 20th century.
Assateague Island Lighthouse image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, July 14, 2013
9. Assateague Island Lighthouse
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 19, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 17, 2016, by Michael C. Wilcox of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. This page has been viewed 286 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on October 17, 2016, by Michael C. Wilcox of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Jan. 25, 2022