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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)
 

Lighthouses

Lewes Maritime History Trail

 
 
Lighthouses Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, October 15, 2010
1. Lighthouses Marker
Inscription. Lighthouses
Two of the many lighthouses that have guided mariners on Delaware Bay for nearly 250 years can be seen from Lewes beach.
The rust-colored Delaware Breakwater East End Lighthouse was built in 1885. It replaced an earlier lighthouse that was located near what is now the middle of the inner breakwater. East End was known as " the noisiest light on the Bay" because its fog signal trumpeted almost constantly during harsh winters.
The black-and-white Harbor of Refuge Light Station was built in 1926. Its perch, where the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean slam together at the south end of the outer breakwater, is known as one of America's most turbulent lighthouse locations. The present iron structure was built after an earlier wooden one survived only 20 years before being destroyed by storms.

 
Erected by City of Lewes.
 
Location. 38° 46.901′ N, 75° 7.823′ W. Marker is in Lewes, Delaware, in Sussex County. Marker is on Bayview Avenue. Touch for map. Located between Virginia Avenue and East Savannah Road, on the beach. Marker is in this post office area: Lewes DE 19958, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Menhaden Fisheries
Lighthouses Marker, lower left picture image. Click for full size.
By Lighthouses Marker
2. Lighthouses Marker, lower left picture
The original lighthouse on the inner breakwater was the Strickland Lighthouse, designed by the engineer incharge of building the breakwater. Completed in 1849, it was white brick with a wooden tower for the latern. Its most unique features were several large open arches on the ground level so that high tides and waves could pass right through the structure.
(here, next to this marker); Lewes-Rehoboth Canal (approx. 0.6 miles away); Otis H. Smith City Dock (approx. 0.6 miles away); Unknown Sailors' Cemetery (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Bombardment of Lewes (approx. 0.6 miles away); a different marker also named The Bombardment of Lewes (approx. 0.6 miles away); The War of 1812 (approx. 0.6 miles away); Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lewes.
 
Regarding Lighthouses. Marker Photos from the collection of the Delaware River and Bay Lighthouse Foundation and the National Archives
 
Also see . . .  Lighthouses of the United States: Delaware ; photos included. Delaware (Lewes) Breakwater 1885. Inactive since 1996 (a decorative white light is displayed toward the land). 65 ft (20 m) sparkplug style round tower with 3-story round keeper's quarters, lantern and gallery....
Harbor of Refuge (2) 1926 (station established 1902). Active; focal plane 72 ft (22 m); white flash every 5 s; two red sectors cover nearby shoals. 76 ft (23 m) sparkplug style
Lighthouses Marker, background picture image. Click for full size.
By Lighthouses Marker
3. Lighthouses Marker, background picture
round cast iron lighthouse with 3-story round keeper's quarters, lantern and gallery, mounted on a caisson; ... (Submitted on November 29, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 
 
Categories. Waterways & Vessels
 
Lighthouses Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lighthouses Marker
4. Lighthouses Marker
The first permanent Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse was a six-sided wooden structure atop an iron caisson. Completed and first lit in 1908, it had an oil vapor lamp with a fourth-order lens and a compressed-air foghorn that sounded through two huge Daboll trumpets on the watchroom level. There was also a fog bell beside the old construction building on the breakwater. The handsome wooden section of the lighthouse was painted white with lead-colored trim. The caisson was brown.
Lighthouses Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lighthouses Marker
5. Lighthouses Marker
This drawing, made for the first Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse, illustrates how the structure is imbedded in the stone wall. After the breakwater was completed and finished settling, stone was removed, the iron caisson was sunk into the hole, and concrete filling was poured around it.
Lighthouses Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lighthouses Marker
6. Lighthouses Marker
The existing Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse was built atop the same concrete foundation and iron caisson that supported the earlier structure. A row of flared iron plates was added to help turn back the waves; then the new, completely iron lighthouse was added. Harbor of Refuge was a manned lighthouse until 1973 when it was automated. Although it is still an active aid to navigation, the lighthouse is owned and preserved by the Delaware River & Bay Lighthouse Foundation.
Lighthouses Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lighthouses Marker
7. Lighthouses Marker
Construction began on the existing Delaware Breakwater East End Lighthouse in 1885 with the pouring of a concrete foundation. A temporary wooden light tower was erected and topped with the iron lantern room, light, and lens that would eventually be moved to the new iron tower. The original conical Fresnel lens is still in the lighthouse. The lighthouse was manned until 1950 when it was automated. It was deactivated in 1996 and eventually turned over to the State of Delaware.
Lighthouses Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, October 15, 2010
8. Lighthouses Marker
Cape May- Lewes Ferry seen along with Breakwater East End Lighthouse in background image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, October 15, 2010
9. Cape May- Lewes Ferry seen along with Breakwater East End Lighthouse in background
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 29, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 620 times since then and 28 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on November 29, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.
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