A Beacon of Light

The Cape Henry Lighthouse, built in 1792, is the oldest Lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay, and the third oldest still standing in the United States. The unpainted sandstone tower stands 90 feet tall and was reinforced with a brick lining. A new Cape Henry Lighthouse was built to replace the old one in 1881 only 357 feet away from the original, and is the tallest cast-iron lighthouse in the United States. The 164-foot octagonal tower has been operated by the U.S. Coast Guard Since 1939.  During the early part of WWII, the top was used as a battery commander's station and contained two 16-inch howitzers.  Today, thankfully, it is operated by the Coast Guard to help save boaters, not blow them out of the water.