The light will guide you home

If you live in, or plan a trip to, Portsmouth, Virginia, you should make a stop in to see the United States Lightship 101, known as Portsmouth.

Lightships, or Lightvessels, were used in the 18th and early 19th centuries to act as lighthouses where water was too deep or otherwise unsuitable for lighthouse construction.

The U.S. Lighthouse 101 was built in 1915 and first served as the 'Charles' in the Chesapeake Bay outside Cape Charles, Virginia from 1916 until 1924. She was decommissioned after duties up and down the east coast in 1963, and in early 1964 was moved to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum.

Portsmouth never had a lightship station, but when the ship was dry docked there as a museum, she took on the pseudo-name, Portsmouth. Now a National Historic Landmark, she is one of a small number of surviving lightships.