Fenwick Island Lighthouse, Fenwick Island

#9 of 15 in Things to do in Fenwick Island
Lighthouse · Tourist Spot
Fenwick Island Lighthouse is a lighthouse in Delaware, United States, on the Delaware/Maryland border.
In 1856, the United States Congress appropriated $25,000 for the Fenwick Island Lighthouse and on January 11, 1858 a ten-acre tract for the station was obtained from Mary C. Hall for only $50. The Fenwick Island Lighthouse was completed on December 29, 1858, but would not be lit until August 1, 1859. Construction was supervised by U.S. Army Captain William F. Raynolds. The lighthouse was built on an isolated peninsula in the southernmost portion of Delaware at the Maryland state line. It is 87 feet tall, brick, with a central cast iron spiral staircase, and equipped with a third-order Fresnel lens. It was automated in 1940.
The lighthouse was decommissioned in 1978 and remained dark for several years. A public movement to save the lighthouse resulted in ownership of the lighthouse being transferred to the State of Delaware, and the lighthouse was relit in 1982. In 1997, after extensive fundraising efforts made it possible, the rapidly aging lighthouse underwent a full restoration. It was rededicated in July 1998.
The lighthouse is owned by the state of Delaware and maintained by the private, non-profit New Friends of the Fenwick Island Lighthouse. The "isolated" lighthouse now stands surrounded by a neighborhood of houses and businesses. Visitors can enter the base to view a small museum and gift shop. The lighthouse, however, is not open for climbing.
It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.
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Fenwick Island Lighthouse reviews

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96 reviews
  • Good for those wh love lighthouses. It has an interesting story. It is built on the Maryland/Delaware line. We weren't able to climb, but we were able to go inside and look at the historical records.....  more »
  • Fun little stop as we explored town. Pleasantly surprised to find no charge. Maybe a 15-20 adventure. The signs were informative and the volunteer was friendly!
  • This is a historic site that is nice. Good interpreter told us about it and offered to take pictures of us. YOu can't climb it and the keepers houses aren't open yet but eventually it will be better. The most unique feature here is the boundary marker separating Maryland from Delaware in front of the tower. It was nice to stand in 2 states. What's even more unique about it is that it was surveyed when Delaware was Pennsylavania so the marker is from the 1700s and has William Penn's crest on that side and the Calvert family crest on the other.

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