Old Point Comfort Lighthouse, Hampton

4.5
Old Point Comfort Light is a lighthouse located on the grounds of Fort Monroe in the Virginia portion of the Chesapeake Bay. It is the second oldest light in the bay and the oldest still in use. The lighthouse is owned and maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard; The keeper's house is owned and maintained by the U.S. Army and is residence for Fort Monroe's Command Sergeant Major. The lighthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Records of aids to navigation at Old Point Comfort date to 1775, when John Dams was paid to maintain a beacon there. Its location at the entrance to Hampton Roads made it one of the first points designated for a light by the new United States federal government, and appropriations were made starting in 1800. The light was constructed by Elzy Burroughs and put into service in 1803, though a keeper's house was not built until 1823.
In the War of 1812 the light was one of several seized by British forces in their advance on Washington, DC. Following the war, Fort Monroe was constructed on the point, situated so that its walls were a short distance from the light. In the Civil War it escaped damage and extinguishing, as Fort Monroe was held by Union forces throughout. By this time the original lamp and reflector arrangement had given way to a Fresnel lens. Following the war consideration was made of deactivating the light, as development around the point had made it less conspicuous. The light was retained, however, and a program of improvements to the grounds and facilities toward the end of the century culminated in the replacement of the keeper's house with a new structure in 1891.
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Old Point Comfort Lighthouse Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
19 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • This little lighthouse just pops out as you drive around the exterior wall of Fort Monroe. It appears to be well maintained and there is a great little info sign just in front. There is a small...  more »
  • This was part of my tour of Fort Monroe, it is favorite for photos and it overlooks the beach. Worth a look.  more »
Google
  • Located on the grounds of old Ft Monroe. Easy access, great looking lighthouse surrounded by well maintained older buildings and landscapes. Cannot enter or climb. But a good trip for any L H junkie.
  • Amazing history here. All very well preserved. Must visit to truly appreciate.

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