In June of 2006, A vacation visit to a friend who lives on the Delmarva Peninsula lended itself to a tour of lights between Wilmington, DE and Newport News, VA. I was unable to photograph all of the lights within this region due to time or accessibility reasons (two lights, the Cape Charles and the Newport News Middle Ground, were observed from highway bridges, but I was unable to safely stop to photograph them). I was forced to do battle with less-than-desireable weather at a couple of locations, resulting in some rather flat looking images. Seven lights, two lightships, several preserved Fresnel lenses, and a water tower disguised as a lighthouse rounded out a very good tour.

Liston rear-range lighthouse
Port Penn, DE
At first this light seems to be located at an extremely strange location (i.e. in the middle of farmland). But after realizing that its purpose is that of a rear range light, one can understand its long distance away from the shoreline. A steady burning white light shines 24 hours a day, so no glass is required in the lantern house except in the direction the light is aimed. This structure is not open to the public.
Viewed from a cemetary next to a corn field, this light's beam reaches way out into the Delaware River. A second light, lower and closer to the shoreline, works with this light to align ships through the channel.

Delaware Breakwater lighthouse
Lewes, DE
This active light is best viewed from Cape Henlopen State Park just outside of Lewes, DE.
Cape Henlopen used to be the site of Fort Miles. During WWII, several concrete cylindrical observation towers (built very similarly to lighthouses, but without the lights) were utilized to keep guard over potential German ships approaching the entrance to the Delaware Bay. From one of these towers, I observe a a pleasure boat coming in from the Atlantic as it heads for the piers at Lewes.
A closer view from the Delaware Bay beach of Cape Henlopen. The gloomy weather adds to its mystique.
Another view showing the breakwater...

Harbor of Refuge Breakwater lighthouse
Lewes, DE
This active light is best viewed from Cape Henlopen State Park just outside of Lewes, DE.
This "sparkplug" style light sits about a mile east from the Delaware Breakwater light, which places it further out into the Atlantic Ocean from the mouth of the Delaware Bay. The tip of Cape Henlopen is protected from public use due to wildlife nesting; two seagulls enjoy this privacy as I attempt to photograph the light from the edge of the public beach.

Lightship Overfalls -
WAL-539

Lewes, DE
This ship, located adjacent to a boat ramp in downtown Lewes, is currently being restored into a museum.
Volunteers conduct a work session on the Overfalls this day.
Two workers paint the light mast.

Assateague lighthouse
Assateague Island, VA
Located on the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, this active light is acessible by vehicle and a short hike.
A look up from the main entrance. From this view, we can see that the structure needs some new paint.
Contained within the lantern house is a pair of airplane-style beacons, one atop the other, and offset to create a double flash effect. The original first order lens is on display at a small museum on Chincoteague Island near the entrance to the NWR.
After sunset, the twin lenses go into effect. The picture was taken across the street from the museum which houses the original lens.


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Last updated June 9, 2006
All images ©Mark S. Wurst Photography, all rights reserved.