Cherrystone Bar Light

July 22, 2019

Cherrystone Bar Light, Cape Charles, Chesapeake Bay, Virginia


Lighthouse Name: Cherrystone Bar Light
Location: South of Cape Charles Harbor; nearest Town/City is Cape Charles, Virginia to mark the channel into the Eastern Shore port.
Date Built: 1858
Type of Structure: Cottage style hexagonal screwpile lighthouse
Characteristics: Fourth order Fresnel Lens, in 1888 a red sector of about 210 degrees of arc was placed in the light with red showing the bay.
Foghorn: Bell
Appropriation: Built for almost $10,000.00
Status: No longer standing

Historical Information:

  • The light was attacked by Confederate forces during the Civil War and was reestablished in 1862 by Union forces.
  • Deactivated in 1919 and replaced with the automatic acerlene lantern on a caisson.
  • The original hexagonal lighthouse was taken off its screwpile, moved by barge (October 1920 – April 1921) becoming the Choptank River Light in Maryland (also known as Benoni Point Light), making it the only lighthouse to ever be moved to another site to be used as a working navigational aid.

Keepers: Gunter one of the few black men in lighthouse service.

The above was researched and drafted by Catherine (Kitty) Price, a Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Light House Society volunteer.