Fourteen Foot Bank Light, Delaware Bay, near Bowers Beach, Delaware
FOURTEEN FOOT BANK LIGHT
Location: Delaware Bay / Bowers Beach
Station Established: 1876
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1887
Automated? YES 1972
Foundation Materials: SUB CAST IRON/CONCRETE CAISSON
Construction Materials: CAST IRON
Tower Shape: SQUARE
Height: Focal Plane above mean high tide 59’
Markings/Pattern: WHITE TOWER & DWELLING/BLOCK PIER & LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Fog Signal: Yes - 2nd class Daboll trumpet, operated by engine & compressor
Fog Signal Characteristic: 5 sec blast, 25 sec silent. No duplicate parts but they did have a second apparatus as backup.
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER, FRESNEL (manufactured by Henry Le Paute, Paris)
- From 1876 to 1886 this location was marked by a lightship. Once the lighthouse was completed the ship was relocated to Ram Island Reef in Connecticut.
- This lighthouse has the distinction of being the first caisson built using the pneumonic process to imbed the structure in the seafloor.
- A 1910 inspection report indicates the Characteristic was a fixed white, alternately 14 sec & 40 sec, eclipse 3 sec to the eastward of NNW & SSE 1/8 E. Fixed red varied by eclipse as above throughout remaining sector.
- Evidently this changed because a 1918 inspection report indicates the characteristic was now occulting white, 10 sec; light 8 sec.; eclipse 4 sec. showing in main channel. Red, W of 331 degrees and 151 degrees covering Brown & Joe Flogger Shoals.
- The light was automated in 1972.
- Added to the National Historic Register in 1989.
- In 2000 the Fresnel lens from Fourteen Foot Bank Lighthouse which is on loan from the U.S. Coast Guard was put on display at the Lewes Historical Society’s Cannonball Museum and Marine Museum.
- University of Delaware has used the lighthouse as a base for it Delaware Bay observation system where they can collect meteorological and oceanographic information gathered from instruments on the light.
Researched and written by Anne Puppa, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.