Mispillion Lighthouse

Sept. 17, 2019

Mispillion Lighthouse, Mispillion River, near Delaware Bay, Delaware

Built in 1873.


Location: On the west side of the mouth of the Mispillion River on the Delaware Bay near Milford, Delaware. 
Station Established: 1831
Year Current/Last Tower(s) First Lit: 1873
Operational: No
Automated: 1926
Deactivated: 1929
Foundation Materials: Natural emplaced
Construction Materials: Wood Frame
Tower Shape: Square
Markings/Pattern: White wood tower on carpenter gothic house
Characteristic: Flashing white every 3 seconds, flash duration 0.3 seconds, with a red sector from 301° to 308°
Relationship to Other Structure: Integral
Original Lens: Sixth Order, Fresnel
Fog Signal: None

Historical Information:

  • The original Mispillion Lighthouse was first established in 1831.  There is some discrepancy in the date of the second house.  Some say 1839 and others say 1857.
  • The third lighthouse was lit in 1873 and served until 1929 when it was deactivated and replaced by a steel skeleton tower that had originally served at Cape Henlopen.  The skeleton tower remained as an active aid until 1984.
  • The lighthouse became private property in 1932 and remained so.
  • The structure was struck by lightning in 2002 and was severely damaged. The owner dismantled and removed what remained of the structure.  The steel skeletal tower remains at the location. The tower originally served at Cape Henlopen. It is not active or open to the public.

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a member of the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Light House Society.