Old Plantation Flats Light

Sept. 24, 2019

Old Plantation Flats Light, Chesapeake Bay, Cape Charles, Virginia

Screwpile style lighthouse, with rectangular structure, built in 1886.


Lighthouse Name:  Old Plantation Flats Light
Location:  Entrance to Old Plantation Creek; nearest Town/City is Cape Charles, VA
Date Built:  1886
Type of Structure:  White rectangular cottage style house with tower on roof on a screw pile with an unusual foundation construction with a combination of screw pile and concrete pylons
Lens: Fifth order Fresnel lens 
Appropriation:  $25,000
Status:  No longer standing

Historical Information:

  • Fifth order Fresnel lens destroyed by ice flows in 1893 and replaced a month later with a new fifth order Fresnel lens.
  • Lighthouse was once again damaged by ice flows in 1918 and was later reinforced with concrete at an additional cost of $37,140.
  • Deactivated and dismantled in 1962 and replaced with an automated steel skeleton 39 feet tower with a 4 second flash was built on the original foundation.
  • A replica of this lighthouse with  a reproduction of a fourth order Fresnel lens was built in 2004 by the Bay Creek Resort & Club in Cape Charles; also has installed a 1942 bronze fog bell originally used on a bell buoy.  
  • Museum contains U.S. Lighthouse Service artifacts and keepers’ implement on display.

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