Tangier Sound Light

Oct. 22, 2019

Tangier Sound Light, Tangier Island, Chesapeake Bay, Virginia

Screwpile style lighthouse built in 1890.


Lighthouse Name: Tangier Sound Light
Location: Entrance to Tangier Sound, VA
Date Built: 1890
Height: 45 ft.
Type of Structure: square screwpile
Lens: Fourth Order Fresnel; Sauter, Lemonnier & Cie. 1889
Characteristic: White flash every 6 sec. with red sector for dangerous shoals.
Fogbell: yes – Number 4 Gamewell. 1 blow, 10 sec. silent, 1 blow, 10 sec. silent.
Appropriation: $25,000
Status: Original Structure no longer standing. Replacement light exists.

Historical Information:

  • In 1905 ice caused a sunken schooner to rise and collide with the lighthouse.
  • In 1914 the keeper made a daring, but futile effort to save the assistant keeper, who fell overboard from his dory.
  • According to inspection records light station was repaired in 1919.
  • Keeper’s house was taken down in 1961 and a steel tower was built on the original foundation.

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