Delaware Breakwater Range Front Light

Nov. 1, 2019

Delaware Breakwater Range Front Light, Delaware Bay, Delaware

Built in 1838.


Location: Lewes Harbor / Delaware Bay entrance 
Station Established: 1838
Deactivated: 1903
Foundation Materials: Sits on breakwater
Construction Materials: Brick dwelling with lantern on roof.
Relationship to Other Structure: Integral
Original Lens: Six lamps and reflectors
Characteristic: white flash every 45 seconds (when Fresnel installed)
Status: Torn down in 1950

Historical Information:

  • The light at this location was first established in 1838 when a light was placed on a house for the superintendent in charge of construction of the breakwater. 
  • In 1849 the actual lighthouse was completed. 
  • Once source indicated the 4th order Fresnel was installed in 1858 and another states it was installed in 1875 a 4th. 
  • In 1878 the light was severely damaged by a hurricane.
  • In 1881 the light became the front light of the Delaware Breakwater Range.
  • In 1889 another hurricane hit and destroyed the fog bell, outbuildings and the steps to the station. 
  • In 1903 the light became obsolete and was deactivated. The East End light then became the Front Range light.
  • The West End light was turned over to the Philadelphia Maritime Exchange who used the light to monitor the passage of vessels into the Bay. 
  • A 1908 inspection report indicates there is a fixed red light affixed to an iron post. 
  • The Philadelphia Maritime Exchange discontinued use of the light in 1942. 
  • The light was demolished in 1950

Researched and written by Anne Puppa, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.