Dutch Gap Canal Lighthouse

Nov. 13, 2019

Dutch Gap Canal Lighthouse, Dutch Gap Canal, Virginia


Lighthouse Name: Dutch Gap Canal Light
Location: Entrances of Dutch Gap Canal near Richmond on the upper James River, Virginia; nearest Town/City is Hopewell, Virginia near the I-295 bridge; this is the last station on the James River
Date Built: 1875
Type of Structure: Two small frame structures 27-foot high lights on posts planked and arranged with a supply room.  The keeper’s house, a plain frame dwelling, was built on a bluff on the Farrar’s Island above the canal.  The house was moved inland in 1890 because of the eroding cliff.  In 1910 the light posts were replaced by fixed lights.
Height: 27 feet each.
Characteristics: Originally to be Sixth order it was decided to use small lantern, burning mineral oil, one at each end of the canal
Appropriation: Congress approved appropriation on March 3, 1873
Status: Inactive

Historical Information:

  • Second tower washed away during high water in December, 1878, indicating that the other tower was earlier destroyed.  Two masts on poles for supporting lanterns were subsequently constructed in 1887.  The lighthouse was deactivated in 1910 the Dutch Gap Canal Lights are now part of an 800-acre conservation area maintained by Henricus Park.

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