Harbor of Refuge


A temporary light was established on the south end of the recently completed National Harbor of Refuge Breakwater on January 1, 1902. It was replaced in 1908 by a three-story frame lighthouse. A series of storms damaged the structure, resulting in its removal and replacement in 1926. The present Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse became operational on November 15, 1926. This white and black structure consists of a three story cylindrical tower with a watch room above. The foundation is a cast iron caisson of curved plates bolted together. It is lined with three feet of concrete. The lighthouse stands seventy-six feet above the breakwater. It shows a flashing white light seventy-two feet above mean high water which is visible fourteen miles to sea. Coast Guard light keepers manned the light until it was automated in December 1973. In 2004, the Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse was transferred by the United States Department of the Interior to the Delaware River and Bay Lighthouse Foundation.


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The Delaware Public Archives operates a historical markers program as part of its mandate. Markers are placed at historically significant locations and sites across the state. For more information on this program, please contact Sarah Denison at (302) 744-5016 or via email at Sarah.Denison@state.de.us..

LOCATION: Cape , Lewes Henlopen.