East End Breakwater

Located on the eastern end of the Delaware Breakwater, this brown conical structure was built in 1885. The tower is composed of four tiers of cast iron plates lined with two feet of brick. It is twenty-two feet in diameter at the base and is set upon a circular concrete foundation. When completed it was equipped with a fourth order Fresnel lens which showed a fixed white light, with a red sector facing seaward to warn mariners of the dangerous shoals off Cape Henlopen. The light’s focal plane was sixty-one feet above sea level with a visibility of thirteen nautical miles. A steam powered Daboll fog trumpet was added in November 1885. The lighthouse served as the front light of the Delaware Breakwater Range from 1903 until 1918. It was automated on July 11, 1950. For a time during the 1960s and 1970s, the structure was used as a base of operations by the Pilots’ Association of the Bay and River Delaware. The lighthouse was decommissioned in 1996. On February 5, 1999, the Delaware Breakwater East End Lighthouse was formally conveyed by the United States Government to the State of Delaware.

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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 Katie Hall at (302) 744-5036 or via email at katie.hall@state.de.us..

LOCATION: Inside, Lewes Lighthouse.