Distinctive Destinations

Cape Henry Lighthouse

  • Constructed: c. 1792
  • Architect: John McComb
  • Location: Virginia Beach, VA

The Cape Henry Lighthouse, ca. 1792, silently guards the entry way into the Chesapeake Bay. Standing near the "First Landing" site of the Jamestown settlers where in 1607, Captain Newport raised a cross to offer thanks for their safe crossing of the Atlantic, the Lighthouse has stood sentinel since it was completed in 1792. When cracks in the masonry were discovered in 1872, a new lighthouse was built and its lantern lit on December 15, 1881. Normally, lighthouses were demolished after being decomissioned but Preservation Virginia acquired the Cape Henry Lighthouse in 1930 when Congress deeded the lighthouse and 1.77 acres of land to the organization in order to preserve it and make it accessible to the public.

Old Cape Henry Lighthouse.

photo by: m01229, Flickr

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