Assateague Lighthouse

Located on Assateague Island near the town of Chincoteague
in Accomack County


(interior on special occassions)

This lighthouse was first built in 1833 but was inadequate. It was partially rebuilt in 1866, with a first-order Fresnel lens added. The lighthouse now uses twin rotating beacons and the Fresnel lens is being restored for permanent display at the Oyster and Maritime Museum in Chincoteague. Its beacon can be seen 19 miles out to sea. Painted in red and white horizontal stripes around 1965, this brick tower reaches 145 feet in height and has a focal plane of 154 feet above sea level. The spiral staircase has 172 steps. Assateague Lighthouse stands in the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, adjacent to the Assateague Island National Seashore, and warns ships of treacherous shoals that lie off the barrier islands.

More photos of Assateague.

Although the public can visit the site the structure itself is not normally open for touring. It is operated by the U.S. Coast Guard and remains an active aid to navigation. There is a small antenna mounted on the gallery handrail. This is used by NASA for a weather monitor. (NASA operates at the nearby Wallops Island facility). There is a small fee to enter the refuge.

Chincoteague Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center: (757) 336-6155


The Oyster & Maritime Museum is on Maddox Blvd. across from McDonald's near the Assateague bridge.

1994 USGS Satellite image of the Assateague Lighthouse
(rather hard to find, but it is there)
courtesy of Microsoft TerraServer


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