New Point Comfort Lighthouse

Located just offshore of New Point Comfort Island
near Bavon in Mathews County

[New Point]

New Point Comfort is the third oldest lighthouse in the Bay region. It was commissioned in 1804 by Thomas Jefferson. The island was separated from the mainland by a hurricane in 1933. The lighthouse has also separated from the island. The lighthouse is a 63-foot octagonal sandstone tower painted white, and is protected by rip-rap. It was automated in 1919. Confederate raiders knocked this light out of operation but it was fixed between 1865 and 1868, and outfitted with a fourth-order Fresnel lens. It was partialy automated in 1919 and the keeper's house was torn down. The light was completely automated in 1930. It was decommissioned and replaced with a lighted buoy in 1963. New Point Comfort Island was aquired by the Nature Conservancy in 1979 and given to Mathews County as a natural area in 1982. The lighthouse has been restored several times, including 1978, 1981 and 1988. The tower was severely vandalized in 1994.

More photos of New Point.

The lighthouse is not really open to the public - even though access is not restricted (if you have a boat to get to it). But there is an observation deck nearby on the New Point Comfort Preserve. Many of the locals refer to this lighthouse simply as "New Point" because there is a place nearby called New Point not too far from Bavon.

HOW TO SEE IT
If you don't have access to a boat, it can be viewed from shore.


While you are in this area you may want to try and find Wolf Trap.


1994 USGS Satellite image of the New Point Comfort area
(hard to find the lighthouse)
courtesy of Microsoft TerraServer

9/12/99


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