Windmill Point Light (Virginia)

Windmill Point Light (Virginia)

Infobox Lighthouse
name= Windmill Point Light

caption = 1928 photograph of Windmill Point Light (USCG)
location = Mouth of the Rappahannock River east of Windmill Point
coordinates = coord|37.5968|N|76.2359|W|type:landmark
yearlit = 1869
automated =
yeardeactivated = 1965
foundation = screw-pile
construction = cast-iron/wood
shape = hexagonal house
height = 36 ft
lens = sixth-order Fresnel lens
currentlens =
range = 9 mi
characteristic = Flashing 6 sec

:"For the light in Detroit see Windmill Point Light (Michigan).":"For the light on Lake Champlain see Windmill Point Light (Vermont)."

The Windmill Point Light was a lighthouse located at the mouth of the Rappahannock River.


This light was erected in 1869 to replace the last of three lightships stationed at this location to mark the end of the Rappahannock Spit, a shoal extending east from Windmill Point itself. These lightships were stationed beginning in 1839, the first being seized by the Confederates in the Civil War. As was typical of such an exposed location, ice was a serious threat, and the light was badly damaged in the winter of 1917-1918, with repairs not completed until 1921.

Automation came in 1954, and the house was removed in favor of a skeleton tower in 1965. As with the nearby Stingray Point Light, a private party, one Dr. William Atwood, purchased portions of the house in hopes of reassembling it on shore. As with the other light, however, Dr. Atwood was unable to complete his plan. The tower and original foundation remain in service.

As of the 2007-2008 winter, the old girder works of the original lighthouse were removed and replaced by a single concrete filled caisson with superstructure tower and light and placards. Note the rip rap of the original light surrounds the new structure, which is right at sea level and sometimes not visible. Do not approach this lighthouse closer than 100 foot radius. Sunday May 25, 2008 a sailboat went aground on these rocks and required USCG and Sea Tow assistance to be towed off the rocks.


* [ Virginia Light Stations] , from the United States Coast Guard
* [ Windmill Point Light] , from the Chesapeake Chapter of the United States Lighthouse Society
*cite book
last= de Gast
first= Robert
title= The Lighthouses of the Chesapeake
year= 1973
publisher= Johns Hopkins University Press
p. 155

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