This past weekend we took a 45-minute drive to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). The 3.2-mile Wildlife Nature Loop there is closed to vehicle traffic until 3 pm daily. It's a perfect place to walk or bike ride; we did both. And, it's best to go now before hot, humid weather arrives along with MANY mosquitoes and summer tourists.
After bike riding twice around the loop, we walked the short trail to the Assateague Lighthouse.
Daily operation is overseen by the U.S. Coast Guard. The 142-foot lighthouse replaced a 45-foot lighthouse. That one was built in 1833 as there was no guiding light in a stretch along the Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Bay. As coastal commerce increased so did shipwrecks on shoals along the Delaware and Virginia coastlines.
Congress allocated $50,000 for a new lighthouse in 1860. Construction began but was delayed by the Civil War and completed in 1867 after the war ended. The taller brick lighthouse was conical and made of red brick. Its alternating bands of red and white were painted in 1968.
The first light was an oil-burning, fixed Fresnel lens visible for up to 18 miles. In 1933, electricity replaced oil and three 100-watt bulbs were placed inside the Fresnel lens. Twin rotating lights flash one after the other from a height of 154 feet above sea level.
In 2013, the lighthouse closed several months for a much needed $1.5 million restoration. This before photo was taken during a June 2007 visit.
It reopened in early fall of 2013. The top of the lighthouse is accessible April through November for visitors to climb to the lens tower by way of a cast iron staircase.
These lighthouse fun shots (double and fractured) were shot straight out of the camera (SOOC) with special effects in my Olympus Tough TG-2, an all-weather point and shoot digital camera.