Cape Henry Lights, VA.

Dawn - December 15, 1881

“Changing of the Guard”

At first light, on the morning of December 15, 1881, light keeper Jay Edwards climbed the dune to extinguish the first Cape Henry lighthouse’s lamp for the last time. The “old” light had served faithfully for 90 years. Later that same day, at dusk, Mr. Edwards would climb the 216 steps to the top of the “new” Cape Henry tower and light its 1st order Fresnel lens. This new 163 foot tall, state-of-the-art, cast iron tower still serves today with its distinct Morse U characteristic, dot-dot-dash. Today’s visitor can climb the old tower and easily view the new light. As an operational lighthouse, the new tower and the fenced in station is off limits to the public.

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