Digest>Archives> October 1997

Mispillion Lighthouse For Sale


This may be the final chance for someone to step forward and save the badly neglected Mispillion Lighthouse.

Located only a few miles from Milford, Delaware, the lighthouse is one of only a few surviving wood lighthouses in America.

Someone with a little bit of money and a little imagination could probably make a fortune off this site. Not only could the lighthouse be made into a self supporting tourist attraction, the property comes with a restaurant, home and marina. Obviously, one complements the other, and with the right advertising and a little hard work, they could all become money makers.

The marina has 42 boat docks and twelve slips suitable for 50' commercial boats. The pilings, installed in 1992, are in excellent shape, however the docks and catwalks need extensive repairs. For decades this spot has been a popular gathering place for fisherman and boaters launching into Delaware Bay.

The 50' x 50' restaurant was constructed new in 1992 on 10 foot pilings, and most of the interior is still intact. The restaurant itself could easily generate enough revenue to support the place and its license allows seven day operations and the current license could be transferable.

The modular home, which is adjacent, is a 28' x 60' doublewide on pilings with three bedrooms and two baths and could provide housing for the owner or an on site restaurant manager.

The owners are in the process of a divorce and the property is in immediate danger of foreclosure. Current asking price is $549,000.

The lighthouse is the third to stand at this location, having been completed in 1875. In 1911, the lighthouse, although still active, was destaffed and the lighthouse keeper was removed. At that time, the government hired a caretaker at $60.00 per year to live in the house rent free to prevent vandalism. The caretaker lived in the keepers quarters until 1929, when the lighthouse was deactivated and replaced by a 60-foot skeleton tower, which had once served at Cape Henlopen.

In 1932, the government sold the lighthouse property and it has remained in private hands ever since.

Although the lighthouse itself is in poor condition, it could easily be restored and made into a hostel, a bed & breakfast, a museum, a gift shop or any combination thereof. All of these ideas would compliment the restaurant and marina. Hopefully, one of our readers will come forward to save this historic beacon.

If you are interested in buying the Mispillion Lighthouse Compound, you can contact Dave Kenton at O'Connor, Piper & Flynn Realtors, 4421 Highway One, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971. Dave's phone # is 302-226-4160, or you can reach him, toll free, at 1-800-496-9269 and his fax # is 302-227-1147.

If you do call, be sure you tell him you heard about it in Lighthouse Digest.

This story appeared in the October 1997 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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