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Name: Cape Charles Light  

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Nearest Town or City:
Kiptopeke, Virginia, United States

Location: Smith Island, entrance to Chesapeake Bay.

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Managing Organization:
U.S. Coast Guard

This lighthouse is the tallest of its type and the second tallest overall in the U.S. The keeper's house was destroyed by a brush fire in July 2000. The island and lighthouse grounds are managed by the Nature Conservancy.

Tower Height: 191

Height of Focal Plane: 180

Description of Tower: White, cast iron skeletal tower with central cylinder, black lantern.

This light is operational

Other Buildings?
Coal house. generator shed, storehouse, privy.

Earlier Towers?
1828: 60-foot stone tower; 1864: 150-foot conical brick tower.

Date Established: 1828

Date Present Tower Built: 1895

Date Automated: 1963

Optics: 1864: First order Fresnel lens (now at Newport News Mariners' Museum); now 190 mm solar-powered optic.

Current Use: Active aid to navigation.

Open To Public? No.

Accessible by boat only.

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