Fort Monroe – Old Point Comfort Light

Today, November 1st 2011, President Barack Obama signed a proclamation designating Fort Monroe as a National Monument. The Army decommissioned the instilation and transferred their facilities to Fort Eustis on September 15, 2011. The six sided fort, surrounded by a moat, was the last active fort in the Army before it’s decommissioning and was named for US President James Monroe. Fortifications were first erected on the location in 1609. The point of land containing Fort Monroe has long been valued as a strategic location to protect Hampton Roads, the confluence of the Elizabeth, Nansemond, and James Rivers with the Chesapeake Bay. With the decommissioning of the fort access to the property is no longer restricted to military personnel, the image below is of the Old Point Comfort Light located on the property of the Fort. I took this image in early October 2011 shortly after the property was opened to the public.

Old Point Comfort Light

Old Point Comfort Light is the second oldest lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay and the oldest still in use. The current structure was constructed by Elzy Burroughs and activated in 1803. A keepers house was built in 1823 with the current keeper’s house dating to 1891. The lighthouse was automated in 1973 and the keeper’s house was transferred to the Army who used it as an officer’s dwelling. The lantern is painted with a distinctive red roof, green rails and decking. The light is visible up to 13 miles with a double red flash every 12 seconds.

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Posted on November 1, 2011, in Fort Monroe, History and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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