1856: The Inauguration of Jones Point Light in Virginia

May 3, 1856

A newly built lighthouse at Jones Point in Alexandria, Virginia, first went into service. Jones Point Light is located along the Potomac River, just north of where that body of water intersects with Hunting Creek. This lighthouse is a rectangular clapboard building with a circular lantern on its pitched cedar roof.

Jones Point Light was first officially lit by George L. Deeton, who served as its inaugural keeper. Throughout most of its 70 years of operations, this lighthouse was primarily used to help guide ships en route to the Washington Navy Yard in the southeastern section of the nation’s capital.

Jones Point Light’s longest-serving keeper was Benjamin Franklin Greenwood, whose tour of duty there began in 1866. He initially lived at the lighthouse with his wife Julia and their four children. Julia died in 1873, however. Benjamin Greenwood subsequently married Margaret Grover, with whom he had seven more children. He remained keeper at Jones Point Light until his own death in 1906.

The use of this lighthouse was discontinued in 1926, when it was replaced by a steel skeletal tower set up nearby. This tower was decommissioned in 1962 after its role as a navigational aid on that stretch of the Potomac River was essentially taken over by the lights on the recently opened Woodrow Wilson Bridge.

In 1980, Jones Point Light was added to the National Register of Historic Places. This structure is still around today as part of Jones Point Park.

Photo Credit: Public Domain

For more information on Jones Point Light, please check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jones_Point_Light

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