January 12, 1913 Castle Point Lighthouse, located near the village of Castlepoint on the southeastern coast of New Zealand’s North Island, was first officially lit. The 75-foot (23-meter)-tall lighthouse was constructed to help guide and protect vessels sailing in the vicinity of the North Island’s southeastern shoreline, an area that can be dangerous due to local reefs and shallows... Continue Reading →

December 8, 1862 After a few delays, a new lighthouse began operations off the western coast of the island of Guernsey in the English Channel. (Guernsey and several other islands in that vicinity of the channel have long constituted the British Crown dependency known as the Bailiwick of Guernsey.)  That lighthouse is specifically situated on... Continue Reading →

October 1, 1936   The Cape Columbine Lighthouse first went into service on the west coast of the Union of South Africa (predecessor to the present-day Republic of South Africa). That area had long been notorious for the hazards to vessels posed by numerous submerged rocks and reefs in the local waters. Both the lighthouse... Continue Reading →

September 1, 1816 A new lighthouse went into service on the Isle of May, which is approximately five miles (eight kilometers) off the coast of mainland Scotland. This lighthouse replaced one that was a coal-fired beacon built sometime during the 1630s. The original lighthouse was the first navigational aid on Scottish soil to be staffed... Continue Reading →

August 18, 1838 In Connecticut, a contract was awarded for the construction of a new lighthouse on the west side of the mouth of Connecticut River at what is now the town of Old Saybrook. The recipients of this contract were Connecticut residents Jonathan Scranton, a farmer experienced in constructing breakwaters and wharves along the shoreline;... Continue Reading →

July 24, 1991 Work began on the current Vermilion Lighthouse on the shores of Lake Erie in Ohio. The 34-foot (10.4-meter) structure is specifically located at the Inland Seas Maritime Museum in the city of Vermilion and in the vicinity of where the Vermilion River empties into Lake Erie. This version of the Vermilion Lighthouse... Continue Reading →

June 19, 1999 A new lighthouse first went into service at the village of Oluvil on the southeastern coast of Sri Lanka. Oluvil Lighthouse was officially inaugurated by M.H.M Ashraff, Sri Lanka’s minister for port development, rehabilitation, and reconstruction. A cylindrical concrete tower, the 79-foot (24-meter)-tall lighthouse was built as part of the planned development... Continue Reading →

June 1, 1854 The original Alcatraz Island Lighthouse in California’s San Francisco Bay began operations when it was first lit at sunset by head keeper Michael Cassin. The lighthouse was the first active one on the Pacific coast, and it resulted from the urgent need to safely guide the ever-growing number of vessels sailing through the... Continue Reading →

March 31, 1791 U.S. Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton contracted with architect John McComb Jr. to design the first version of Cape Henry Lighthouse on Virginia’s Atlantic shore and at the southern boundary of the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay. (At the time, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Lighthouse Establishment was responsible for all lighthouses in the United... Continue Reading →

March 17, 1817 In the northern region of the present-day Republic of Ireland, a new lighthouse first went into service at the end of a peninsula known as Fanad. (At that time, the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland were merged together as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland; this sovereign state remained... Continue Reading →

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