Cape Henry Lighthouse

 I love history, not only do you learn about the place your at, the people who are living there, have lived there, but also where they came from.. the trials that they endured to make the place stand as it is today.  

Since we moved to Virginia, I have desired to located such places as this, to see and learn more from these just great places then what I have read and what I was instructed growing up through history books and classes. 

Today we headed out to a location filled with unique history called the Cape Henry Lighthouse. Now, you would look at the old lighthouse and not really give it much mind however, when you learn the age, when it was constructed, those involved and all the interesting mix that made it happen.. 

You fall for the wonders of this simple "BUT" complex lighthouse. 

Cape Henry Lighthouse

During Covid the tours of this little wonder was shut down however, I am happy to say that with the instructions and mandates changing.. they are finally opening up this tour and we can gain access to this site once more. 



The lighthouse is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m


583 Atlantic Avenue
Fort Story, Virginia 23459

 General admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, military and AAA members, $8 for students and free for children under 42 inches tall. General admission includes access to the lighthouse’s new “visitor plaza” and the lighthouse tower. 

When we arrived and reached the first landing to the opening of the tower access point, we were met by one of the many different volunteers that gave a "vocal" history of this lighthouse. Now.. I will tell you, when someone can spin  the history of a place with full knowledge and respect for where they are working at.. it gives you a sense like you are there or you can see it come together and it just feels more real to you.

 There are story boards posted around the lighthouse giving you information about the when's, why's and what fore's, of this location so.. you can spend your times looking at documents, snap shots of blueprints and such why waiting for your time to climb the lighthouse. 

Fun and Interesting Facts:

The Cape Henry Lighthouse was the very 1st Federally Funded Project approved by the United States and Congress, it was authorized by George Washington and overseen by Alexander Hamilton.  It also was the first project that went over budget due to location and needing to dig a deeper foundation to stabilize the ground that the lighthouse stands on.  

The lighthouse was built in  1792 and is still standing to this very day, though no longer a working lighthouse, it was replaced with the New Cape Henry Lighthouse in 1881. 

The "New" Cape Henry Lighthouse is not open for tours to the public, it is still a working lighthouse and is operated by machinery now, no longer needing a family to maintain the daily operations anymore. 

These lighthouses are located aboard Joint Expeditionary Base Fort Story so, there are specific guidelines, requirements to gain access to this location, please call the base for specifics to come visit this location. 

Henry and I .. well I wanted to climb to the observation gallery at the top of the lighthouse, I wanted to see the view and actually go inside this place.. see what those who worked on this lighthouse had to do every night, every storm, every major event to keep the shore line visible to sailors and ship traffic to make it safe out to see and home again.. so, we climbed! 

total count of stairs up and down is over 348 steps.. straight up in a spiral.. if you have lower back, knee, hip or ankle issues.. this is "NOT" a climb for you. I have pins and plates in my lower right leg, I can not feel the right side of my lower leg and the complete right side of my foot due to a serious injury nearly 20 years ago. This climb was difficult, though I pushed through it.. I still made it and I paid for it later when I got home. 

The history of the area is bountiful, the view was wonderful.. the amazement that a structure that is over 200 years old, took great understanding of placement, structure integrity to withstand storms, time and well human abuse is still standing all this time. Let history show that tenacity of the human spirit is truly amazing and you can create and do great things if so desired! 

Well.. it was a very long day.. my legs are so heavy from the climb and need much icy hot put on them to make it through the next day or so.. recovery is defiantly on the plan. 

Thanks for the drive by.. hope you all come back soon!



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