Cornfield Point Lightship Station History


BUILT AT: Wilmington (DE)


CONTRACT PRICE: $49,999.58

BUILDER: Pusey & Jones Co.


DESIGN: Iron hull; 2 masts, each with lattice daymark surmounted with ball; stack ahead of mainmast; 2 boilers 40"dia x 136" long; steam auxiliary machinery

LENGTH: 115'6" (loa); BEAM: 25'; DRAFT: 10'6" (depth); TONNAGE: 197 gross measurement

PROPULSION: Sail-schooner rig, fore and main carried on Spencer masts

ILLUMINATING APPARATUS: 2 lanterns, each with 8 oil lamps and reflectors

FOG SIGNAL: 12" steam whistle; hand operated 1000 lb bell

-First US lightship designed and built with an unsheathed, all-metal hull
-Because of evidence of corrosion, vessel was painted annually until about 1890 and thereafter at 2 year intervals. Many different paints were experimented with including red and white lead mixed, "germicide" paint, Williams submarine anti- corrosive, and antifouling bottom paint; all these being mixed in some cases.
-Boilers were perennial problem; complete replacement 3 times between 18821899
-189?: Daymark removed from mainmast
-1910: Equipped with submarine bell signal.
-1912: Both masts replaced with steel skeleton towers; larger stack installed; converted from oil to acetylene lens lanterns; fog signal changed to steam siren
-1919: Equipped with radio
-1927: Fog signal changed to air siren
-1931: Fitted with electric lens lanterns

1882-1926: Northeast End (NJ)
1926-1938: Cornfield Point (CT)

(1882: Positioned 9 1/4 mi NNE of Five Fathom Bank lightship station)
(1894: Position moved 2 mi E 1/2 S in 84 ft)

-1882: Jun 1, placed on Northeast End (NJ)
-1883: Jun 14, parted chain while sighting the anchor, losing anchor and chain
-1884: May 10-Jun 24 relieved for repair after 2 years on station. Pitted plates
and corroded rivets indicated need for annual painting. "Cost of taking her from
station so frequently.. . having a relief lightship during her absence... and rapid
deterioration of the iron raise question as to the wisdom of building more iron
lightships without (wood) sheathing"
-1889: Aug 8-Sep 18, relieved for painting and boiler repairs (by LV 24)
-1890: Sep, both boilers failed, whistle disabled, bell used for fog signal
-1890: Dec 10-Feb 15 1891, withdrawn for installation of new boilers and
repainting; initially replaced by whistle buoy, then schooner 5.5. HUDSON
placed on station as temporary lightship
-1893: May 3-Jun 13, relieved (by LV 37) for boiler repairs and repainting
-1894: Jul 25-Aug 5, relieved by whistle buoy for repainting
-1894: Sep 1, position moved 2 mi E 1/2 5 in 84 ft
-1895: Jul 29-Aug 15, withdrawn for painting; whistle buoy substituted
-1896: Jul 20-?, withdrawn for repair, painting & installation of new stack
-1897: Jul 15-?, withdrawn for installation of automatic steam whistle

More notes: LV 44
-1899: Aug 1-Sep 28, relieved (by LV 16) for boiler repairs and installation

of 2 new masts
-1901: Aug 24-Oct 3, relieved (by LV 11) for boiler repairs and repainting
-1904: May 8-Jun 24, relieved (by LV 16) for repairs
-1906: Aug, relieved (by LV 16) for repairs
-1918: Aug 14, crew placed lantern in rigging of 5 masted schooner sunk nearby
-1926: Placed on Cornfield Point (CT)
-1936: During severe winter storms, dragged off station by moving ice on 4
occasions; ice from 4 to 15 inches thick collected on the vessel in one storm
-1938: Badly strained during hurricane, and withdrawn for retirement
-This was the last lightship in service without propelling machinery, except for
the radio controlled LV 75 on the Great Lakes

AGE: 56


1881-1884: Josiah C Falkinburg, Asst Keeper
1884-1915: Josiah C Falkinburg, Master
1893-1897: Horatiow C Pierson, Mate
1897-1915: Ingvald Pedersen, Mate
1915-1922: Ingvald Pedersen, Master
1915-1920: John Carr, Mate
1920-1921: Charles Peterson, Mate
1921-1922: Andrew Tarr, Mate
1922-1924: Martin Berg, Master
1923 -1924: Peter Shea, Mate
1924: Alfred K Haynes, Mate
1924-1925: Alfred M Haynes, Master
1925: Carl Lindberg, Mate
1925-1929: Hugh Donovan, Master
1936-1937: Justin C. Luick, Mate
1938-1938: George W Oat, Mate

picture of a female warrior on a winged horse Back to Cornfield Point Lightship Station History

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Revised: 10/23/06.