Location & historical notes: Virginia, in the lower Chesapeake Bay, in the Elizabeth River off Craney Island opposite the port of Norfolk, marking the west side of Craney Island Beach.  Served as a guide in the approach to Norfolk and Portsmouth harbors.  The station was replaced by the Craney Island Lighthouse.

Lightships assigned:

1820-1859: "C" (The only lightship to occupy this station).

Funds appropriated: 1819; contract awarded Sept 2, 1819
Built: 1819 by James Poole, Hampton VA
Tonnage: 70; wood hull, copper fastened and sheathed
Stations: 1820: Willoughby's Spit (VA)
1821-1859: Craney Island (VA)
Notes: The first U.S. lightship. Placed at the northern extremity of Willoughby Bank, a shoal making out from Willoughby's Spit, however the vessel was unable to endure sea conditions at this location and was shortly moved to a position off Craney Island in the Elizabeth River off the port of Norfolk.

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Revised: 10/23/06.