1886-1925

Location & historical notes: Connecticut, moored in 42 feet of water off Ram Island Reef in Fishers Island Sound, south of the town of Mystic.  Located 1.9 miles and 267 degrees from Latimer Reef Lighthouse.

Lightships assigned:

1886-1894: LV-19

YEAR BUILT: 1845

BUILT AT: New York (NY)

BUILDER: Henry Eckford

APPROPRIATION: $20,000
(Approp. Mar 3, 1823 "for 2 lt-vessels for Delaware Bay")

CONTRACT PRICE: ?

SISTER VESSELS: None

DESIGN: Wood - white oak framed and planked; double ended hull with bowsprit; 2 masts, oval day marks at both mastheads

LENGTH: 85' (lbp), BEAM: 25', DRAFT: 9', TONNAGE: 150 (enlarged twice)

PROPULSION: Sail

ILLUMINATING APPARATUS: 1 lamp, 12 cylindrical wicks

FOG SIGNAL: 900 lb bell, hand operated


CONSTRUCTION NOTES - MODIFICATIONS - EQUIPMENT CHANGES & IMPROVEMENTS: LV 19-

Records are not conclusive on early history of this vessel. It appears that she may have been first built at 120 tons as lightship "X" in 1823; rebuilt and enlarged to 130 tons in 1845 which was very probably a rebuild of lightship "X"; then rebuilt in 1854, and again rebuilt and enlarged to 150 tons in 1876 at Wilmington DE at a cost of $11,000-
1848: Second lamp added with 12 cylindrical wicks-
1868: Lamps converted to reflector type-
Extensive repairs 1860,1863, 1868

STATION ASSIGNMENTS: LV 19

1845-1875: Cross Ledge (Upper Middle) (DE)
1876-1886: Fourteen Foot Hank (DE)
1886-1894: Ram Island Reef (CT)
1894-1900: Relief (CT) - laid up at New London during entire period

(Prior to 1867 when No. 19 was assigned, official records identify this vessel
as "Upper Middle", "Upper Middle No. 2", and/or "Cross Ledge")
(Cross Ledge station discontinued Dec 8, 1875)
(Four-teen Foot Bank station established Aug 22, 1876)


HISTORICAL NOTES: LV 19-
1875: Dec 9, Withdrawn from Cross Ledge; station discontinued when Cross Ledge Lighthouse activated-
1875: Oct 29, Mate and 2 crewmembers drowned during passage in liberty boat from Little Creek Landing (DE) to the lightship-
1875: During service in Delaware Bay, nearly every winter moving ice caused
LV 19 to be either driven off or withdrawn from station for several months at a time "such absence of light is a great Injury to commerce"-
1876: Aug 22, reassigned and placed on Fourteen Foot Bank (DE)
1886: Dec 1, removed from Fourteen Foot Bank, transferred to 3d District-
1886: Dec "9 stationed on Ram Island Reef (CT)-
1894: Dec 8, "permanently" removed from Ram Island Reef & assigned Relief status-
1895 "Rotten" and "weak and worn in every part"; "unfit for economic 1 repair-
1896, 97: "occupies needed space" and "only in the way" at New London dock

More notes


RETIRED FROM LIGHTSHIP DUTY: 1894 AGE: 49?
SUBSEQUENT DISPOSITION:-
Turned over to Navy Department Oct 31 1900 for use as target ship

COMMANDING OFFICERS: LV 19

1893-1895: Nicolas Nelson, Mate

1894-1925: LV-23

 

LV-23 on the Ram Island Reef Lightship Station, circa 1882-92.  Note the lighthouse tender to port.
Photo provided courtesy of Jim Streeter.

YEAR BUILT: 1857

BUILT AT: Dorchester County (MD)

BUILDER: Unknown

APPROPRIATION: None

CONTRACT PRICE: $7,500 (repairs to former brig) (Used current operating funds of Lighthouse Establishment)

SISTER VESSELS: None

DESIGN: Wood- oak & yellow pine, 10 iron knees on each side; bowsprit; 2 masts, daymarks at both mastheads - (Documented as the schooner A.J.W. APPLEGARTH, acquired by the US in 1862 and converted for use as lightship)

LENGTH: 94'6" (lbp), BEAM: 24'11, DRAFT: 96",TONNAGE: 186 gross, (203 tons as built)

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

ILLUMINATING APPARATUS: 2 lanterns, each with 8 oil lamps

FOG SIGNAL: Hand operated 667 lb bell

CONSTRUCTION NOTES - MODIFICATIONS - EQUIPMENT CHANGES & IMPROVEMENTS: LV 23-

1862: Ex-schooner converted to lightship use- $7,500 for wages and materials-
1873: "Thoroughly repaired and refitted" at Norfolk VA. - $1,800-
1874: General overhaul-$5,437, prior to transfer to 3d District-
1876: Hauled and recaulked-
1880: Hauled at Greenport (NY), stern repaired, planking replaced, recaulked,
running rigging replaced-
1882: Rebuilt - $12,281.04-
1895: May 15-Jun 14, repair and refit-
1901: Jun-Aug, fitted with new masts and spars, sheathing repaired-
1918: Equipped with 10" air fog whistle and associated machinery-
1919: Equipped with radio; discontinued Aug 19, same year-
1923: Fog signal changed back to bell, illuminant changed to acetylene

STATION ASSIGNMENTS: LV 23
1862-1868: Smith Point (VA)
1868-1872: Willoughby Spit (VA)
1872-1874: Relief (VA)
1874-1876: Wreck of Scotland (NJ)
1876-1882: Relief (3d District)
1882-1892: Cornfield Point (CT)
1892-1894: Relief (CT)
1894-1925: Ram Island Reef (CT)

(Ram Island Reef station discontinued Apr 4, 1925; replaced with lighted bell buoy - light operated by acetylene; bell mechanically operated by carbon dioxide gas)
(Prior to 1867 when No. 23 was assigned, official records identify this vessel as "Smith Point")

HISTORICAL NOTES: LV 23-

1862: Mar, placed on Smith Point (VA) replacing vessel sunk by "insurgents";
"a competent military guard has been detailed for duty" aboard the lightship-
1867: Jan 19, caught in moving ice, slipped chain and drifted for 2 days; towed
to Great Wicomico (VA); returned to station Feb 23-
1868: Withdrawn when Smith Point Lighthouse completed-
1868: Placed on Willoughby Spit (VA)-
1872: Withdrawn when Thimble Shoal Lighthouse completed. Reported as "the only
lightship in the 5th District"-
1874: Sep 10, Placed on Wreck of Scotland (NJ)-
1876: "now at Staten Island (NY)"; "is used for a Relief vessel"-
1878: "now at New London (CT) as a Relief-ship"-
1882: Sep 6, placed on Cornfield Point (CT)-
1889: Appropriation requested for replacement vessel; $70,000 approved 1890-
1891: Mar 19, in collision with scow under tow; withdrawn and returned May 27-
1892: Dec 15, replaced by new LV 51; LV 23 assigned Relief duty-
1894: Dec 8, placed on Rain Island Reef (CT)-
1904: Feb 23-26, withdrawn to avoid moving ice fields-
1925: Apr 4, Ram Island Reef station discontinued and replaced with LEE

More notes:

RETIRED FROM LIGHTSHIP DUTY: 1925 AGE: 68
SUBSEQUENT DISPOSITION: Annual Report FY 1924-25 states "surveyed and condemned, to be sold". No later reference to the vessel was found.

COMMANDING OFFICERS: LV 23

1896 (2 mo.): Wainwright B Cummings, Mate

?-1913: John S Gunderson, Mate
1913: Hugh Donovan, Mate
1913-1914: N D Hooper, Mate
1914-1917: James Quirk Mate
1917-1921: John Holmes, Mate
1921-1923: Arthur Daunt, Mate
1923: Christofore Lasdine, Mate
1923-1924: Alfred M Haynes, Mate

To Lightship Stations and the Ships that Served on them.

Copyright 2004  United States Coast Guard Lightship Sailors Association INC. All rights reserved. Copyrights also protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998
Revised: 10/23/06.