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Name: Harbor of Refuge Light  

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Also known as: Harbor of Refuge Breakwater Light

Nearest Town or City:
Lewes, Delaware, United States

Location: Lewes Harbor, Delaware Bay.

Click to enlarge: Photo   
Photo: Bob Trapani, Delaware River & Bay LH Foundation
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Managing Organization:
Delaware River & Bay Lighthouse Foundation, Inc.

Telephone: 302-644-7046


The mission of the Delaware River and Bay Lighthouse Foundation Inc. is to preserve and restore the lighthouses of the Delaware River and Bay. The group has been restoring this lighthouse and has provided educational tours for the general public. In September 2004 ownership of the lighthouse was transferred to the Delaware River and Bay Lighthouse Foundation under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000.

Tower Height: 76

Height of Focal Plane: 72

Characteristic and Range: White flash every 5 seconds.

Description of Tower: White, conical cast iron tower topped by a black lantern.

This light is operational

Earlier Towers?
1902: 30-foot white wooden tower. 1908: White, hexagonal, three-story (52-foot) frame structure, with lead colored trim and a black lantern atop a brown, cylindrical, iron foundation.

Date Established: 1902

Date Present Tower Built: 1926

Date Automated: 1973

Optics: 1926: Fourth order Fresnel lens, now solar powered VRB-25. (DCB-36 used 1940s-1997 is on display in the lighthouse.)

Current Use: Active aid to navigation.

Open To Public? Special tours only.

The Delaware River & Bay Lighthouse Foundation is offering periodic tours; visit their website at for schedules and information. The lighthouse is also visible from the Cape May-Lewes Ferry. Ava Boczko-Pan writes in October 2002: "A better view can be found from the state park (Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes, Delaware) down the road from the ferry terminal. After a nice walk on the beach we got a closer view of both (Delaware Breakwater East End Light and Harbor of Refuge Light). Probably best seen at sunset for maximum impact, or during a clear morning with the sun behind you."

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places


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