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Home > About the Chesapeake > Exploring the Bay > Chesapeake Bay Lighthouses > Lighthouses Today > Thimble Shoal
Thimble Shoal
Year Built:1914
Description:Thimble Shoal"Spark plug" type caisson near Willoughby Spit at the entrance to Hampton Roads Harbor. Red 40 foot tower; lantern room originally housed a 4th order Fresnel lens. Operational; automated in 1964. Fog horn. Owned and maintained by USCG (Coast Guard Group Hampton Roads). Eligible for listing on National Register of Historic Places.
Type of Structure:Cast Iron house atop a cast iron caisson. Has round porthole style windows.
Purpose:Marks channel between tow bars at entrance to Hampton Roads.
Interesting Facts:Nearby are the shards of an old screwpile foundation; rammed several times by passing vessels, in 1909 the oft-repaired screwpile was destroyed by a fire unleashed when a vessel under tow crashed into it.
Photo(s):Thimble Shoal
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