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Schooner Ledge Range, PA  Lighthouse destroyed.   

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Schooner Ledge Range Lighthouse

1879 – Schooner Ledge Range-lights, Delaware River.—Schooner Ledge is a rocky reef in the river, about 2 miles below Chester. The 24-foot channel at this point is only about 100 feet wide. Sites have been selected and approved for range-lights through it. The United States attorney of the eastern district of Pennsylvania is now examining the titles with a view to their purchase. The designs for the structures, consisting of an iron-pile structure for the front light, an iron tower 100 feet high and a keeper's dwelling for the rear light, have been forwarded to the Board for approval. It is probable that the delay in procuring title and making drawings in detail, that the Board may advertise for proposals for the erection of the structures, will prevent the letting of contracts during the present season. It is proposed to commence early in the coming spring. The estimated cost of sites and structures is $26,000.

1880 – Schooner Ledge Range beacons (front and rear), Delaware River, Pennsylvania.—The deeds and title papers for the purchase of sites for these lights having been approved by the honorable the Attorney-General, advertisements for proposals for the construction of the front beacon, and keeper's dwelling, rear beacon, and for the iron tower for the rear beacon were issued, and the bids were opened on the 22d of April. Contracts were made with Thomas Leeming for the erection of the frame houses, and with the Phoenix Iron Company, of Trenton, N. J., for the iron tower for the rear light. Both contractors are at work, and the buildings are progressing favorably.

1881 – Schooner Ledge Range-beacon (rear), in Derby Creek Valley, Pennsylvania.—This station was completed on December 14, 1880, and was then occupied by the light-keeper. In accordance with Notice to Mariners, No. 46, of 1880, the light was exhibited for the first time on December 15, 1880. After its completion the site was fenced.

1881 – Schooner Ledge Range-beacon (front), near the mouth of Crum Creek; Delaware Hirer, Pennsylvania.—This station was completed on December 15, 1880, and occupied by the light-keeper on that date. In accordance with Notice to Mariners, No. 46 of 1880, the light was exhibited for the first time on December 15, 1880. Since its completion, the bank around the site received extensive repairs, and was faced with stone to protect it from the action of the sea.

1882 – Schooner Ledge Range beacon (front), Delaware River, Pennsylvania.—The back bank along Crum Creek was raised, repaired, and faced with banking stone. The front bank and the side banks along Crum Creek were raised, and the bank along the northeast side of the station repaired. The position of the chimney was changed. The northeast bank should be protected by facing it with stone. A large quantity of banking stone will be required for this bank, it being exposed to the action of the sea, as the marshes adjoining, formerly banked in, are now thrown open to the tide and covered at high water, during the prevalence of northerly winds. The abrasion of this bank goes on quite rapidly. It is proposed to erect a screen, showing horizontal stripes, on each side of and as high as the lantern, to make the structure more conspicuous as a day-mark.

1883 – Schooner Ledge Range-Beacon, (front,) Delaware River, Pennsylvania.—An open lattice-work, painted white, with a conical-shaped summit, formed by a stanchion on each side of the lantern, 15 feet above it, extreme height 20 feet, was placed over the top of the lantern as a day-mark. This site is on a low piece of marsh land, some 3 feet below the level of ordinary high water. Since the establishment of this station, the necessity for keeping the banks enclosing it in repair has been a constant source of expense. Now a permanent improvement to the station has been made by filling in under and around the structure, the bank in front was raised about 2 feet 6 inches, and an area of 50 feet by 75 feet was filled in under and around the structure to the same height as the bank. It is proposed to have the area filled in, enlarged to about double the present size, and then sodded.

1883 – Schooner Ledge Range-Beacon, (rear,) Delaware River, Pennsylvania.—The boundaries of the site were marked with stone monuments, the dwelling was painted inside and out, the iron tower was painted on the outside, and various minor repairs were made.

1888 – Schooner Ledge range-beacon (front), near mouth of Crum Creek, Delaware River, Pennsylvania.—A breach in the banks inclosing the reservation was repaired and the banks were strengthened. The wire stays of the day-mark were renewed, and minor repairs were made.

1891 – Schooner Ledge Range (rear), in Derby Creek Valley, Pennsylvania.—A frame kitchen addition was built to the dwelling, the repairs to the floor and the steps of the tower were completed, and the stable was rebuilt.

1891 – Schooner Ledge Range (front), mouth of Crum Creek, Pennsylvania.—The outside kitchen was connected to the dwelling, and a boathouse was built. The stone wall on the river was taken down and rebuilt for a length of 200 feet.

1892 – Schooner Ledge, front range, Delaware River, Pennsylvania.— The side and rear protecting walls were rebuilt and pointed on the inside and the site was filled in and brought to a uniform grade. A new drain was laid.

1894 – Schooner Ledge range, front, mouth of Crum Creek, Delaware River, Pennsylvania.—The sea wall and banks were rebuilt and enlarged and various minor repairs were made. The frame lattice work day mark was removed from the top of the dwelling and a mast, with a hoop-iron cage, erected in the rear of the dwelling and showing above its roof, was substituted.

1895 – Schooner Ledge range (rear), Delaware River, Pennsylvania.— A new boundary fence was built and various repairs were made.

1895 – Schooner Ledge range (front), Delaware River, Pennsylvania.— Further repairs were made to the sea wall, a concrete protection was placed around the dwelling, the site was partly filled in, a new cistern and new boat davits were furnished, and minor repairs were made. The characteristic of the light was changed about October 30,1894, from fixed white to fixed white during periods of 2 seconds' duration, separated by eclipses of 1 second's duration.

1897 – Schooner Ledge Range (front), Delaware River, Pennsylvania.— The dwelling was sheathed and strengthened. The river dike was extended. An elevated foot walk, 478 feet long, was built to connect the station with the shore.

1897 – Schooner Ledge Range (rear), Delaware River, Pennsylvania.—The dwelling was thoroughly repaired. The oil was moved into a rough detached shed which will be used until a fireproof structure can be built. Foot walks were built above the flood level. The entrance road was raised and graded.

1898 – Schooner Ledge Range (front), Delaware River, Pennsylvania.— About 600 cubic yards of stone was purchased and used in revetting the old east bank. The water tank was raised about 2 feet, and the pipes were rearranged so as to deliver water in the kitchen without pumping.

1898 – Schooner Ledge Range (rear), Delaware River, Pennsylvania.— A detached brick oil house was built. A brick partition was put in the cistern, and the pump pipes were rearranged so as to take water from either compartment.

1899 – Schooner Ledge range (front), Delaware River, Pennsylvania.— The roof of the light-house was repaired and painted. A copper-ribbon lightning conductor, extending to the pinnacle of the lantern, was erected. Various repairs were made.

1899 – Schooner Ledge range (rear), Delaware River, Pennsylvania.—A topographical survey of the station was made. Various repairs were made.

1900 – Schooner Ledge range (rear), Delaware River, Pennsylvania.—A topographical survey and a map of the station was made. The grounds about the tower, dwelling, and barn were filled in, the slopes sodded, and the flat surfaces were reseeded. The drains were altered to correspond to the new ground surface, and the road leading to the front entrance of the reservation was partly graded. Various minor repairs were made.

1901 – Schooner Ledge range, front, Delaware River, Pennsylvania.— A survey of the station and the right of way along Darby Creek was made and the plotting of a map begun. The front of the day mark, the lantern, the lantern tower, and a vertical strip on the front of the light-house below the tower were painted a solid black, and the remainder of the front of the light-house was painted a solid white. Plans and specifications were prepared and a contract was made for building an elevated walk along the creek bank on the right of way to the station. Various repairs were made.

1901 – Schooner Ledge rear range, Delaware River, Pennsylvania.— The tower was repainted black and two slatted frames were added, one on each side, just underneath the lantern. Brick retaining walls laid in cement mortar, were built about the barn entrance inclines. The road from the boundary to the barn was graded and surfaced with crushed stone. The position of the front entrance gates was changed to correspond to the new location of the road.

1902 – Schooner Ledge Front, Delaware River, Pennsylvania.—A new headlight stand, two new headlight lamps, and an occulating curtain were furnished and installed. The parabolic headlight reflector was resilvered. One iron wire weight cord and two fourth-order burner caps were furnished. Contract was made for building the elevated board walk 784 feet along the bank of Crum Creek on a pile foundation. The docking, joists, and pile caps were treated with carbolineum avenarius. Two slatted frames, each measuring 8 feet by 12 feet and painted white, were erected at the sides of the light-house so as to make it more conspicuous as a day mark. The right rear corner of the light-house kitchen was jacked up and placed upon a new stone underpinning. The last survey of the station was plotted, and tracings of the map made.

1902 – Schooner Ledge Rear, Delaware River, Pennsylvania.—The purchase of a new right of way from the Tinicum Island road to the site was negotiated. The act approved on June 28, 1902. appropriated $200 to pay for this right of way. Various repairs were made.

1903 – Schooner Ledge range rear, Delaware River, Pennsylvania.— The headlight reflector was replaced with a range lens and one constant level lamp was remodeled. A deed for the new right of way was recorded. Repairs were made.

1907 – Schooner Ledge Range front, Delaware River, Pennsylvania.— Joint report of March 19, 1907, was submitted to the Board, recommending that this light be moved to the eastward of present position. Brick and sand necessary for paving the area around the light-house inclosed by the sea wall were purchased. Various repairs were made.

1907 – Schooner Ledge Range, Delaware River, Pennsylvania.— The Board considers that these lights should be moved to the eastward of present position to one parallel to and 350 feet distant from the present range. This will involve moving both front and rear lights, but not beyond the limits of the present reservations. This removal is due to a change in position of the dredged channel of the Delaware River recently made by the War Department. It is estimated that these changes can be made at a cost not to exceed $10,650, and the Board recommends that an appropriation of this amount be made therefor.

1909 – Schooner Ledge range, Pennsylvania.—These lights were each moved 250 feet SSE. ? E. from their former positions. The skeleton iron tower, about 100 feet high, from which the rear light is exhibited, was moved intact to the new concrete foundation. The new wooden tower, from which the front light is exhibited, in progress of erection at the end of last year, was completed.

1910 – Isolated oil houses were erected at the following-named stations during the fiscal year 1910 from the appropriation "Oil houses for light-stations." Front Range.

1916 – The act of June 28, 1916, authorized the Secretary of Commerce to exchange the land now occupied by the Schooner Ledge Range Front Light Station at the mouth of Crum Creek, Pa., for other lands adjacent thereto, and authorized the removal of the present station after certain conditions have been complied with.

1918 - Chester Range Lights, established on April 10,1918, took over the function of Schooner Ledge Range.

1919 – Tower dismantled and put on cars for rail shipment. $2,185.


  • Front: Charles Stewart (1880 – 1881), Martin D. Short (1881 – 1883), Joseph S. Hall (1883 – 1891), Joseph Butler (1892 – 1904), Edward F. Sutton (1904 – at least 1917).
  • Rear: William McCall (1880 – 1891), Joseph S. Hall (1891 – 1904), Joseph Butler (1904 – 1909), Edith M. Butler (1909), Walter Steller (1909 – at least 1915).

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