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Pages Rock, VA  Lighthouse destroyed.   

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Pages Rock Lighthouse

1883 — Page’s Rock, in York River, about five miles from Yorktown, Virginia.— The recommendation that a light be established at this point is renewed, as it is believed that the large and rapidly increasing commerce of this river is entitled to that assistance and additional security. It can be done for $25,000 at this time.

1884 — Page's Rock, York River, about five miles from Yorktown, Va.—The following remarks taken from the last annual report are repeated: “The recommendation that a light be established at this point is renewed, as it is believed that the large and rapidly increasing commerce of this river is entitled to that assistance and additional security. It can be done for $25,000 at this time.”

1885 — Page's Rock, York River, about 5 miles from Yorktown, Virginia.— The recommendation in previous reports for a light at this point is renewed. The large and increasing commerce of York River renders the improvement a necessity. The combination of railroads centering at West Point, at the head of the river, comprises more than 1,000 miles of road, and lines of steamers run at frequent intervals to Baltimore and Northern ports. A proper light-house can be built here for $25,000.

1887 — Page's Rock, York River, about 5 miles from Yorktown, Virginia.— The following recommendation, made in the Board’s annual report for 1885, is repeated: The recommendation in previous reports for a light at this point is renewed. The large and increasing commerce of York River renders the improvement a necessity. The combination of railroads centering at West Point, at the head of the river, comprises more than 1,000 miles of road, and lines of steamers run at frequent intervals to Baltimore and northern ports. A proper light-house can be built here for $25,000.

1888 — Page's Rock, about five miles from Yorktown, York River, Virginia. The following recommendation made in the Board’s annual report of 1885, is repeated: The recommendation in previous reports for a light at this point is renewed. The large and increasing commerce of York River renders the improvement a necessity. The combination of railroads centering at West Point, at the head of the river, comprises more than 1,000 miles of road, and lines of steamers run at frequent intervals to Baltimore and northern ports. A proper light-house can he built here for $25,000.

1889 — WestPoint Cut,—Page's Rock beacon, York River, Virginia.—Applications were made by agents and managers of steam-ship lines running to West Point, Va., that a light be placed near Page's Rock and the lower entrance to the cut above Bell's Rock leading to wharves at West Point. These are dangerous and difficult points in the navigation of York River and should be marked in a better manner than they now are. It is therefore proposed to place an eight-day lantern on the beacon near Page's Rock and to erect a stake-light at the lower entrance to the cut. It is estimated that the cost of establishing the two lights will not be more than $50, and it is recommended that this amount be appropriated therefor.

1889 — Page's Rock; York River, Virginia.—The following recommendations made in the Board’s annual reports for the last four years is renewed: The large and increasing commerce of York River renders the improvement a necessity. The combination of railroads centering at West Point, at the head of the river, comprises more than 1,000 miles of road, and lines of steamers run at frequent intervals to Baltimore and northern ports. A proper light-house can be built here for $25,000. It is recommended that an appropriation of this amount be made therefor.

1890 — Page's Rock; York River, Virginia.—The following recommendations made in the Board’s annual reports for the last four years is renewed: The large and increasing commerce of York River renders the improvement a necessity. The combination of railroads centering at West Point, at the head of the river, comprises more than 1,000 miles of road, and lines of steamers run at frequent intervals to Baltimore and northern ports. A proper light-house can be built here for $25,000. It is recommended that an appropriation of this amount be made therefor.

1891 — Pages Rock, York River, about 5 miles from Yorktown, Virginia.—An appropriation of $25,000 was made by the act approved March 3, 1891, to establish this light-station. Borings to ascertain the character of the shoal were made at the proposed site in June.

1892 – Pages Rock, York River, about 5 miles from Yorktown, Virginia.— An appropriation for this work was made by the act approved March 3, 1891. Borings were made at the site during the following summer and again in December, 1891, to ascertain accurately the character of the shoal. This was done to determine the proper structure for the site. The result showed that the foundation was not sufficiently firm to uphold a light-house on screw piles. It therefore became necessary to adopt a structure depending for support upon wooden piles, which could be driven to a hard bearing at a point deeper than the screw piles could be made to penetrate economically. Accordingly, in the spring of 1892, drawings and specifications were made and bids for furnishing the metal work were asked. The lowest bid, $4,875, was accepted and the contracts were made. A deed for the site was secured from the State of Virginia. No unnecessary delay will be made in doing the work

1893 – Pages Rock, York River. Virginia.—The metalwork of this light house was delivered by the contractors in November, too late in the season to undertake the erection of the house. Little was done toward the completion of the superstructure before June. It is expected that the latter will be completed early in July, and that work at the site will be commenced before August 1.

1894 – Pages Rock, York River, Virginia.—At the date of the last annual report the metal work of this light-house, consisting mainly of the iron substructure, was finished by the contractors and was stored at the light-house depot, at Baltimore, awaiting the completion of the wooden superstructure. This was soon ready, and on July 21 it had been loaded on scows, together with the metal work and all the apparatus and materials for the erection of the light house. The lighthouse tenders JessamineThistle towed the scows and transported the working party. A platform was built from which the work of erection could be carried on, which involved the driving and capping of 81 piles, besides the laying of the necessary deck planks. The engine, boiler, and pile-driver were placed on the platform, and one of the wooden foundation piles of the light-house was driven and fitted with the cast iron sleeve column forming one of the supports of the structure. The driving of the other 6 foundation piles was completed on August 2, and the iron sleeve columns, braces, sockets, and radial and perimeter beams were put in place, after which the erection of the superstructure was commenced. Work on the latter was pushed rapidly forward, and it was finished, with the exception of the painting; the lantern was set; the boat davits, the hoisting apparatus, and the fog-bell machine were put in position, and everything was made ready for the reception of the lens by August 29. The working platform was then removed, several of the piles being left standing above the water to afford protection against any movement of the ice upon the structure that might occur during the ensuing winter. The working party returned to Baltimore, except two men who were left to finish the painting and await the arrival of the lens apparatus and the keepers. On September 30 the light was formally exhibited for the benefit of mariners.
The new light house is hexagonal in plan, supported by steel beams on seven hollow cast-iron columns, which in turn rest on and envelop the same number of pine piles driven firmly into the shoal. These sleeve columns are 27 feet 9 inches in length, of an interior diameter at the lower end of 16 inches and narrowing to 4 inches at the top. The thickness of metal at either end is 1 ˝ inches, increasing to 2 inches in the intermediate part which extends from low-water level to just above the sockets which receive the braces. This is the area subject to the greatest strain. The columns penetrate 6 feet below the surface of the shoal, and are rigidly secured above high-water line by a system of diagonal and horizontal braces. The light is fixed white of the fourth order. During thick and foggy weather a bell is struck by machinery every 15 seconds.

1899 – Pages Rock, York River, Virginia.—New model fourth-order lamps were installed in October. Minor repairs were made.

1912 – Eugene S. Riley, assistant keeper, Jan. 5 1912, rescued captain from barge Comet which was drifting by station in a sinking condition.

1917 – In August, Assistant Keeper Frank L. Dixon was transferred to mate of Relief Light Vessel 49.

1960 – Pages Rock Lighthouse was automated.

1967 – Pages Rock Lighthouse was dismantled, and an automated light set atop a skeletal tower mounted on the screwpile foundation took its place.

2014 – Coast Guard published its intention to remove the structure marking Pages Rock: “Due to structural failure of Pages Rock Warning Daybeacon A (LL 13875) the Coast Guard can no longer safely access it for maintenance and is soliciting comments on discontinuing it.”

2015 – The Coast Guard removed the screwpile foundation at Pages Rock.

Keepers:

  • Head: Charles B. Bohannon (1893 – 1901), Claudious Sutton (1902 – 1931), John F. Riley (1931 – 1936), Frank R. Lewis (at least 1939 – at least 1940).
  • First Assistant: Richard W. Marchant (1893 – 1897), Claudious Sutton (1898 – 1901), Solomon P. Forbes (1901), Wilkes Bohaman (1901), Paul A. Boerschel (1901), Edward Oliver (1902), Temple Ripley (1902 – 1905), George Prichard (1905), James E. Oliver (1905 – 1908), Eugene S. Riley (1908 – 1913), Joseph T. Oliver (1913 – 1914), Harry O. Monsell (at least 1915), Eugene S. Riley (1915 – 1916), Frank L. Dixon (1916 – 1917), James A. Dudley (1917 – at least 1921), James A. Lupton (1922 – at least 1926), John F. Riley (1929 – 1931), Nelson H. Lewis (1931 – ), William A. Gibbs (1933 – 1936), Aubrey B. Hudgins, Jr. (at least 1939 – 1942), Joseph T. Oliver (1942 – 1943).
  • Second Assistant: J.A. Dudley (at least 1926), John F. Riley (1927 – 1929), Nelson H. Lewis (1930 – 1931), Bertman Parks (at least 1935 – at least 1937).

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