Cape Henlopen Light
|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (August 2010)|
|Location||Cape Henlopen, Delaware|
|Year first constructed||1767|
|Year first lit||1769|
|Deactivated||1924; tower collapsed due to erosion in 1926|
|Original lens||First order Fresnel lens|
|Characteristic||Flashing white with red sector|
Cape Henlopen Light was a lighthouse near Lewes, in present day Cape Henlopen State Park, Delaware, United States. The lighthouse was on the north side of the Great Dune on Cape Henlopen, Delaware. It was the sixth lighthouse built in the colonies.
Cape Henlopen Lighthouse was constructed on the north side of the Great Dune to obtain additional height. It was completed in 1767 and first lit in 1769. In 1777, during the American Revolution, the lighthouse was almost completely destroyed by the British. The wardens repaired the damage and it was relit by 1784. In 1897, the sand dune surrounding the tower was reported to be steadily blowing away at a rate of 3 to 5 feet (0.91 to 1.52 m) a year. In 1905, several tons of brush were placed about the tower and oil house to prevent the foundations and brick walls from being undermined by the drifting away of the sand.
Before the collapse, though, the tower had been discontinued as a lighthouse. Earlier in 1924, the lens was removed from the light for refurbishing and to be placed on display. With the building of the Brandywine Light, waiting areas were no longer needed behind the breakwaters, so the light was disabled. All measures to protect the tower failed and in April 1926, a storm undermined the tower, causing it to fall seaward.
Another light also once stood on Cape Henlopen. In 1824, the Cape Henlopen Beacon was constructed on a 45-foot (14 m) tower about a mile north of the Cape Henlopen Lighthouse.
- Trapani, Bob (2007). Delaware Lights: A History of Lighthouses in the First State. The History Press. p. 13. ISBN 1-59629-021-8.
- "Cape Henlopen Lighthouse". New England Lighthouse Wallpaper Guide. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
- Cape Henlopen Lighthouse
- "Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Celebrates the Completion of the Rehoboth Avenue Streetscape Project". Delaware Department of Transportation. June 16, 2006. Retrieved February 6, 2013.