Hog Island Light

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Hog Island Light
Hog island light 1896.PNG
Undated photograph of Hog Island Light (1896 tower) (USCG)
Hog Island Light is located in Virginia
Hog Island Light
Location Hog Island SE of Exmore, Virginia
Coordinates 37°23′38″N 75°42′04″W / 37.394°N 75.701°W / 37.394; -75.701Coordinates: 37°23′38″N 75°42′04″W / 37.394°N 75.701°W / 37.394; -75.701(approx.)
Year first lit 1853 (first)
1896 (second)
Deactivated 1948
Construction stone (first)
steel (second)
Tower shape conical (first)
skeletal (second)

The Hog Island Light was a lighthouse roughly marking its eponymous island, and thus the north side of the Great Machipongo Inlet on the Virginia coast.


The 1853 tower (USCG)

There have been two lights at this location, a barrier island south east of Exmore, Virginia. The first light was erected in 1853 and consisted of a stone tower with a keeper's dwelling adjacent to it. It was ostensibly equipped with a first-order fresnel lens, though a report in 1870 stated that it had been assigned a fourth order lens instead.

Erosion of the island eventually endangered the first light, and in 1896 a steel skeletal tower was erected to replace it. The island continued to shift and in 1948 this second lighthouse was demolished, as the waves threatened to bring it down. The first order lens was first displayed at the Mariners' Museum in Newport News; in 2004 it was moved to an enclosed pavilion on the Portsmouth, Virginia waterfront.

Demolition charges explode at the base of the 1896 Hog Island Lighthouse. Photo taken 1948 – U.S. Coast Guard Archive.