Fenwick Island Lighthouse, located on the border of Delaware and Maryland is a beautiful, restored brick lighthouse which has been in existence since 1859. During the 1800s one too many shipwrecks occurred off of the shoals close to the island. It was decided that a lighthouse was in order.
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Delaware’s Fenwick Island Lighthouse was commissioned. Twenty-five thousand dollars was allocated to build the 87 foot high two story lighthouse which included a Fresnel lens. Using this particular lens was important, because light from the beam illuminated a path twenty miles out to sea, guiding ships away from the very dangerous shoals.
The lighthouse was in continuous operation until 1978, when it was de-commissioned. All seemed lost until Paul Pepper decided that this local treasure could not be forgotten. Through tireless campaigning, he and a few other residents kept the lighthouse open. The tower is no longer open to the public, but there is a museum on the ground floor.
The Delaware Fenwick Island Lighthouse is open from May 1 until Columbus Day. The lighthouse is easy to access from Delaware State Route 1 and Maryland route 528. Admission is free, but because much of the upkeep of this historical lighthouse is accomplished through donations, contributions of any amount are welcome.