The Virginia Old Cape Henry Lighthouse was built in 1792 by John McComb, Jr. The lighthouse’s purpose was to help guide ships safely into the harbor. The lighthouse was damaged in the Civil War but the Union made attempts to repair it.
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However a few years later cracks were found in the lighthouse, so plans were made to build a new lighthouse. The older lighthouse had done its job for around 90 years at that point in time. It was later decided that the older lighthouse was structurally sound and the cracks were due to nothing more than settling.
Though a new lighthouse was constructed, the Virginia Old Cape Henry Lighthouse still stands in its original position, at the height of 92 feet on top of a sand dune that is 56 feet tall. The lighthouse is made from sandstone and is the shape of an octagon. There are 191 steps in the lighthouse.
The Virginia Old Cape Henry Lighthouse is now a popular destination, beckoning visitors from all along the eastern coastline. The lighthouse is open to guests but you must be 42 inches tall to be allowed access to climb. There is also a gift shop onsite.