A temporary light to guide ships into Hampton Roads existed at Old Point Comfort as early as 1774. Recognizing the necessity of a navigation guide at this site, the Virginia General Assembly in 1798 conveyed the point to the federal government for the purpose of establishing a permanent light. The present tapered polygonal structure was completed in 1802, seventeen years before the construction of Fort Monroe began. Built of sandstone ashlar painted white, the tiny structure has been in regular use since its completion, functioning as a round-the-clock navigation aid. The Old Point Comfort Lighthouse, along with Fort Monroe, was maintained under Federal authority during the Civil War. Next door is the lightkeeper’s residence, a simple Queen Anne structure, built ca. 1890, which housed a keeper until 1973, when the light was automated.
Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark