Virginia State Seal

Virginia Department of Historic Resources

124-0102 Lightship No. 101

Lightship No. 101
*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 03/19/1997

NRHP Listing Date 05/05/1989

NHL Listing Date 05/05/1989

NPS property number 89001080

Lightship No. 101, now known as Portsmouth, is one of a small number of preserved historic American lightships. Essential partners with lighthouses as aids to navigation, lightships date from 1820 when Lightship No. 1 was commissioned to mark the entrance to the Elizabeth River and the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. Built in 1916 by Pusey and Jones at Wilmington, Del., Lightship No. 101 was one of a pair of vessels and was originally known as Cape Charles. It served on at least five stations, guiding vessels into the Chesapeake Bay, Delaware Bay, and within Nantucket Bay. The ship has undergone only minor modernization and maintains remarkable integrity for a vessel so long in service. Retired in 1960, Lightship No. 101 is now owned by the the Portsmouth Museum System. A conspicuous landmark along the historic waterfront, this relic of navigation is a popular public attraction.


Abbreviations:
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated February 19, 2019