National Park Service
Return to Maritime home page
Lighthouse Construction Types
Back to Contents Page
Back to Lighthouse Heritage
Onshore Lighthouse Construction Types--Skeletal

Onshore skeletal towers were built first of cast iron and later steel. They generally consisted of a central vertical stairway cylinder and four to eight slanting structural skeletal peripheral columns and were especially adapted to locations where a relatively light pile structure was required in mud or sand. This type of lighthouse structure was prefabricated offsite and reassembled onsite. Skeletal towers were often standardized. The most common form was four-legged tapered towers with diagonal bracing available in 10-, 20-, 30-, and 40-foot heights. Cape Charles Lighthouse (1895), Virginia, (drawing at right), is the tallest skeletal lighthouse tower in the United States and at 191 feet is only 17 feet shorter than the tallest brick tower at Cape Hatteras. The skeletal type was often used for range lights.

Surviving examples include:


WHITEFISH POINT LIGHT, MI (1861)
MANITOU ISLAND LIGHT, MI (1861)
MOBILE POINT (RANGE REAR) LIGHT, AL (1873)
LISTON RANGE REAR LIGHT, DE (1877)
FINNS POINT RANGE REAR LIGHT, NJ (1877)
HILTON HEAD RANGE REAR (LEAMINGTON) LIGHT, SC (1880)
TINICUM ISLAND RANGE REAR LIGHT, NJ (1880)
MICHIGAN ISLAND LIGHT (2ND TOWER), WI (1880)
SANIBEL ISLAND LIGHT, FL (1884)
CAPE SAN BLAS LIGHT, FL (1885)
ANCLOTE KEY LIGHT, FL (1887)
POINT LOMA LIGHT (NEW), CA (1891)
RAWLEY POINT (TWIN RIVER POINT) LIGHT, WI (1894)
CROOKED RIVER (CARRABELLE) LIGHT, FL (1895)
CAPE CHARLES LIGHT, VA (1895)
CHANDELEUR ISLAND LIGHT, LA (1896)
MARBLEHEAD LIGHT, MA (1896)
LA POINTE (LONG ISLAND) LIGHT, WI (1896)
PLUM ISLAND RANGE REAR LIGHT, WI (1897)
DEVILS ISLAND LIGHT, WI (1898)
MONA ISLAND LIGHT (ISLA DE MONA), PR (1900)
STURGEON BAY CANAL LIGHT, WI (1903)
HILLSBORO INLET LIGHT, FL (1907)
BELLEVUE RANGE REAR LIGHT, DE (1909)
REEDY ISLAND RANGE REAR LIGHT, DE (1910)
CONEY ISLAND (NORTONS POINT) LIGHT, NY (1920)
CAPE KUMUKAHI LIGHT, HI (1934)



Return to Maritime home page



Last Modified: Mon, Dec 10 2001 2:56:48 pm EDT
HPB/JMP



Privacy & Disclaimer

Parknet logo