Harbor of Refuge Light

Lewes, Delaware

I took this photo from the deck of the ferry that was carrying us from Lewes to Cape May, New Jersey. At the time I thought it was just a common breakwater light, but in fact the Harbor of Refuge has a long history.

In 1825 Congress authorized construction of a breakwater at Lewes to meet the demands for a place where ships could seek shelter behind Cape Henlopen, Delaware. This came to be known as the National Harbor of Refuge, and eventually there were two lights built along the breakwater. When the old Cape Henlopen Light, which had been built in 1767, toppled into the sea during a 1926 storm, the breakwater lights took over.