the year of LIVING UNOFFICIALLY

365 days of celebration

07
August

National Lighthouse Day

Posted by Brittany

While Chris and I were deciding how we wanted to celebrate National Lighthouse Day we were surprised to see just how few lighthouses existed in our area. Most have “gone dark,” but a little research revealed that Jones Point Park, in Alexandria, Virginia, is home to the Jones Point Light. Although the small river lighthouse no longer operates and is closed to the public, the grounds are open as part of the park. This afternoon we decided to trek up to Alexandria to see the lighthouse on the Potomac River for ourselves. The park is currently undergoing a beautification project so we couldn’t get particularly close to the lighthouse, but we got some good pictures of its exterior and I found myself particularly intrigued by the building; I had never seen a tiny lighthouse like this before. Jones Point Light was built in 1855, as a small one-story house with a lantern on top. In 1926 a small steel tower replaced the original lighthouse, but it also went dark in the 1930′s. Almost 50 years later, the lighthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic places, as well as boundary cornerstone from the 1791-1792 survey of the District of Columbia that can be found in the seawall next to the lighthouse. When the park re-opens I would love to go see this cornerstone — just a couple of weeks ago we saw it featured in an episode of How the States Got their Shapes, which detailed the original diamond-shaped layout of Washington D.C., and how its borders were adjusted. Plus, a future trip to the park might get us some better views of the odd little lighthouse, so rich a part of our local history.

Wish us luck — tomorrow we’re going undercover for Sneak a Zucchini onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Night.

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