Isle of Shoals
Isle of Shoals Quick Facts
Year Station Established: 1790
Is the Light operational? Yes
Year Light First Lit: 1865
Year Automated: 1987
Tower Height: 58 ft.
Original Optic: 2nd Order, Fresnel
Present Optic: 190mm Solar
Existing Keepers Quarters? Yes
Number of Stories: 1.5
Architectural Style: Triplex
Construction Materials: Wood
Isle of Shoals (White Island) Lighthouse
Off the coast of Portsmouth, NH
(9 photos, 172KB total download)
Isle of Shoals (White Island) Lighthouse Videos
Last Visited: September, 2002
The Isles of Shoals Light, also known as "White Island Light", on White Island, in the Isles of Shoals, New Hampshire, was first built in 1821. The present structure was built in 1865.
Captain Samuel Haley began keeping a lantern lit in 1790, but the first lighthouse was not built until 1821, following the 1813 wreck of the Sagunte. Following his defeat for Governor of New Hampshire in 1839, Thomas B. Laighton became keeper of the light. Five years earlier he had purchased Appledore, Smuttynose, Malaga, and Cedar Islands, on the Maine side of the Isles of Shoals, from Captain Haley. Laighton later built a hotel on Smuttynose.
The lighthouse was rebuilt during the Civil War with granite walls two feet thick. It was automated in 1987, but fell into disrepair and was rescued by the efforts of The Lighthouse Kids, a group of schoolchildren who pressured the New Hampshire legislature to provide $125,000 to repair the building. Shortly thereafter, the federal government provided $250,000 for further restoration.
The lighthouse was seriously damaged during the Patriot's Day Storm in 2007. Waves washed completely over the island, destroying the solar panels, foghorn, and the covered walk between the lighthouse and the keeper's house.
In 2008, the Coast Guard installed one of the first VLB-44 LED light units in the United States.
Nearest Address: 315 Market St, Portsmouth, NH
- This lighthouse can only be seen by boat or air. The Isle of Shoals Steamship Co. have cruises that go out to the lighthouse. You can get more information at http://www.islesofshoals.com