In 1825, an act of Congress authorized the building of a breakwater off of Cape Henlopen in Delaware to create a protected harbor. The new harbor that was created was called the National Harbor of Refuge. In 1907 a lighthouse at the southern end of the outer breakwater went into service. The original structure was replaced by a 76-foot-tall cast-iron lighthouse in 1926 and automated in 1973.
The Delaware River and Bay Lighthouse Foundation was founded in 1998 and became the steward for Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse when a lease was signed with the Coast Guard in 2002. The foundation began offering seasonal tours, and in September 2004, ownership of the lighthouse was transferred to the organization.
About $3 million in repairs to the breakwater was carried out in 2011. In recent years the breakwater has continued to deteriorate, and major repairs are needed. Rick Ziegler is the president of the Delaware River and Bay Lighthouse Foundation. He’s had a long fascination with lighthouses, and he got his first tour of Harbor of Refuge Light in 2004.
Mike Leonard lives in Yarmouth, Maine. His photography is frequently seen in books and magazines, and in television segments. His work has been seen nationally on the Weather Channel and on the National Geographic Wild program. In this second installment of “Photo Tips with Mike Leonard,” he discusses the use of memory cards in digital photography.
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Jeremy D’Entremont is the author of more than 20 books and hundreds of articles on lighthouses and maritime history. He is the president and historian for the American Lighthouse Foundation and founder of Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, and he has lectured and narrated cruises throughout the Northeast and in other regions. He is also the producer and host of the U.S. Lighthouse Society podcast, “Light Hearted.” He can be emailed at Jeremy@uslhs.org