The Old Point Comfort Lighthouse was built to replace the temporary navigational aids previously employed at Old Point Comfort and was completed in 1802. During the War of 1812, it was briefly seized by British forces, prompting the later construction of Fort Monroe nearby. During the Civil War, it remained in Federal possession. Today, it is owned jointly by the United States Coast Guard and Army. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.


  • Old Point Comfort Lighthouse
    Old Point Comfort Lighthouse
  • Old Point Comfort Lighthouse ca. 1885
    Old Point Comfort Lighthouse ca. 1885
  • Old Point Comfort Lighthouse postcard ca. 1920
    Old Point Comfort Lighthouse postcard ca. 1920

Prior to the 19th century, Old Point Comfort utilized wood fires burned in the old colonial Fort George to guide ships into the harbor. At the turn of the century, this was deemed insufficient. The Old Point Comfort Lighthouse was completed in 1802 as a 58 foot tall octagonal tower.

During the War of 1812, it was seized by British forces attacking Hampton. This prompted the later construction of Fort Monroe, which prevented it from falling into Confederate hands during the Civil War. It was one of the few lighthouses to not suffer any damage during the conflict.

While the lighthouse has been altered cosmetically, its structure has stayed the same since 1802. It was automated in 1972, upon which ownership of the keeper's house was given to the US Army. It remains an active beacon to this day. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

Old Point Comfort Lighthouse. Lighthouse Friends. http://www.lighthousefriends.com/light.asp?ID=444.

National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. Virginia Department of Historic Resources. http://www.dhr.Virginia.gov/registers/Cities/Hampton/114-0021_OldPointComfortLighthouse_1973_Final_Nomination.pdf.