Lighthouses of the United States: Southeastern Pennsylvania
The U.S. state of Pennsylvania has 4 lighthouses, 3 active, on its Lake
Erie shoreline in the northwestern corner of the state. These lighthouses
are described on the Northwestern Pennsylvania page.
Diagonally across the state, at the southeastern corner, the Delaware
River estuary brings ships to the historic port of Philadelphia. There
are no longer any traditional lighthouses on the Delaware River, but there
is a former light station in Chester and an interesting example of a privately-built
beacon on the Schuylkill River, a tributary of the Delaware.
Navigational aids in the United States are operated by the U.S. Coast Guard, but ownership (and sometimes operation) of historic lighthouses has been transferred to local authorities and preservation organizations in many cases. Delaware River lights are the responsibility of the Coast Guard's Fifth District.
ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS
World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from Volume J of the
Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. USCG numbers are
from Vol. II of the U.S. Coast Guard Light List.
- General Sources
- Excellent photographs from LighthouseFriends.com.
- Online List of Lights - Delaware River
- Photos by various photographers posted by Alex Trabas.
Lighthouses of Pennsylvania
- An interesting June 2003 Lighthouse Digest article by Bob
- Lighthouses in Pennsylvania
- Photos available from Wikimedia.
Guard Lighthouses - Pennsylvania
- Historic photos and notes, posted by the U.S. Coast Guard Historian's
USA auf historischen Postkarten
- Historic postcard images of U.S. lighthouses posted by Klaus Huelse.
Turtle Rock Light, Philadelphia, May 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo
by Leena Jaffer
- Philadelphia (Schuylkill River) Lighthouses
- 1887. Generally inactive, but a decorative light is displayed on special
occasions. Approx. 30 ft (9 m) round cylindrical brick tower with hexagonal
lantern and gallery, mounted atop a 1-story wing of a 2-story brick clubhouse.
The tower is unpainted red brick, lantern and gallery painted white. Anderson
has an excellent page with fine photos,
Wikimedia has a 1972 photo, Huelse has a historic postcard
view, and Google has an aerial
view. The lighthouse was originally built by the Fairmount Park Commissioners
to guide steamboat traffic. Restored by members of the Sedgeley Club in 1990.
Located on the north bank of the river at the upstream end of Boathouse Row
(15 Kelly Drive), downstream from the Girard Avenue Bridge (US 30) in Philadelphia.
The Schuykill River Trail
bikeway also passes the lighthouse. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager:
Club. ARLHS USA-1088.
River Entrance Range Rear (3?)
- Date unknown (station established 1879). Active; focal plane 64 ft (19.5
m); green light visible only on the range line, 2 s on, 2 s off. 59 ft (18
m) square cylindrical steel skeletal tower. Trabas has a photo, and Google has
view. The front light is on a 33 ft (10 m) skeletal tower. Located on
the east side of the Schuykill about 0.4 mi (600 m) from the mouth, near the
Philadelphia Navy Yard. Site status unknown. ARLHS USA-1207; Admiralty J1322.1;
- Delaware County Lighthouses
(Schooner Ledge) Range Rear (3)
- 2001 (station established 1880). Active; focal plane 110 ft (33.5 m); continuous
green light visible only on the range line. 105 ft (32 m) square cylindrical
steel skeletal tower. Trabas has a photo, and Google has an aerial
view. The 1880
lighthouse, a pyramidal skeletal cast iron tower, was replaced by an automated
skeletal tower in 1918. The 1880 lighthouse was held in storage and then relocated
to Michigan Island, Northern Wisconsin in 1929. The keeper's house
survived until it burned in 1947. Located in a heavy industrial area in Eddystone,
on the Delaware River just west of downtown Chester. Site and tower closed.
Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS USA-741; Admiralty J1315.1; USCG
(Schooner Ledge) Range Front (4?)
- 2001 (station established 1880). Active; focal plane 62 ft (19 m); green
light visible only on the range line, 1 s on, 1 s off. 59 ft (18 m) square
cylindrical steel skeletal tower. Trabas has a photo, and Google has an aerial view. The original light was
atop a wooden tower. It was replaced (and apparently demolished) in 1909,
when a change in the channel required a new light on a different location.
Located on the riverfront in a heavy industrial area on the Delaware River
just west of downtown Chester. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager:
U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS USA-169; Admiralty J1315; USCG 2-3230.
Notable faux lighthouses:
Information available on lost lighthouses:
Adjoining pages: East: New Jersey | South: Delaware
Return to the Lighthouse Directory index
Posted December 9, 2001. Checked and revised May 10, 2013. Lighthouses: 4. Site copyright
2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.