What Once Was…Reedy Island Light Station

Reedy Point Rear Range Winter Photograph created by Melissa Fague.

Reedy Point Rear Range Winter Photograph created by Melissa Fague.

The Reedy Island Rear Range is one of several range lights that were built as part of a channel dredging project in the early 1900s along the Delaware River. The channel was built heading north from the Atlantic Ocean towards Philadelphia Pennsylvania; the channel is made a series of turns which lies close to the Delaware shore off Port Penn. All along the channel (the Delaware River) between the turns and the sediment navigation up and down the channel was a challenge in the early years. The Delaware River was one of the first locations in the US which employed the use of steel in the lighthouse and range construction. Because of the soft coastline along the Delaware shores permanent lighthouses could not withstand erosion and every time the channel was dredged the lighthouses would have to be moved. The use of steel allowed the engineers to move the structures fairly easily (in comparison to a wooden or concrete structure).

There was once a keeper’s house and shed that stood near the tower all of which were built in 1906 with funds from the original appropriation for the range. Eventually the light was automated and a keeper was no longer needed on the property so the house fell into disarray. The light station is still in use today but the light keeper’s house was destroyed in a fire in 2002 and the shed has seen better days.


Photograph courtesy U.S. Coast Guard

The Reedy Island Light Station was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.

5 thoughts on “What Once Was…Reedy Island Light Station

  1. Robin

    I didn’t know that about the lighthouses along the Delaware. Interesting. Beautiful photo. It’s nice to see a historical image, too.

    1. PIPA Fine Art

      Thank you Robin, that is part of the project. I research the locations and find an old photograph for comparison. I have two shoots in mind; one for the Summit Bridge that was once a wooden covered bridge over the C and D Canal and the other is of Market Street in Wilmington. I found an old photo of it with horses and wagons in it, so please check back for the results of my shoots. Happy New Year!

      1. Robin

        I love the idea. I will stop back. It sounds like I haven’t read your About page, so I’ll have to do that, too. Of course, I could have and forgotten. I’ve read so many blogs that are new to me since switching from the.org to the .com platform, I can hardly keep up.

  2. jennjenn388


    I live this! As a Port Penn raised person I am familiar with this particular light house, Summit Bridge, C&D canal, and other light house spots up and down route 9 area.
    Brings up childhood memories, thank you. .

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