A landscape photograph of the Reedy Point Rear Range (Lighthouse) against a clear winter blue sky right before the sun set. The Reedy Point Rear Range is located on Taylor’s Bridge Rd in Townsend, Delaware.
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.
The Reedy Island Light Station was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.