Delaware Bay Lighthouse Keepers

& Friends Association, Inc. 

"Our mission is to preserve the history of the Delaware Bay

 and River Lighthouses, Lightships and their Keepers."


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Mispillion Light

Milford, Delaware


The Mispillion River Lighthouse was one of a group of 5 lighthouses built in Delaware between 1764 and 1831. Although it still exists it has been discontinued and is in dilapidated condition. The last one was sold at a public auction in 1932.

The Mispillion River has had between 3 and 5 lighthouses that stood at it’s entrance. The first known one was completed on Oct. 19, 1831. It was a simple structure with the light atop the keeper’s dwelling consisting of 6 lamps with spherical reflectors. The house was badly built and was rebuilt further back on the property with 8 lamps and 14 inch reflectors in a 31 foot tower.

Due to encroaching water another lighthouse was built with a fixed light 38 feet above sea level in 1843. It was refitted with a Fresnel lens in 1855. This lighthouse was sold at public auction in 1859.

In 1873 the next lighthouse was completed. In 1874 – 1875 the keeper’s dwelling was completely remodeled. 4 rooms and a brick cistern were added. In 1876 a road was built for better land access. The lighthouse itself was a 2 story frame dwelling with 3 rooms each with the stairway in the tower. Between 1879 and 1907 several repairs were made to the lighthouse, the road and the surroundings. The frequent overflowing of the tides was still a concern and embankments were built around the property.

In 1911 an acetylene gas lighting system was installed and in 1929 the Lighthouse was deactivated and the light moved to a 60 foot steel tower. The tower and light were used until 1994.


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The Delaware Bay Lighthouse Keepers & Friends Association (DBLHKFA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit preservation and educational organization.

Site Copyright 2004, Delaware Bay Lighthouse Keepers and Friends Association unless otherwise noted.  All images on site are copyright 2004 DBLHKFA unless otherwise noted.  For problems or questions regarding this web site contact  Last updated: Aug. 29, 2018.