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Old 09-29-2005, 11:29 AM   #1
barefoot serpent
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Raise your hand if you've always wanted to live in 1 of these:

a lighthouse. The GSA is currently auctioning off four (4!) offshore lighthouses in Chesapeake Bay:
Wolf Trap Shoal
Thimble Shoal
Newport News Middle Ground
Smith Point Light


hoo boy... no utilities, fixer-uppers, occasional visits from the Coast Guard to maintain the lights, but at least the fog horns are no longer used!
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Old 09-29-2005, 11:40 AM   #2
barefoot serpent
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pix of each:
Wolf Trap:

Middle Ground:

Thimble Shoals:

Smith Pt.:


and article:
http://home.hamptonroads.com/stories...1871&ran=17003
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Old 09-29-2005, 06:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
The Middleground lighthouse, he said, has a slight tilt from being hit by a tugboat in 1979.
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Old 09-29-2005, 07:29 PM   #4
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Believe it or not, when I took a vocational ability test in high school, one of my ideal careers that came up was lighthouse keeper! Not exactly an exploding career field even back then. There are days though when I think I should have listened to that guidance counselor. Yeah, a lighthouse! Nice, scenic ocean views, quiet, no ax murderers - AAAAAAAH!

Last edited by marichiko; 09-30-2005 at 04:51 PM.
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Old 09-30-2005, 08:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marichiko
Yeah, a lighthouse! Nice, scenic ocean views, quiet, no ax murderers - AAAAAAAH!
Kind of a pain to do your grocery shopping though.

I do like the "no critters" facet though. I hate bugs.
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Old 09-30-2005, 10:35 AM   #6
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I can't stand the beach, and since there's technically no beach ... but I can marginally tolerate the weather here.

I'd do it. Obviously I want the Wolf Trap light.

But I need A/C, potable water, and high speed internet installed before I'll agree to buy.
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Old 09-30-2005, 12:45 PM   #7
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1) Why are they bothering to sell them off at all if the CG is still going to have to maintain the lights?
2) What happens when your caisson rusts through?
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Old 09-30-2005, 12:55 PM   #8
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That's probably why they are selling them.
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Old 09-30-2005, 01:06 PM   #9
barefoot serpent
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yes, the new owner gets the honor of scraping & painting the caisson -- and you can't pick your own color.

edit: Wolf Trap Light in better days:

Last edited by barefoot serpent; 09-30-2005 at 01:13 PM.
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Old 09-30-2005, 01:11 PM   #10
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You would have to pay me a lot to take one of these pieces of crap. Now, if they were simply abandoned, and I could do whatever I wanted with them, that would be a different story. Might be a nice place for a weekend getaway or party shack.
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Old 09-30-2005, 01:24 PM   #11
barefoot serpent
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From the application for National Historic designation:
Quote:
Narrative Description (Describe the historic and current condition of the property.)1

The Wolf Trap Light Station (1894) consists of a wooden caisson, which supports a cast-iron foundation cylinder and an octagonal two-story brick dwelling with a one-story square tower supporting a cast-iron lantern. The cylinder is painted brown, and the brick quarters and tower are painted red, with the lantern painted black. It is an integral station, i.e., the keeper's quarters, fuel storage areas, and lantern room are part of the same individual structure. The same plans were used in building both the Smith Point and Wolf Trap Lighthouses. The Wolf Trap Lighthouse lies in about 16 feet of water, on the east end of Wolf Trap Spit, on the west side of the Chesapeake Bay between the York and Rappahannock Rivers, in Mathews County, Virginia. Owned and managed by U.S. Coast Guard District 5, access to the station is via boat.

General Description 2

Foundation

The cast iron cylinder, 30-feet in diameter, 44-feet, 9-inches high, is attached to a 32-foot square wooden caisson sunk 12 feet into the bottom. The plates forming the cylinder are 6 feet, 3 inches tall, and bolted together into seven horizontal bands or courses with the flanges of the plates turned inward to give the exterior a uniform smooth surface. The upper or top band flares outward like a trumpet providing support and additional deck space for the lower gallery deck. The cylinder is filled with concrete except where the cellar is formed. There are four porthole-type openings in the upper plate tier to provide light into the cellar area. The cylinder is painted a dark red/brown.

Cellar

The cellar is located in the upper portion of the foundation cylinder, accessed by a wooden stairwell located off the foyer. Below this level, the cylinder is solid except for a cistern. There are four portholes located in the upper cast-iron-plate course of the foundation cylinder. These provide light into the cellar areas except the oil and coal room. Acrylic sheets with drilled holes for ventilation have been placed over the porthole openings and caulked in place.

Vaulted masonry, which spring from rolled iron beams that span the outer walls, supports the floor of the first level. The cellar has been partitioned with masonry walls. Off the main room, a coal storage room has a wooden door. Next to it is another room with an iron door, which probably served as the oil room. A third smaller room probably served as storage and has a wooden door. All the doors have arched tops to fit the door aperture, and all doors appear to be original. The doorframes for these rooms are made of cast iron. Below the cellar level is at least one water cistern built into the concrete pour. The floor of the cellar is cement. Along one side of the main cellar room is a wooden bench made of 8-inch-square wooden timbers, which, from paint ghosts, appear to have been used to store three 55-gallon-sized oil tanks. On the exterior of the foundation cylinder, is a large funnel-like opening just to the north side of the east ladder, which may have been a coal chute to the coal room.

Dwelling

The two-story brick dwelling is octagonal in shape, 10 feet, 6 inches to 10 feet, 10 inches wide on each exterior side. The brick portion of the structure is painted red, the tower is painted red, and the lantern is painted black. A kitchen, pantry, and sitting room were located on the first level, and two bedrooms are located on the second level.

The gallery deck is brick and overlays the cylinder fill. The gallery balustrade surrounds the perimeter of the slab. It is made of solid curved cast-iron sections, 45 inches long and 232 inches high, which conform to the shape of the diameter of the foundation cylinder parameter. This balustrade wall is surmounted with a 2-inch-diameter pipe rail supported by 2-inch-diameter pipe balusters. The privy, located on the southwest side of the lower gallery deck, overhangs the deck and is supported by cast-iron brackets attached to the foundation cylinder. The privy is iron, semi-octagonal in shape (that is only five of the eight sides make up the structure, the door makes up the sixth truncated side of the structure), with a pyramid roof surmounted by a ventilation spike. A small porthole window is located on each face of the privy to the right and left of the privy door opening; the door is missing. A small metal overhang protects the door entrance. The two pairs of davits and the landing ladder on the west side have been removed; both the davit windlass wheels and the east-landing ladder remain.

The dwelling has a decorative lower single and upper double molded brick masonry belt course between the first and second level. At the top of the second level, there is a decorative molded brick cornice -- on the southwest, southeast, northeast and northwest sides this cornice consists of a lower five course corbelled band and an upper three course corbelled band; and on the south, west, north and east sides, this cornice consists of a lower three course corbelled band and upper three course corbelled band. The roof of the dwelling is a very shallow pyramid standing seam sheet metal roof.

Fenestration on the first level consists of an entrance door on the south side. The southwest, northwest, and northeast faces have no fenestration. The southeast, and east faces have one window, and the west and north face has two windows. On the second level, there is a single window on the north, east, south, and west face. Each window has a stone sill and lintel, and the door also has a stone lintel. All the windows were four-over-four double hung wood sash. Only the upper sash remains on the second level while both upper and lower sashes have been removed from the first level. A four-pane single-sash window at the watch room level has been removed and the opening bricked up. Only the upper two-pane sash of the east window is present.

The original wooden door has been replaced with a non-paneled wood door. All of the window openings are covered with acrylic sheets fitted with white aluminum louvered vents. The stairway and banister is original except for the banister from the second level to the watch room, which has been crudely and inappropriately replaced with treated boards. Some of the original banister balusters are missing. The walls and ceilings are covered with variable width tongue-and-grove vertical wooden paneling. This paneling is original except in the northeast room where the walls and ceilings are covered with plywood and battens. All the molding around the doors and windows appears to be original. The window and door corners are decorated with bull's-eye molding. On the second level just off the stairwell, the two wall corners projecting into the stairwell room are decorated with ornate corner molding. Most of the original doors have been removed though three four-paneled doors on the second level are original; the hardware has been replaced.

Tower

The square tower is one-story tall, the lower two stories are incorporated into the dwelling structure. The tower contains the watch room, which has two windows. The window over the door or south face is a two-over-two double-hung wooden sash vertical in length while the other was a four pane horizontal single sash. These windows have stone sills and lintels. The cornice of the tower watch room is made from a single lower corbelled brick course followed by an upper band of corbelled brick three courses high. A nine-step ladder provides access to the lantern. The tower supports the lantern.

Lantern

The lantern is a hexagonal cast-iron lantern with a pyramidal roof surmounted by a ventilation ball. There are four ventilators located in every other parapet wall. The lantern deck is cast iron. A square deck and a gallery rail surround the lantern. Part of the top rail is missing. Two radio signaling and receiving wires were attached to booms on the lantern gallery deck during the 1960s. The lantern and gallery rail is painted black. Three solar panels are located off the south side of the lantern gallery rail.

Lens

The original lens was an 1897 fourth-order Fresnel lens. A photograph from the Coast Guard Historian's Office, said to be that of Wolf Trap, shows a bull's eye lens, which would produce three flashes with every rotation. This lens was replaced with a 300mm acrylic lens in 1984 and, finally, replaced in June 1996, with a solar-powered Vega Model Marine Rotating Beacon VRB-25. There are seven plywood blinds painted black radiating out from seven of the eight pane astragals to the pedestal. These serve to keep reflection from the storm panes giving false flashes. A cast-iron pedestal, probably the original, is still in use.
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Old 09-30-2005, 04:01 PM   #12
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Nope, no interest in a light house (sharks, duh), but I really, really, really want an old mill. Like this, this or even this.
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Old 09-30-2005, 04:03 PM   #13
dar512
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Wow. You guys don't mind the older homes do you.
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Old 09-30-2005, 04:06 PM   #14
jinx
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"Don't mind" would be an understatement, for me anyway. I like wood, stone and plaster - wall to wall carpet and central air conditioning give me the creeps.
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Old 09-30-2005, 04:16 PM   #15
xoxoxoBruce
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Oh..oh..the third one Jinx, the one in Oley. Jim could really polish his skills on that baby.
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