U.S. Coast Guard Lightships

& Those of the U.S. Lighthouse Service


 VESSEL DESIGNATION: LV 1

A photo of Light Vessel Number One

YEAR BUILT: 1855

BUILT AT: Kittery (ME)

APPROPRIATION: $30, 000

BUILDER: Navy Yard

CONTRACT PRICE: $48,000

SISTER VESSELS: None

DESIGN: Wood - white & live oak; copper & iron fastened; bowsprit; 2 masts; oval daymarks at both mastheads

LENGTH: 103'0" (lbp) BEAM: 24'0" DRAFT: 12'6" TONNAGE: 228 displ,275 gross

PROPULSION: Sail-schooner rig; fore and main carried on spencer masts

ILLUMINATING APPARATUS: 2 lanterns, each with 8 oil lamps & reflectors

FOG SIGNAL: Hand operated bell


CONSTRUCTION NOTES & MODIFICATIONS - EQUIPMENT CHANGES & IMPROVEMENTS:
1860: Rebuilt-
1881: Main anchor replaced with mushroom (apparently one having a stock)-
1883: Mooring methods evaluated by Lighthouse Board. All alternatives found unfeasible due to strong rotary currents in the area, and structure of ship unable to sustain additional chain loading-
1886: Lighthouse Board authorized casting an "ordinary" (stockless) mushroom anchor. With this, station was maintained throughout winter-
1892: Boiler, steam pump, steam windlass, 12" steam fog whistle installed-
1895: Rebuilt, also rebuilt again in 1902-
1910: Submarine bell signal installed-
1915: Steam fog signal replaced with oil engine, compressor, and air siren-
1919: Equipped with radio, discontinued 1923-
1925: Illuminant changed from oil to acetylene; light from fixed to flashing

STATION ASSIGNMENTS:
1856-1892: Nantucket New South Shoal (MA)
1892-1896: Martins Industry (SC)
1896-1911: Frying Pan Shoal (NC)
1911-1922: Martins industry (SC)
1922-1930: Savannah (GA)
(Prior to 1867 when No. 1 was assigned, official records identify this vessel "Nantucket" or "Nantucket Light Vessel")


HISTORICAL NOTES:
1856: January, placed on Nantucket New South Shoal station-During heavy gales, parted chain and went adrift 12 times while on Nantucket station, being off station for periods up to 20 days before working back under sail or being towed. (records are incomplete during 1856-1865)-
1883: Slipped chain and worked under sail to avoid foundering during storm-
1887: Picked up crew of foundered British steamer CALEDONIA. Accommodated for 12 days until taken off by tender-
1891: Lighthouse Board requested $70,000 appropriation for a "proper" lightship to be steam propelled and equipped with steam fog signal - approved in 1892-
1892: Jun 14, relieved by LV-9, refitted and towed to Charleston (SC) by USLHT AZALEA-
1892: Nov 14, placed on Martins Industry (SC) after transfer to Charleston-
1894: Parted chain and adrift twice during hurricanes, boats and davits carried away both times-
1896: Nov 11, placed on Frying Pan Shoal (NC)-
1896-1907: broke adrift on 5 occasions during the period-
1911: Placed on Martine Industry (SC) until station discontinued in 1922

More notes:
1915: Steam fog signal machinery replaced with oil engine and compressor; the reduced weight was reported to improve stability, buoyancy and handling-
1922: Placed on Savannah (GA); withdrawn 1930

RETIRED FROM LIGHTSHIP DUTY: 1930 AGE: 75

SUBSEQUENT DISPOSITION: 

Donated 1930, towed to Haverhill MA for Sea Scout use. Later taken over by Groveland MA Sea Scouts; moved vicinity of Groveland Bridge over Merrimac River. Carried downriver in 1936 flood, going aground on north bank opposite Henderson Farm. Stripped and abandoned; hull still remained as of 1986.  As of 2007 her ribs & skeleton are still visible at low tide.


Print image of LV-1
A print image scanned from the U.S. Lighthouse Service's List of Lights and Fog Signals 
on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of the United States
[;] Corrected to June 30, 1907, Plate XXI.
(Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1907).
Click on thumbnail image for a 300 dpi version.

Click here to access a profile drawing of LV-1 as launched.

Click here to access a drawing of the lines & offsets of LV-1 as launched.


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Last Modified 2/29/2012