U.S. Coast Guard Lightships

& Those of the U.S. Lighthouse Service




BUILT AT: Pelham (NY) (City Island)

BUILDER: David Carll

APPROPRIATION: $50,000 (Approp. "For building a relief light-ship for general service"



DESIGN: Wood- white oak & locust; copper & galvanized iron fastened; 2 masts, daymarks on both; smokestack forward of mainmast; 2 aux. steam boilers, steam pump and steam fog signal machinery

LENGTH: 1196" (loa); BEAM: 26'9"; DRAFT: 12'6"; TONNAGE: 387 gross

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

ILLUMINATING APPARATUS: 2 lanterns, each with 8 Argand fountain burner oil lamps

FOG SIGNAL: 12" steam whistle, hand operated bell (First US lightship to be equipped with steam fog signal when built)


1879: Recaulked and boilers overhauled-
1882: Hull and boiler repairs at New Bedford; extensive rot-
1887: Rotten timbers replaced at New Bedford; also repaired l889,189l,l893-
1897: Extensive repairs prior to being transferred to 3d District-
1899: Jul 25-Mar 8, 1900, extensive overhaul and refit-
1905: Brought in for repair, having been continuously on station since 1900-
1909: 6" fog whistle added; 12" whistle retained-
1911: Equipped with submarine bell signal-
1919: Equipped with radio; discontinued 1923-
1921: Lanterns & lantern houses removed, foremast replaced with tall steel skeleton light structure with acetylene lamp, no light installed on mainmast


1875-1876: Vineyard Sound (MA)
1876-1877: Five Fathom Bank (NJ)
1877-1897: Relief (MA)
1897: Relief (NY)
1897-1935: Brenton Reef (RI)


1875: Nov 16, stationed on Vineyard Sound (MA)-
1876: Jun 14, relieved Five Fathom Bank (NJ) (replacing LV 7 which returned to Staten island for repair)-
1877: Jun 19, returned to 2d District, and assigned Relief duty-
1879-1882: Remained at Woods Hole Depot except while under repair-
1883: Nov-Feb, relieved Vineyard Sound-
1884/83: Remained at Woods Hole (apparently seldom used. due to rotten condition)-
1886: Aug 28-Oct 16, relieved Vineyard Sound; Dec 30-Mar 11 1887, relieved Pollock Rip-
1887: Extensive overhaul, rotten timbers and planking replaced-
1888: Sep 18-?, relieved Pollock Rip-
1889: Jul 25-Oct 3, relieved Vineyard Sound-
1890: May 26- Jun 30, relieved Vineyard Sound-
1891: Apr 9-Jun 28. relieved Vineyard Sound; Jul, boiler & machinery repairs-
1892/3: "supplied with new riding stopper prior to going on Nantucket. New South Shoal" as relief-no dates given-
1894/95: Remained at Woods Hole during both years-
1895: Oct 1-Jan 15 1896, relieved Great Round Shoal

More notes: LV 39-
1896: Jan 15-Feb 18, relieved Pollock Rip; May, repaired: Jul 5„Jul 30, relieved Boston; Aug 14-Jan 24 1897, relieved Vineyard Sound-
1897: Jun 12, transferred to 3d District, towed to Staten island by AZALEA; relieved Fire Island LV 58 from Jul 15 to Sep 20; then assigned to Brenton Reef (RI) taking station Nov 4, 1897-
1905 Relieved for repair "having been continuously on station since 1899"-
1905 Aug, struck by battleship USS IOWA, carrying away part of lightship's stem and causing damage to headstays-
Remained assigned to Brenton Reef station until 1935


SUBSEQUENT DISPOSITION: Reported by Boston Globe to be in use as floating restaurant at Gloucester (MA) in 1960's: observed in use as Coast Guard Auxiliary clubhouse, Boston (MA) in 1967; sank in 1975 (age 100) while being towed to a shipyard at Beverly (MA); not salvaged


1897: (Jun-Aug) Jacob C Flinkfelt, Master
1898-?: Edward Fogarty, Master
?-1917 Charles A Hawkins,Mate
1917-1919: Karl M Larsen, Mate
1919: Fred J Worth, Mate
1919-1922: Martin Berg, Mate
1922-1923: Harold White, Mate
1923-1927: Theodor Anderson, Mate
?-1927: Charles Steijen, Master
1927-?: Theodor Anderson, Master
1927: John B Kelley, Mate
1927-1929: Frederic Sundloff, Mate
1928-?: August E Gustafson, mate

A photo of LV 39

"BRENTON REEF LIGHT-VESSEL, NO. 39, R.I." Scanned from the 1901 Light List, Plate XII.  Photographer unknown, no date listed (circa 1900).

Office of the Lighthouse Board. List of Lights and Fog Signals on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of the United States. Corrected to June 30, 1901. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1901.

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Last Modified 7/9/2012