Old Point Comfort, VA Lighthouse Rammed by Boat, Destroyed by Fire, Dec 1909

Old Point Comfore Lighthouse VA  Circa 1908.jpg


Keepers Escape in Boat and Are Taken to Hampton Roads by United States Cruiser

NEWPORT NEWS, Va., Dec. 27. – Having been rammed and almost cut in two by the four-masted schooner Malcolm Baxter, Jr., the Thimble Shoal Lighthouse, located four miles east from Old Point Comfort and near the tail of the Horseshoe, in lower Chesapeake Bay, caught fire and was destroyed this morning. Keeper Hudgins and his assistants, J. B. Thomas and T. L. Faulcher, put off in a lifeboat and were subsequently picked up by a rescue crew from the United States scout cruiser Birmingham, now anchored in Hampton Roads. The men were taken to the cruiser and landed at Old Point.

The schooner was inward bound for Hampton Roads, in ballast, and the strong westerly wind and swift tide threw her off her course and, without warning, she crashed into the frame lighthouse. The house crumbled before the vessel like a box, and in the smash-up the stove in the lighthouse was overturned and set the building on fire.

After the collision the Malcolm Baxter veered off and anchored, but was later brought to Norfolk for repairs. The vessel was damaged about the bow.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA 28 Dec 1909