Marcus Hook Range Rear Light

Marcus Hook Range Rear Light is a lighthouse near Bellefonte, Delaware marking a range on the Delaware River.[3] It is the highest light on the Atlantic coast of the United States.[4] The lighthouse is visible on the horizon from the windows of high-rise buildings in downtown Wilmington, Delaware.[5]

Marcus Hook Range Rear Light
Marcus Range Rear Range Light (42683102761).jpg
Lightouse viewed from shore.
LocationJust South of Bellefonte, Delaware
Coordinates39°45′44.2″N 75°30′11.3″W / 39.762278°N 75.503139°W / 39.762278; -75.503139
Constructed1915 Edit this on Wikidata
ConstructionReinforced concrete
Height105 feet (32 m)
HeritageNational Register of Historic Places listed place Edit this on Wikidata
First lit1920
Focal height278 feet (85 m)
LensFourth order Fresnel lens (original), RL-24 (current)
CharacteristicFixed red (initially fixed white)
Marcus Hook Range Rear Light
Architectural styleColonial Revival
NRHP reference No.89000287[1][2]
Added to NRHPMarch 27, 1989


The permanent structure was preceded by a temporary light on a post, erected in 1915.[4] The present tower was built in 1918 and was composed of nine sections of reinforced concrete; there is also an oil house and a keeper's dwelling on the site. The original beacon displayed a fixed white light using a Fourth order Fresnel lens; this was removed in the early 1980s and replaced with a RL-24 beacon, displaying a fixed red indication. The light was automated in the 1950s, but the keeper's house was occupied by Coast Guard personnel until 2004.[6][7]

In March 2005 the lighthouse became available for transfer under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act, but in 2010 a private owner bought the lighthouse and the accompanying home on the property. The tower is an active aid to navigation and not open to the public. The light was turned off a few years ago.

Front LightEdit

The Marcus Hook Range Front Light stands about 100 yards (91 m) offshore, 1.6 miles (2.6 km) to the northeast of Marcus Hook Range Rear Light.[4] The present tower was erected in 1925 and was preceded by a temporary light tower erected in 1915.[4] It has always been automated.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  2. ^ NRHP Registration form
  3. ^ Rowlett, Russ. "Lighthouses of the United States: Delaware". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  4. ^ a b c d "The rear range light of Marcus Hook on the Delaware River, 278 feet above the level of the sea, is the highest light on the Atlantic Coast of the continental United States." Trapani, Bob (2007). Delaware Lights: A History of Lighthouses in the First State. The History Press. p. 138. ISBN 978-1-59629-021-1.
  5. ^ "Photo of the Marcus Hook Range Rear Light from Wilmington, DE".
  6. ^ "Marcus Hook Rear Range, DE". Lighthouse Friends.
  7. ^ DeWire, Elinor (2011). Lighthouses of the Mid-Atlantic Coast: Your Guide to the Lighthouses of New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. Minneapolis: Voyageur Press. p. 154. ISBN 9780760339510. Retrieved 2012-10-05.