Lightship Portsmouth Museum

Lightship Portsmouth Museum

A Day in the Life of a Lightship Sailor

Located just about 25 minutes away from Virginia Beach, in Portsmouth, Virginia, your group will find the Lightship Portsmouth Museum, the 1915 lightship turned floating museum!

The U.S. Lightship service, in general, began in 1820, when ships were used as navigational aids, like more versatile lighthouses. This historic lightship in particular was first commissioned in 1916 as U.S. Lightship LV- 101, first stationed at Cape Charles, Virginia. It served 48 years on the coasts of Virginia, Delaware, and Massachusettes, aiding boats in navigational efforts at various ports. It retired in 1964 to Portsmouth, hence its final name, Lightship Portsmouth. The ship was added to the National Historic Registry in 1989.

During your visit to the museum, your group will have a both fun and enlightening experience, with plenty of historic and entertaining displays to explore. See such things as period accessories, photographs, models, and other maritime artifacts as you tour the ship. For a more broad history experience explore the entire Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum, displaying over 250 years of local shipyard history. This is actually considered to be America's oldest and largest naval shipyard, burned 3 times in its history due to its prominence.

The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum offers a unique perspective on U.S. history, from Colonial to Civil War times and beyond.