Cape Henry Lighthouse is located at Fort Story, Virginia. John McComb, Jr., an architect from New York, won the bid to construct the Cape Henry Lighthouse. The lighthouse's foundation is Aquia sandstone while the body is Rappahannock sandstone. The light house was finished November 15, 1792, and stands 90 feet tall and 26 feet in diameter at the base.
The lighthouse was originally constructed with wood stair case and the lamp was lit with whale oil. In 1857, a second order Fresnel lens was installed. In 1867, the cast iron staircase replaced the wood staircase.
By 1873 a report of the Lighthouse Board to Congress stated that the original Cape Henry Light house was showing its age. Large cracks in the masonry resulted from the installation of the cast iron staircase in 1867. At the time, engineers were unsure if the cracks were cosmetic or compromised its structural integrity.
Congress appropriated $75,000 in 1878, for a new lighthouse to be built. The Cape Henry Light Station would ultimately cost $150,000 to construct.
New Cape Henry's distinctive black and white pattern was chosen to contrast the original tower's brown and grey facade. New Cape Henry lighthouse keeper's quarters are still visible near the tower. Currently, the light station is owned and operated by the U.S. Coast Guard.