New England Lighthouse Wallpaper Guide to
John McComb Jr.

John McComb Jr. was a renown architect and stonemason from the State of New York who was awarded contracts to build three Lighthouses similar to the octagonal design of the colonial lighthouses, Sandy Hook Light, New Jersey and Cape Henlopen Light, Delaware.

(1) Cape Henry Lighthouse was built from March 31, 1791 to October 1792 using stone from the Aquia Creek quarry in Stafford County, Virginia.  In 1774, the stone blocks were quarried and transported to the cape. Sand drifts covered the stone blocks during the Revolutionary War.  Most of the laid foundation stones could not be salvaged due to sinking deep into the sand.  McComb Jr. excavated the salvageable stone.  Using excavated stone and new quarried stone, McComb Jr. erected a stronger Tower than specified by the plans.  The depth of foundation was increased from 13-feet to 20-feet below sea level and the diameter of the base was increased from 27.5 feet to 33 feet.  For the first 4-feet, 11-feet thick walls were laid in a circular design and Rappahannock freestone was laid to form the octagonal truncated pyramid 92-feet high tower.
Aquia stone was also used to build the Capitol Building, the White House and Mount Vernon.

(2) Montauk Point Lighthouse was constructed from June 7, 1796 to November 5, 1796.

(3) Eatons Neck Lighthouse was erected from July 2, 1798 to December 6, 1798 and First Lit on Jan 1, 1799.

John McComb Jr.’s other building projects included:

(A) Alexander Hamilton commissioned architect John McComb Jr. to design a 12-room Federal-style mansion.  The mansion was completed in 1802 and was called “The Grange.”  Currently, the Hamilton Grange National Memorial preserves Hamilton’s home.

(B) New York City’s “Old City Hall” was designed by architects John McComb, Jr. and Joseph-Francois Mangin, and constructed from 1803 to 1812.


Copyright 2001 by Debbie Dolphin.
Document Updated: Tuesday, June 26, 2001, 03:20:05pm Eastern Standard Time (-5GMT)