Built in 1915 and began service as part of the U.S. Lighthouse Service in 1916. In 1964, the lightship was retired to Portsmouth, VA. In 1989, the Lightship Portsmouth was designated a National Historic Landmark.
The lightship now serves as a popular Portsmouth, Virginia attraction. Within the museum, the ship’s quarters are fitted out realistically and filled with fascinating artifacts, uniforms, photographs, models, and more.