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Happy birthday! Lightship Overfalls celebrates 75 years

Lewes icon once served off New England coast
Lightship Overalls Foundation President Tracy Mulveny raises a glass to toast the ship's birthday. BY RON MACARTHUR
June 10, 2013

Only a handful of the hundreds of commissioned lightships remains, and it's a safe bet that none has been restored as well as the Overfalls docked in Canalfront Park in Lewes.

Thanks to efforts of the Overfalls Foundation and The Dirty Hands Gang, the lightship has become an icon in the Cape Region.

Volunteers took time out to celebrate June 4 marking the 75th anniversary of the launching of the ship at its first station at Cornfield Point off the coast of Connecticut on June 4, 1938.

Although a lightship served in the Delaware Bay from 1898 to 1960, the Overfalls in Lewes harbor never saw service in this area. Its second station was Cross Rip in 1958 off the coast of Cape Cod, and it ended its service in 1972 near Boston harbor. Lightship Boston was donated to the Lewes Historical Society in 1973. She was renamed Overfalls, which was the closest lightship station to Lewes.

Two actual Overfalls lightships exist; one is located in Portsmouth, Va., and the other is in Oakland, Calif.