Lighthouse Board

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LIGHTHOUSE BOARD. Navigational aids were nominally under federal control beginning in 1789, but they did not come under organized government control until the creation of the Lighthouse Board in 1851. Two naval officers, two army engineers, and two civilians made up the board, which operated through committees supervising particular aspects of its work. In 1910 the board was supplanted by the Bureau of Lighthouses within the Department of Commerce. Congress limited military control over the bureau and civilians oversaw most light-houses.

In 1939 the bureau became part of the U.S. Coast Guard, which continues to oversee lighthouses and other maritime navigational aids.


Noble, Dennis L. Lighthouses and Keepers: The U.S. Lighthouse Service and Its Legacy. Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1997.

NathanReingold/f. b.

See alsoCoast Guard, U. S .; Lifesaving Service ; Navy, United States ; River and Harbor Improvements .