Frying Pan on its last day at station (replaced by light tower)
|Builder:||Charleston Dry Dock and Machine Co.|
|Laid down:||January 30, 1929|
|Launched:||August 30, 1929|
|Acquired:||April 8, 1930|
|Status:||Operational; available for rent|
|Length:||133 ft 3 in (40.61 m)|
|Beam:||30 ft (9.1 m)|
|Installed power:||General Electric generators and motors.|
FRYING PAN SHOALS LIGHTSHIP NO. 115
|Location||Pier 63, Chelsea, New York, New York|
|Architect||Charleston Dry Dock and Machine Co.|
|NRHP reference #||98001615|
|Added to NRHP||January 28, 1999|
In 1854, because of complaints from mariners that the height of the existing Bald Head Lighthouse was inadequate, and the light of its third-order Fresnel lens was not bright enough to warn mariners of the shallow waters of the treacherous Frying Pan Shoals off the coast of Cape Fear in North Carolina, United States, the first lightship was stationed on the shoals, in lieu of a proposal to improve Bald Point Lighthouse. The Bald Point lighthouse, and others, were turned off during the Civil War to avoid aiding the Northern ships. Lightships remained on station for 110 years.
Frying Pan was the last of nine ships that served in succession, with some alternation, at the Frying Pan Shoals station during and since the American Civil War.
Frying Pan served at Frying Pan Shoals from 1930 to 1942, and again from 1945 to 1964. During World War II the ship was used as an examination vessel, as part of training.
Frying Pan was retired from duty at Frying Pan Shoals in 1964. It served briefly as a relief ship at Cape May, New Jersey, and then was decommissioned in 1965. The ship sank in 1986. It was raised in 1987, then resold and eventually restoration began in 1988. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.
Frying Pan is one of about 13 surviving American lightships, out of about 100 built. Four other lightships, Ambrose at South Street Seaport, Nantucket at Oyster Bay, Long Island, Chesapeake at Baltimore Inner Harbor and Swiftsure at Northwest Seaport became National Historic Landmarks and are open to the public as museum ships.
Frying Pan can be rented for events and functions. It became known as a party site in New York.
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