The first Hog Island Lighthouse was built in 1852 and was a white conical brick tower. This lighthouse lasted until 1896 when it was replaced with a cast iron pyramidal skeletal tower with a central cylinder. This lighthouse was similar to the Cape Charles lighthouse today.
Both lighthouses were built on what was the southern end of Hog Island. Hog Island was the northern most part of the natural barrier islands of Virginia’s Eastern Shore.
By the 1920s the ocean had eroded much of the island. A hurricane in the 1930s claimed even more of the land. The lighthouse was demolished in 1948.
The 10-foot high lens, a first order produced by the Henry-LePaute company in France, was removed from the lighthouse before its final destruction. It is now on display on the Portsmouth Seawall adjacent to the High Street Landing.