Lazaretto Point Lighthouse Timeline
(Located at pier at Lehigh Cement Corporation – at entrance to Baltimore Harbor – eastern end of I-95
bridge over the Patapsco River – 07/19/14)
1831 Original 31 foot tall brick tower and keepers house built by John Donahoo on grounds of closed smallpox hospital known as Lazaretto Point. Fitted with eleven lamps and reflectors.
1836 Fire destroys hospital and damages keeper’s house. New living quarters built from bricks salvaged from the hospital ruins and old keeper’s house.
1855 4th-order Fresnel lens installed in tower.
1863 Establishment of lighthouse depot next to tower. Construction site for prefabricated screwpile lighthouses and caisson foundations used on the Chesapeake Bay. Property used to store Union munitions.
1869 Fog Bell tower constructed. Light changed from white to red.
1914 Lighthouse becomes first Bay beacon to be powered by electricity.
1926 Tower dismantled and replaced by 39-foot tall steel skeletal tower.
1954 Skeleton tower demolished.
1958 Depot closed; property sold and converted into shipping terminal.
1985 Present-day replica built in proximity of original tower to honor historian and waterfront enthusiast Norman Rukert, Sr.by Rukert family members.
Sources: Lighthouse Friends web site – http://www.lighthousefriends.com/light.asp?ID=421 and Lighting the Bay – Tales of Chesapeake Lighthouses by Pat Vojtech