Photo Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard
First established in 1822 (discontinued in 1855) the Bodkin Point Lighthouse would have been visible from the North Overlook in the distance. It has long since crumbled and what remains of the lighthouse and the island on which it stood now show only as a ‘navigational hazard’ on present-day maps.
In August 1820, six acres of land were purchased to construct the lighthouse for $600 from Richard Caton. In 1821, advertisements for bids to construct the lighthouse were sent out and the contract was awarded to Thomas Evans and William Coppeck. Construction began in June and by August, fifteen feet of the tower was completed. By the end of September, the 35-foot tall stone tower and small, one-story 20-foot by 34-foot stone keepers dwelling were completed. Thirteen lamps were procured from Winslow Lewis and installed shortly thereafter. The light was first exhibited in January 1822.
Captain Barney of the fifth U.S. Naval District oversaw the construction of the tower and was concerned that Evans and Coppeck had taken shortcuts in the construction, especially the foundation. The first fifteen feet of tower was constructed using an inadequate mixture of lime in the mortar, as well as using beach sand. Barney then contacted John Donahoo. Donahoo, a well-known developer, and builder from Havre de Grace, who eventually agreed to shore up the construction concerns.
In 1856, Seven Foot Knoll was completed to replace the Bodkin Point tower and the station was decommissioned. The keeper’s dwelling was inhabited by a fisherman for a while until it was later abandoned. The tower collapsed in 1914, and since then, the bay has reclaimed the 20+ acre island.
Keepers: John Gray (1822), Araminta Gray (1822 – 1823), Mark W. Foreman (1823 – 1824), Philip Marshall (1824 – at least 1837), John J. Stewart (1839 – 1841), Edward Lucas (at least 1841 – 1843), Daniel Tatham (1843 – 1844), Rossanah Tatham (1844 – 1849), Robert B. Tathem (1844), William H. Glover (1849 – 1852), I.L. Webster (1852 – 1853), George McCutchen (1853 – 1856)