Category: Crossed the Bar

Maryland Point Lighthouse

Congress appropriated $50,000 on August 30, 1890, to establish a lighthouse at Maryland Point. Maryland Point lighthouse was in the middle of the Potomac River halfway between Fairview Beach, VA, and Caledon Natural Area State Park in King George County, VA. The Lighthouse Board noted, “The channel of the river is quite narrow here and …

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Lower Cedar Point Lighthouse

  The Potomac River was filled with dangerous shoals and narrow turns, so the need for safe navigation was especially important for mariners. In 1825, A 72-ton wood schooner with a single light, “DD”, was stationed at Lower Cedar Point Station on the Potomac River. In 1861, Confederate forces boarded and burned the ship. In …

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Bowlers Rock Station

Bowlers Rock Station, 1835 – 1868 A total of two lightships were stationed to the Bowlers Rock station in the upper Rappahannock River approximately 34 miles above its entrance into the Chesapeake Bay and approximately 8-1/2 miles downriver from the town of Tappahannock to mark a large rock on the east side of the channel, …

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Love Point Lighthouse

The first request for a lighthouse to be built at Love Point was in 1834, but that request was rejected in 1837 after Captain Claxton of the Navy Commissioners Office claims that “it would be totally useless for vessels passing up or down the bay and is not necessary for the limited number of craft …

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Janes Island Lighthouse

Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard A lightship was maintained for 14 years from 1853-1867, at Tangier Sound to mark the entrance to the Little Annamessex River just west of Crisfield, MD. In 1850, Congress appropriated $8,000 to construct a lighthouse to replace the lightship. This hexagonal lighthouse was completed, and the fourth-order Franklin …

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Holland Island Bar Lighthouse

Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard Holland Island Bar Light was originally a white hexagonal cottage screwpile structure built in 1889. The light was located in the Chesapeake Bay west of Holland Island, north of the Smith Island.In 1931 the lighthouse keeper was mysteriously found dead in his bed at the lighthouse. In 1957, …

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Greenbury Point Shoals Lighthouse

The original Greenbury Point Light Station was constructed in 1849 to mark the entrance to the Annapolis Harbor. In 1878, the Lighthouse Board reported, “The light, in its present position, is of little use, and is so small that it can hardly be distinguished from the lights of the Naval Academy and the harbor of …

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Great Shoals Lighthouse

Great Shoals Lighthouse was constructed in 1884 at the entrance to the Wicomico River to mark the narrow, deep water channel. It was necessary to support the increasing oyster trade in the area. The Lighthouse Board recommended that a lighthouse be constructed in 1882 and in March 1883, Congress appropriated $15,000 for the construction. Framework …

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Fog Point Lighthouse

Fog Point Lighthouse was constructed in 1827 on the northwestern tip of Smith Island, the Chesapeake Bay off Crisfield by John Donahoo at a price of $3,500. It was used to mark the narrow passage north of Smith Island through Kedges Strait. The lighthouse was a one and one-half story saltbox style white house with …

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Cedar Point Lighthouse

In 1896, the Light House Board requested $25,000 from Congress to build Cedar Point lighthouse on the southern side at the mouth of the Patuxent River to mark a dangerous sand bar. Cedar Point sat on 1.54 acres with a three-story brick and cedar-shingle house crowned by a 50-foot tower housing lens and fog bell …

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Cobb Point Bar Lighthouse

  Cobb Point Bar Lighthouse, also known as Cobb Island Bar, was built to mark the entrance to the Wicomico River from the Potomac River. Prior to the construction, passenger vessels often traveled up the river, only to become grounded on a bar the extended five miles. The U.S. Lighthouse Board originally made the initial …

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Clay Island Lighthouse

In 1831, Congress appropriates $5,900 to construct a lighthouse on Clay Island. Clay Island was located at the entrance to the Wicomico River on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay at the confluence of Nanticoke River, Fishing Bay, and Tangier Sound. The land was purchased at a price of $500 and the deed was …

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Choptank River Lighthouse

Choptank Replica

The Choptank River Light was constructed in 1870 and was a hexagonal cottage style screw pile lighthouse built by Francis A. Gibbons. The lighthouse sat at Bernoni Point in the Choptank River and replaced the Lightship Hooper Strait/Relief (LV 25) that was anchored there from 1870-1871. This lighthouse was similar in style to the York …

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York Spit Lighthouse

York Spit Lighthouse was built in 1870 in the Chesapeake Bay about 5 miles east of Rue Point at the southern entrance to the York River, Virginia. It was to mark a long shoal that paralleled the main channel into the York River eight miles into the Chesapeake Bay. Prior to the construction of the …

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Windmill Point Lighthouse

Windmill Point Lighthouse was built in 1869 at the entrance to the Rappahannock River on the north side. Three separate lightships were originally stationed here from 1834 until the lighthouse was constructed. Confederates took the first lightship in 1861. The lighthouse was a white hexagonal screwpile style that was assembled at Lazaretto Depot in Maryland. …

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White Shoal Lighthouse

White Shoal Lighthouse was built in 1855 and was one of three screwpiles lighted on February 6 in the James River. The lighthouse was located below Sandy Point on the lower end of the shoal and on the right side of the main channel heading upriver near Newport News, Virginia. It was built to replace …

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Watts Island Lighthouse

Watts Island Lighthouse was built in 1833 on Little Watts Island, a seven-acre island, just south of Watts Island between the Eastern Shore peninsula and Tangier Island. John Donohoo of Havre De Grace, Maryland built the original brick 48-foot tower in 1833 which was equipped with a fifth-order Fresnel lens at a cost of $4,775. …

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Tue Marshes Lighthouse

Originally called “Too’s Marshes” the Tue Marshes Lighthouse was built in 1875 on the southern shore entrance to the York River on the Goodwin Islands. Built at a price of $15,000, it was a square white screwpile lighthouse with a brown roof, set on a wrought-iron foundation. It was originally equipped with a sixth-order Fresnel …

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Stingray Point Lighthouse

Stingray Point Lighthouse was built in 1858 at the entrance to the Rappahannock River near Deltaville, Virginia. It was a hexagonal screwpile lighthouse. The lighthouse was automated just prior to being dismantled in 1965. Sections of the lighthouse were sold to Gilbert Purcell, a boatyard owner who hoped to rebuild the lighthouse on land but …

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Pungoteague Creek Lighthouse

The first Pungoteague Creek Lighthouse was built in 1854 just offshore near the entrance to the Pungoteague Creek in Accomack County, Virginia. It was built by Major Hartman Bache and was the first screwpile built in the Chesapeake Bay. During the winter of 1854, the superstructure, foundation, and ironwork were completed in Philadelphia, and in …

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Old Plantation Flats Lighthouse

Old Plantation Flats Lighthouse was built in 1886 as a white rectangular screwpile with a tower on the roof. The lighthouse was located at the entrance to the channel leading to Cape Charles, Virginia and Old Plantation Creek. The lighthouse had an unusual foundation construction with a combination of screwpile and concrete pylons. The lighthouse …

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Nansemond River Lighthouse

Due to increased river traffic in the Nansemond area, Congress appropriated $15,000 on July 31, 1876, to construct a lighthouse Pig Point on the eastern side of the entrance to the Nansemond River in Suffolk, Virginia. The following year, a tract of land was obtained from the Governor of Virginia to construct the light. The …

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Lambert Point Lighthouse

Lambert Point Lighthouse was built in 1872 on the shore of the Elizabeth River in Norfolk, Virginia. It was a square screwpile set on five piles, rather than the six that were planned. The house was brown in color and the lantern had a red light of the fifth order. In 1873, it was reported …

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Killock Shoal Lighthouse

On July 7, 1884, Congress appropriated $10,000 to construct a light on the north end of the Chincoteague Channel just adjacent to Chincoteague Island, known as the Killock Shoal Lighthouse (sometimes spelled Killick). After the site was selected, borings were made at a depth of seventeen feet, which showed that the bottom of the Bay …

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Jordan Point Lighthouse

Jordan Point Lighthouse-1885/National Archives Photo

Jordan Point Lighthouse was built in 1855 in the upper James River near Hopewell, Virginia, twenty miles from Richmond. Jordan Point was one of four early navigational aids on the James River leading to Richmond. The first lighthouse was a white, twenty-four foot by 17-foot rectangular two-story structure supported on stone piers with the lantern …

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Hog Island Lighthouse

The first Hog Island Lighthouse was built in 1852. It was a white conical brick tower equipped with 15 lamps set in 21-inch reflectors exhibiting a fixed white light that could be seen for 13 miles.  Adjacent to the lighthouse was a keeper’s dwelling.  In 1855, the lamps were replaced with a fourth-order Fresnel lens. …

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Great Wicomico River Lighthouse

On October 2, 1888, Congress appropriated $25,000 to build a lighthouse at the mouth of the Great Wicomico River on Virginia’s Western Shore. This would help guide mariners through two shallow shoals at the entrance of the river. Proposals for bids went out in January 1889 for the ironwork. The winning bid was for $13,975 …

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Dutch Gap Canal Lighthouse

Dutch Gap Canal Lights were constructed at either end of the canal in 1875 near Hopewell, Virginia on the upper James River. The lights were two 27-foot post lights. The lights were originally to be a sixth-order, but it was decided to use small lanterns, burning mineral oil. The canal was constructed by Union troops …

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Deep Water Shoals Lighthouse

The first Deep Water Shoal Lighthouse was built in 1855 on the James River northeast of Fort Eustis on the shoal on the right side of the channel, above Mulberry Island Point and below Lyon’s Creek. The light was first exhibited on February 6, 1855. It was a small, twenty-foot square, four-room white dwelling with …

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Craney Island Lighthouse

Photo courtesy U.S Coast Guard (1884 lighthouse). The first permanent lightship station in the United States was anchored in 1820 in the lower Chesapeake Bay on the west side of the channel near the mouth of the Elizabeth River to guide vessels approaching Norfolk & Portsmouth harbors. This lightship was originally stationed at Willoughby Spit, …

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