Category: Heritage-Maryland

Craighill Channel Lower Range Rear Lighthouse

Craighill Channel Lower Range Light Rear (Miller’s Island) was originally to be a screwpile light. The lighthouse was constructed in 1873 on 9 granite piers with a pyramidal iron skeletal tower with a square central cylinder with a fourth-order Fresnel lens. It is a unique style for the Chesapeake Bay and is painted with a …

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Craighill Channel Lower Range Front Lighthouse

Craighill Channel Lower Range Light Front (Craighill Light) is the second oldest cast iron, “spark plug” and caisson type lighthouse in the United States. Its design with a single-story keeper’s quarters is unique. Built in 1873, it had a fourth-order Fresnel lens with a red lantern. The light was automated in 1964 with a 250 …

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Craighill Channel Upper Range Front Lighthouse

Craighill Channel Upper Range Light Front (Cutoff Channel Range Front, Ft. Howard) was built on the foundation of the old North Point Light. It is a small red and white brick octagonal tower. The original keeper’s quarters were located onshore with a wooden bridge connecting the light to the shore. After the bridge was destroyed …

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Craighill Channel Upper Range Rear Lighthouse

Craighill Channel Upper Range Light Rear (Cutoff Channel Range Rear) was built in 1886 and consists of an iron frame supporting a wooden tower that is covered with corrugated iron. A locomotive headlight was used as the original lantern and the keeper lived in a house next to the tower. The light was automated in …

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Blakistone Island Lighthouse

Blakistone Island Light was once located on Blackston Island. Today the island is better known as St. Clement’s Island. The island is only 5 miles downriver from Cobb Point Bar light. Congress appropriated $3,500 in 1848 for the lighthouse construction. John Donahoo was awarded the contract at a cost of $4,535. The structure was a …

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Lazaretto Point Lighthouse

The original tower on this point was built in 1831 by John Donahoo, the builder of 12 Chesapeake Bay lights. This was the tenth light that he was to build. It was 31 feet tall and was built of brick. The decision to build here was made because the government already owned five acres of …

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Upper Cedar Point Lighthouse

Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard In 1821, a lightship was stationed at the location of the Upper Cedar Point Lighthouse.  For the next 46 years, a total of four lightships remained there until the Lighthouse Board began replacing lightships with permanent structures.  In 1867, a white, square screwpile light was built.  It was …

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Somers Cove Lighthouse

On March 2, 1867, Congress appropriated $10,000 to construct a lighthouse to mark the entrance to the Little Annemessex River at Crisfield, MD., situated just north of the Virginia line on the east side of the Chesapeake Bay. According to the U.S. Lighthouse Board, it should be “a screwpile structure of the least expensive class.” …

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Sharkfin Shoal Lighthouse

Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard Sharkfin Shoal Lighthouse was located two miles southwest of Clay Island at the Nanticoke River. It was built to replace the Clay Island Lighthouse, located two miles to the northeast. In 1889, Congress appropriated $25,000 to construct the new lighthouse. Construction of the superstructure was executed at Lazaretto …

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Ragged Point Lighthouse

Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard The first request for a light at Ragged Point was in 1896.  Funds were not appropriated until 1906 and construction did not begin until an additional $5,000 was appropriated in 1908.  The lighthouse was erected at Coles Point near the Virginia shoreline in Westmoreland County, to mark a …

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Mathias Point Lighthouse

Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard Mathias Point Station was placed at the edge of a shoal jutting out from a major bend in the Potomac River.  This point was considered one of the most dangerous navigation problems on the river.  In the summer of 1873, the United States naval steamer Frolic went ashore …

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Maryland Point Lighthouse

Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard 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 …

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Lower Cedar Point Lighthouse

Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard 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 …

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Baltimore Harbor Lighthouse

Baltimore Harbor Lighthouse

The Lighthouse Board’s original request for $60,000 to build a lighthouse was made in 1890 to mark the entrance to the Baltimore channel at the mouth of the Magothy River.  Those funds were approved by Congress in 1894, but after extensive testing which revealed a layer of soft mud 55 feet below the surface of …

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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 request …

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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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Turkey Point Lighthouse

Turkey Point Lighthouse is located in the Elk Neck State Park. It was authorized by Congress in 1831 and was built in 1833 with a tower and keeper’s quarters by John Donohoo. The tower is 35 feet high and is situated on a 100-foot bluff where the North East and Elk Rivers converge. Originally, the …

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Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse

Thomas Point Lighthouse - Can you tell if the pickets are new or old?

Perhaps the most photographed lighthouse in The Chesapeake Bay, The Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse is the last screwpile structure left on its original site in the bay. It went into service on November 27, 1875, to replace a light on the shore at Thomas Point at the entrance to the South River. The Lighthouse Board …

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Solomon’s Lump Lighthouse

The first lighthouse erected here in 1875 was a square cottage style screwpile design. It replaced a light at Fog Point on Cherry Island about a mile to the south that was built in 1827. The screwpile lasted for 18 years until January of 1893 when ice build-up caused the structure to be bent over …

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Sharps Island Lighthouse

The Sharps Island lighthouse is a cast-iron caisson filled with concrete with a brick-lined cast iron tower built on top. The tower is 37 feet tall which sets the light 54 feet above the mean water level. This structure was constructed in 1881-2 and first lit on February 1, 1882. This is the third light …

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Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse

Seven Foot Knoll

Seven Foot Knoll Light was the second screwpile light to be built on the Chesapeake and the first to be built in Maryland. It is built entirely of iron and in a circular design, which is unique among the Bay’s screwpiles along with its barn red color. It was constructed in 1855 at the mouth …

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Sandy Point Shoal Lighthouse

In 1883 the Sandy Point Shoal caisson with a 37-foot Empire-style eight-sided, red-brick tower with a white roof and black lantern housing a 4th order Fresnel lens was built. This caisson replaced an earlier Sandy Point Light that had been built on land where Sandy Point State Park is located now. It was an onshore …

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