Point Lookout Lighthouse

The Point Lookout Lighthouse is located at the mouth of the Potomac River at the Bay and was originally constructed in 1830 as a one-and-a-half-story wooden and masonry building. It was raised to two-stories in 1883 with the light raised to 41 feet. A free-standing fog bell was built in 1872, however, after the buoy repair shed was built in 1883, the bell could not be heard by mariners. A new bell tower was constructed and attached to the east end of the coal shed in 1889 to ensure mariners could hear the bell. The lighthouse was remodeled again in 1927 to its present-day configuration as a duplex to allow two keepers and their families to live onsite.

On August 17, 1919, Keeper George M. Willis, Sr. saved a woman and her child, along with another child from drowning and recovered the body of another person who drowned. A total of three people drowned that day after being caught in a strong undertow. Keeper Willis was also responsible for providing assistance to people aboard a disabled plane that landed near the lighthouse by putting them up at the lighthouse overnight. Keeper Willis was stationed at Point Lookout from 1917 to 1939 when he retired after suffering an accident that left him permanently disabled.

In 1951 the US Navy purchased land near the light. The US Coast Guard gave the US Navy the lighthouse in 1966 upon deactivation. The lighthouse had been active for more than 135 years. Currently, the lighthouse is surrounded by a chain-link fence and is open to the public one day a month from April through November; please see www.PLLPS.org for the current open house schedule.

The State of Maryland obtained ownership of the lighthouse in February 2006. A huge restoration project has been started, with plans that include turning the Point Lookout Lighthouse into a museum for the public to view. No date is available for completion on this project.

Head Keepers: James Davis (1830), Ann Davis (1830 – 1847), William Wood (1847 – 1849), William P. Baxter (1849 – 1853), Samuel Cullison (1853), Richard D. Edwards (1853), Martha A. Edwards (1853 – 1855), Pamelia Edwards (1855 – 1869), William Moody (1869 – 1871), William Yeatman (1871 – 1908), Percy S. Yeatman (1908), William Moody (1908 – 1912), Thomas Jacobson (1912 – 1917), George M. Willis, Sr. (1917 – 1939), Robert Westly Fulcher (1939 – 1942), Herman F. Metivier (1942 – 1954), Zadock W. Sturgis (1955 – 1956), George Jetson Gatton, Sr. (1956 – 1965), Raymond Hartzel (1965 – 1966)

Assistants: John W. Higbee (1930 – ), William Yeatman, Jr. (1931 – 1939), Herman F. Metivier (1939 – 1942), Zadock W. Sturgis (1943 – 1954)

Updated 5/25/2020




GPS: 38.0387,-76.3221


Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/point-lookout-lighthouse/