Ragged Point Lighthouse


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 shoal that ran from the lighthouse to the shore.

Work began on the metalwork in 1908 and delivered to the lighthouse depot at Lazaretto Point, MD. The lighthouse was completed in March 1910 as a wooden, two-story hexagonal screw-pile lighthouse resting on seven wrought-iron piles.  The lighthouse was fitted with a fourth-order Fresnel lens which flashed white every 10 seconds.  The light was first exhibited on March 15, 1910, at a total cost of $34,223.97.

In the early 1960s, the lighthouse was fired on by planes on a training mission from the Patuxent Naval Air Station.  The keepers were able to wave off the pilots who had thought the lighthouse was vacant.

Ragged Point lighthouse was deactivated in 1962 and one of the first lighthouses to be dismantled.  It was replaced with an automated light tower that was built on the original foundation.  Notably, this lighthouse was the last built in Maryland waters and the last screwpile configuration on the Chesapeake. As of 2020, it is still an active aid to navigation.

Head Keepers:  A.B. Curtis (1910), Horace C. Groom (1910 – 1912), Patrick Reedy (1912 – 1915), Charles A. Larsen (1915 – at least 1918), Carl Geiling (at least 1919 – at least 1925), Earl C. Harris (1925 – ), Thomas J. Steinhise (1927), J.J. Dailey (1930 – ), Frank Lewis (1932 – 1933 ), Robert H. Matthews (1933 – 1936), Joseph L. Mayor (1937 – 1943), James E. Callis (1945 – 1946)

Assistants:  G. E. Powell (1910), James O. Casey (1910), Theodore Schlatzer (1910 – 1914), Frederick C. Lovatt (1914 – 1915), John F. Peele (at least 1917 – 1918), John T. Saunders (1918), James S. Downs (1918 – at least 1925), Edward B. Austin (1928), Joseph L. Mayor (1933 – 1937), Aubrey L. Diggs (1937), Nelson S. Atherton (1938), Stanley W. Rooks (at least 1940), James E. Callis (1942 – 1945)

Updated 9/5/2020




GPS: 38.1544,-76.6014


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