Sharkfin Shoal Lighthouse


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 Depot, in Baltimore, MD. In May 1892, the superstructure and work party were loaded on barges and towed to the site by lighthouse tenders. The seven screwpiles were positioned and secured to the beams and rods which formed the foundation. The white hexagonal lighthouse was fitted with a fourth-order lens on August 1, and the light was exhibited for the first time on August 1, 1892.

In 1964, Sharkfin Shoal lighthouse was dismantled and removed. The foundation beams were replaced by steel I-beams and a reinforced concrete platform was poured. A small 8-foot square by 10-feet high concrete house was built in the middle of the platform. A skeletal tower was then erected on top of the concrete house to give the light the same focal plane as the light from the old lighthouse.

By the end of 1964, all the screwpile lighthouses on the Chesapeake Bay had been automated except for Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse.

Head Keepers: Thomas T. Cole (1892 – 1903), Henry C. Sterling (1903 – 1904), William R. Schoenfelder (1904), Walter C. Carew (1904 – at least 1925), Joseph D. Elliot (at least 1939), Henry Bradford (at least 1940), Charles E. Palmquist (1947)

Assistants:  Walter S. Brown (1892 – 1900), D.A. White (1900 – 1901), J.H. Wainwright (1901), Henry C. Sterling (1901 – 1902), Walter C. Carew (1902 – 1904), Clinton B. Gray (1904 – 1905), Calvin H. Bozman (1905 – 1909), Addison S. Hall (1909 – 1914), Henry T. McGrath (at least 1915 – at least 1917), Ulman Owens (1918 – 1924), Bertie E. Ford (at least 1930), Raymond C. Peters (at least 1939)

Updated 5/8/2019




GPS: 38.2020,-75.9868


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