Timeline: Maryland Point Lighthouse

1887:   The U.S. Lighthouse Board recommends that a lighthouse be built at Maryland Point, 50 miles upriver from the Bay where there is a narrow bend and only 10 feet of water at a shoal. They request an appropriation of $25,000.

1888:   The request is repeated, with an increased appropriation of $45,000 to construct a caisson style lighthouse.

1889:   The request is repeated, with an increased appropriation of $50,000.

1890:   Congress appropriates $50,000 on August 30 to establish a lighthouse at Maryland Point. Borings are made in November to determine the design of the foundation. It is determined that shorter piles be used, and disks are to be attached to the piles to rest on the surface of the shoal.

1892:   A new hexagonal screwpile lighthouse resting on seven wrought iron screwpiles and fitted with a fourth-order lens is completed and first exhibited on December 15, 1892.

1892:   Keeper William J. Leary is run over by a Baltimore and Potomac train on November 24. He was Keeper for only 9 days.

1896:   2,000 tons of riprap stone are equally placed above and below the lighthouse to act as ice breakers.

1904:   The fog bell, which was displaced by the impact of moving ice was replaced in March.

1905:   An additional 300 tons of granite is added to the existing riprap stone.

1915:   Keeper Charles H. Applegarth is awarded the efficiency gold star.

1918:   Assistant keeper A. J. Jarvis aids a disabled airplane on May 25. Keeper Charles H. Applegarth is awarded the commissioners’ efficiency star.

1920:   On February 5, Keeper Charles H. Applegarth abandons the lighthouse due to heavy ice floes, reporting that it is impossible to operate the light or fog bell.

1921:   1,000 tons of riprap stone are placed to form an ice breaker and protect the lighthouse from future ice floes.

1926:   Keeper J. E. Morgan helped occupants of a motorboat that had become disabled on September 9.

1934:   On March 2, due to severe ice and excessive vibration of the structure, a “provisional fixed white light has been substituted in order to save the revolving lens and mechanism from destruction.” The light was restored 7 days later.

1954:   The lighthouse is automated.

1963:   The lighthouse is dismantled and moved to the Portsmouth Depot. It is replaced by a light mounted on the remaining screwpile foundation.


  1. Annual Report of the Lighthouse Board, various years.
  2. Annual Report of the Secretary of the Treasury on the State of Finances, various years.
  3. Forgotten Beacons, Patrick Hornberger & Linda Turbyville, 1997
  4. The Baltimore Sun, March 2, 1934

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