Timeline: Ragged Point Lighthouse

1896:   The U.S. Lighthouse Board recommends that a lighthouse be built at Ragged Point, MD on the Potomac River to mark a shoal at a dangerous turn in the river. The Lighthouse Board requests $20,000 to construct the light and fog signal station.

1901:   After multiple requests to establish a light at Ragged Point over the last six years, the price of materials and labor has increased. The Lighthouse Board now requests $30,000 to establish the light station.

1906:   On June 20, Congress authorizes a light and fog signal station to be constructed at Ragged Point, MD. On June 30, Congress appropriates $15,000 to establish the light and fog signal station. The U.S. Lighthouse Board requests an additional $15,000 to complete the construction.

1907:   On March 4, Congress appropriates an additional $15,000 to complete the light station, making a total of $30,000. Plans & specs for the metal work and construction of the structure are completed and requests for bids are announced. The lowest bid was more than the $30,000 authorized and the Lighthouse Board requests an additional $15,000 to complete the project.

1908:   Congress appropriates an additional $5,000 on May 27, bringing the total appropriation to $35,000. The metal work is completed and delivered to the lighthouse depot at Lazaretto Point, MD. The framing of the superstructure begins, and the first story is set up and ready to be disassembled for transportation to the site.

1910:   The contractor completes work of the two-story hexagonal structure on February 26. The fourth order light exhibiting a flashing white light every ten seconds is first exhibited on March 15. The total cost for the light station is $34,223.97.

1918:   Keeper Charles A. Larsen and Assistant Keeper James A. Downs offer aid to a barge that had sprung a leak on November 28. Keeper Charles A. Larsen is also awarded the inspectors efficiency star. Dangerous ice floes damage the structure.

1919:   600 tons of riprap stone are placed to act as an ice breaker to protect the lighthouse. The work is completed on April 15.

1923:   Keeper Carl Geiling is awarded the efficiency flag.

1926:   A New York woman donates 12 large radio sets to Harold D. King, superintendent of the Baltimore lighthouse district for distribution to lighthouses, light vessels, and lighthouse tenders to help battle loneliness. Ragged Point Lighthouse receives one of those radios.

1951:   Ragged Point Lighthouse is automated.

1962:   Ragged Point Lighthouse is dismantled in July and an automated light on a skeletal tower is erected on the 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

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