Timeline: Fishing Battery Lighthouse

(Located on Fishing Battery Island, 2.5 miles below the entrance to the Susquehanna River, Havre de Grace, MD)

1853 Construction of 32-foot tall, integral one and a half story brick lighthouse/dwelling built by John Donahoo. This was his last of 13 lighthouses. Fitted with 5 lamps and reflectors.
1855 Fitted with 6th-order Fresnel lens. 1864 Lantern is replaced.
1867 Lantern replaced again.
1880-1891 Island leased to the U. S. Bureau of Fisheries and makes extensive improvements to lighthouse. Structure enlarged and receives new foundation. Ground floor converted to boathouse and storage area. 2nd floor -keeper’s quarters.
1899 5th-order Fresnel lens installed.
1921 38-foot steel skeletal tower built next to lighthouse. Lantern
removed from lighthouse. Keeper continues to live in lighthouse.
1939 Automation. Solar-powered cells installed. Keeper leaves.
1942 Island comes under the jurisdiction of the Department of Interior and becomes part of the Blackwater Wildlife Refuge.
1980s Battery Island Preservation Society, Inc. attempts to stabilize island and restore lighthouse.
1994 Coast Guard conducts property survey; determines foundation is not structurally sound. Later declares lighthouse “excess property”.

Sources: Bay Beacons by Linda Turbyville and Maryland Lighthouses of the Chesapeake Bay by F. Ross Holland

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