Timeline: Fort Washington Lighthouse

(Located at Fort Washington Park, Fort Washington, MD – Prince Georges County -revised 09/02/08)

1857 Light station – 18 1⁄2 foot cast-iron column with small light established at the intersection of the Potomac River w/ Swan and Piscataway Creeks.
1870 Small tower with 6th-order lens built.
1882 Present structure – 32 foot pyramidal wooden fog bell tower, painted white constructed (built at the Lazaretto workshop).
1885 Keepers’ house built.
1901 Fog bell tower height increased to support a lens and light (temporarily). Old lighthouse torn down.
Early 1900s Light –flashing red w/ 7-mile range – automated.
1939 Fortress transferred to the Department of the Interior.
1946 Fort placed under the administration of the National Park Service.
1950s Wharf & all buildings, except tower, demolished.
1970s Fog bell mechanism broke.
1997 Chesapeake Chapter, USLHS begins restoration work on bell tower.
2005 Coast Guard transfers light to the National Park Service.
2009 NPS does extensive restoration of tower.
2013 USCG replaces modern beacon with LED lamp.
2014  NPS repairs deterioration and gives entire structure a fresh coat of paint.

2020  The Coast Guard removes the LED lamp – It is no longer an active aid to navigation.

Source: Bay Beacons by Linda Turbyville and National Park Service.

Updated 10/26/2020

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