Timeline: Holland Island Bar Lighthouse

(Located west of Holland Island, north of Smith Island, approx. 12 miles from mainland.)

1889 Hexagonal one and a half story cottage screwpile (similar to Drum Point LH) built at Lazaretto Depot and towed to site on Tangier Sound. Exhibits a fixed white light from a 4th order Fresnel lens. Fog bell also installed.
1905 Lighthouse board make plans to build a caisson nearby to create a pair of range lights with Holland Island Bar the front light. Board later reconsiders, caisson never built.
1931 Keeper and 20 year lighthouse service veteran Ullman Owens found dead under mysterious circumstances. Heart attack or murder by rum runners suggested by local residents. FBI investigates. Owens’ body exhumed and autopsy performed. Coroner declares death by natural causes and case closed.
1936 Station equipped with diaphone air fog signal.
1957 Lighthouse receives “friendly fire” assault from three errant fighters on nighttime practice mission from the Atlantic City Naval Air Station, mistaking lighthouse for the intended target, the Hannibal, an old sunken ship. Two of four US Coast Guardsmen slightly injured. Three 18 inch holes blasted through wooden walls of the cottage. Pilings, generator and sleeping quarters damaged. Personnel evacuate to Point Lookout Depot. Light remains in service – at a slight angle.
1960 Coast Guard dismantles historic lighthouse and builds a modern light atop the station’s original foundation.

Sources: Lighting the Bay by Pat Vojtech and Lighthouses of Maryland and Virginia, History, Mystery, Legends & Lore by Bob Trapani, Jr.

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