Timeline: Sharps Island Lighthouse

(The leaning light of the Chesapeake Bay)

1838 First lighthouse, a wooden tower, built on the island (900 acres).
1848 Lighthouse moved inland due to erosion (now – 450 acres).
1855 Lighthouse refitted with 5th order Fresnel lens.
1865/66 Second light, a screwpile, built on shoal.
1881 Screwpile destroyed by ice. Structure w/ keepers aboard carried away by ice floes.
1882 Present caisson, 54 feet tall constructed. 4th order lens lit on February, 1882.
1890s Resort hotel built on eroding island. 1900 Island shrinks to 94 acres.
1940s Island completely disappears
1976/77 Lighthouse tilted by impact of heavy, moving ice. Lens removed and replaced by 250mm plastic lens. Deterioration of tower continues.

Source: Bay Beacons by Linda Turbyville

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