Lower Cedar Point Light

Sept. 10, 2019

Lower Cedar Point Light, Potomac River, Maryland

Screwpile style lighthouse built in 1867, replaced by a skeletal tower.


Lighthouse Name:  Lower Cedar Point Light
Location:  Middle of the Potomac River downstream from the Potomac River Bridge (US 301) near Dahlgren, VA; nearest Town/City is Morgantown, MD
Date Built: Built in 1867 
Type of Structure:  Square cottage-style Screw pile lighthouse
Characteristics:  October 1896 the red sector was removed and the fourth order light showed a fixed white light.
Foghorn:  Fog bell struck at intervals of twelve seconds
Status:  No longer standing

Historical Information:

  • Lighthouse replaced lightships (1825-1861) a small, wooden, sailing schooner showing a single light.  In 1861 the lightship was burned and destroyed by Confederate forces; a second Lightship #24, a 77’, 2-masted sailing with each mast holding an iron day-marker and 2 lanterns, each having 8 oil lamps  provided services in 1864.
  • Lighthouse was destroyed by fire on Christmas Day 1893; a lens lantern was immediately placed to mark this important navigation point in the Potomac River; the lighthouse was rebuilt in 1896.
  • Lighthouse was deactivated in 1951 and the cottage was dismantled and replaced with a skeleton tower built on the original lighthouse foundation.  The skeleton tower is visible from Cedar Beach on the Maryland side and from the Harry Nice Bridge (US 301) over the river.

Researched and written by Kitty Price, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Light House Society.