Maryland Point Light

Sept. 17, 2019

Maryland Point Light, Potomac River, Maryland

Screwpile style lighthousebuilt in 1892, it was automated in 1954 and dismantled in 1963.


Name of Lighthouse:  Maryland Point
Location:  Potomac River
Date Built:  1892
Type of Structure:  Hexagonal screw-pile with dormer windows
Foghorn:  Fog Bell
Status:  No longer standing

Historical Information: 

  • The Lighthouse Board requested an appropriation for a light to mark the shoal at Maryland Point in 1887 and again in 1888 and 1889.  In 1890 Congress approved $50,000 for construction of a light.  Originally a caisson structure was envisioned – hence the sizable appropriation.  However, after additional tests of the hard river bottom, the engineers decided that screw-piles augmented with 5 foot wide disks to stabilize them, would work.  The cottage was constructed at Lazaretto Depot while the ironwork was ordered.  In October 1892 the materials were loaded onto scows and brought to the site along with the construction crews by the tenders Jessamine and Thistle.  The resulting white hexagonal cottage, with a red roof and exhibiting a fourth order Fresnel lens, was completed in December.  The light was commissioned December 15, 1892.
  • In 1954 the light was automated.
  • The light was decommissioned in 1963.  At that time the cottage was dismantled and the pieces moved to the Portsmouth Light Depot.

 Researched and written by Matthew B. Jenkins, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Light House Society.