Mathias Point Light, Potomac River, near the Port Tobacco River, Maryland
Screwpile style lighthouse, hexagonal shape, built in 1876.
MATHIAS POINT LIGHT
Name of Lighthouse: Mathias Point Shoal
Location: Potomac River opposite the mouth of the Port Tobacco River
Date Built: 1876
Type of Structure: Hexagonal, three level, screw-pile
Foghorn: Fog bell
Status: No longer standing
- In apparent surprise to the Lighthouse Board, a Congressional appropriation of $9,000 was received in June 1872 to construct a lighthouse in the Potomac River at Shipping Point by Quantico Creek. An engineering survey determined that this was an inappropriate location and the money was returned with a request for a new appropriation for two lights to be built 24 miles down the river. One was to be at a major and dangerous bend named Mathias Point and the second near by at Port Tobacco Flats. An appropriation of $40,000 was received in 1874. Initially a day marker tower was approved for Mathias Point and a light for Port Tobacco Flats. However, construction was delayed for almost two years and during this time the sites were switched. Construction commenced in September 1876 and, since screw-pile lights were pre-fabricated off site, the light went up quickly. It was commissioned December 20, 1876 and exhibited a fifth order Fresnel lens. The design of this lighthouse was unique among screw-piles on the Bay. It had three levels and a great amount of detailed woodwork.
- The light was automated in 1951 and was monitored by the keeper of Maryland Point Light.
- In 1961 the light was decommissioned and dismantled.
Researched and written by Matthew B. Jenkins, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Light House Society.