Ragged Point Light (MD)

Oct. 8, 2019

Ragged Point Light, Potomac River, Chesapeake Bay, Maryland

Screwpile style lighthouse built in 1910.


Name of Lighthouse: Ragged Point
Location: West side of Potomac River, opposite Piney Point
Date Built: 1910
Type of Structure: hexagonal, 2-story, screw-pile
Foghorn: Bell
Appropriation: $35,000
Status: No longer standing

Historical Information:

  • The Lighthouse Board first requested that Congress fund a light at Ragged Point in 1896. However, the original appropriation of $30,000 (split into two $15,000 payments) was not made until 1906. This proved insufficient and there were several cycles of soliciting bids and requesting additional funds. Finally an additional $5,000 was received and work began. The light was completed February 26th,1910 and the station was commissioned on March 15th. It exhibited a 4th order Fresnel lens. This was the last lighthouse erected in Maryland waters and the last lighthouse to be built on the Chesapeake Bay in a new location.
  • In the early 1960s the lighthouse was strafed by pilots on a practice mission from the Patuxent Naval Air Station who thought the structure was vacant. The U.S. Coast Guard keepers rushed to the catwalk to waive off the attacking planes and were unharmed, though the structure sustained some damage.
  • In 1962, shortly after the strafing incident, the cottage was dismantled.

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