North Point Range Lights

Nov. 5, 2019

North Point Range Lights, North Point, Chesapeake Bay, Maryland


Location: North side of the entrance to the Patapsco River as an aid to ships entering Baltimore harbors in Maryland.
Date Built: 1822
Type of Structure: Two lights with stone masonry towers. Eastern light (lower) stood in 3’ of water, connected to shore by a 200’ footbridge; western light tower (upper) stood in 5’ of water, 700 yards from the eastern light, and 100 yards from the shore. Keeper’s house was a 20’ x 34’ stone dwelling on shore
Height: Focal plane of Upper Tower 40’ above mean high tide, Focal plane of Lower tower 34’ above mean high tide.
Lens: Both Upper Tower and Lower Tower - 6th order with 6 fountain lamps and 12 burners.
Characteristics: Fixed White
Foghorn: None noted on inspection record.
Status: Decommissioned in 1873 and left to deteriorate.

Historical Information:

  • Benjamin Henry Latrobe submitted drawings for the North Point lighthouses shortly before his death in 1820.
  • The lighthouse builders proved so unsatisfactory that Mr. Donahoo was called in to shore up the structures; records of the city council in Havre de Grace show that Mr. Donahoo resigned to work on the North Point Lighthouse on November 30, 1830.
  • The keeper, who tended both lights, was paid almost double the annual wages.
  • Complaints regarding the light’s poor visibility were common; the values of their location frequently questioned, and were replaced by the Craighill Channel Range lights built in 1873.
  • The front light of the Craighill Channel upper range sits upon the foundation of the earlier North Point Light.

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