Chesapeake Bay Area Lights
The Chesapeake Bay has been an important avenue for American Commerce since pre-colonial days. This was particularly true in the age before railways and roads when water was the most efficient means of mass transport. Althouth it is fed by approximately 65 rivers in total, the 150+ mile long Chesapeake Bay is basically the sunken river valley of the Susquehanna River. Apart from a deep channel running up its center, the Bay is relatively shallow and has many shoals which pose a hazard to navigation. Marking these hazards was critical not only for the safety of people and boats, but also for the growth of the economy. Up until the 20th century manned lighthouses represented the most technologically advanced and effective aids to navigation.
Of the 82 lighthouses that once marked the Chesapeake Bay, 32 are still standing along with 1 lightship. These pages include background material, photographs and descriptions of all of the surviving lights as well as those on the Atlantic Ocean side of the Delmarva Penninsula. They are ordered north to south, followed by the non-Chesapeake Bay lights.