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Thomas Point Shoal Light

South of Annapolis, MD, cir. 1875
Thomas Point Shoal Light This is perhaps the most famous of the Chesapeake Bay lighthouses and is the only screwpile light on the Bay still in its original location. It was Built in 1875 at the mouth of the South River, replacing an earlier, Donahoo built, shore light that eventually succumbed to shore erosion. In 1964 it was the last manned lighthouse in the Chesapeake Bay, staffed by four Coast Guardsmen, three of whom were on duty at any one time. When the Coast Guard announced plans to discontinue the lighthouse in 1972 and replace it with a steel tower there was a huge public outcry. In 1975 the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse was declared a historic landmark and it has become one of the most recognizable symbols of Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay. Although the U.S. Coast Guard still maintains the aid to navigation, the structure was transferred to the city of Annapolis in 2004. The structure is maintained by the city in conjunction with Anne Arundel County, Maryland, the Annapolis Maritime Museum, and the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.


Location: 38.899N 76.436W
Access: See The Annapolis Maritime Museum
Date Built: Original shore light - 1825, Re-built shore light - 1840, Current screw-pile - 1875
Type of Structure: Hexagonal screw-pile
Height: 43 feet above mean high water
Characteristics: Flashing white
Foghorn: Yes
Appropriation: $35,000
Range: 11 miles
Status: Standing and Active
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