MARYLAND AT A GLANCE

WATERWAYS

LIGHTHOUSES


[photo, Seven-Foot Knoll Lighthouse (Historic Ships in Baltimore), Inner Harbor, Baltimore, Maryland] Lighthouses are found in Maryland's rivers and the Chesapeake Bay.

Under contract for the United States Government, John Donahoo (17861858) of Havre de Grace built twelve of Maryland's lighthouses. These include the Blakistone Island Lighthouse, Clay Island Lighthouse, Concord Point Lighthouse, Cove Point Lighthouse, Fishing Battery Light, Fog Point Lighthouse, Lazaretto Point Lighthouse, Piney Point Lighthouse, Point Lookout Light, Pooles Island Light, Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse, and the Turkey Point Lighthouse.

Seven-Foot Knoll Lighthouse (Historic Ships in Baltimore), Inner Harbor, Baltimore, Maryland, June 2015. Photo by Sarah A. Hanks.


Lighthouses are structures built on or near shore that produce a beam of light, marking coastlines, underwater dangers, or harbor entrances, as a navigational aid for sailors.

Early lighthouses were simple and inexpensive. Some were built as integral lighthouses (houses with enclosed lights on top), while others were towers from which a light shone. Later, lighthouses tended to be more elaborate and therefore more costly to build.

Screw-pile lighthouses were structures perched on iron piles or stilts that were screwed into the sea floor, while caisson lighthouses displayed towers built atop round, hollow waterproof shells that were sunk to the bottom and filled with sand or concrete.


[photo, Lightship 116 Chesapeake (Historic Ships in Baltimore), Pier 3, Inner Harbor, Baltimore, Maryland] AIDS TO NAVIGATION

Lightships were ships that served as lighthouses. They had a light mounted on a tall mast. Later vessels usually were painted bright red with the station name in white letters. Multi-functional, they could be stationed in both shallow and deep waters, and could be moved according to need.


Lightship 116 Chesapeake (Historic Ships in Baltimore), Pier 3, Inner Harbor, Baltimore, Maryland, July 2015. Photo by Sarah A. Hanks.


[photo, Green-lighted buoy, marking port (left) side of Baltimore Harbor channel for incoming vessels, Baltimore, Maryland] Buoys, like lighthouses, serve as aids to navigation (ATON) for mariners. Usually anchored in place, buoys are floating iron markers that indicate sea lanes, mooring locations, speed limits, as well as underwater hazards, such as rocks, shoals, and wrecks. Using the Lateral System, buoys are arranged by color, shape, number, and whether they have a light.

Nun buoys are red, cylindrical, and have even numbers. They mark the starboard (right) side of the channel for vessels returning to land (thus the "3R" rule: "red, right, returning").

Green-lighted buoy, marking port (left) side of Baltimore Harbor channel for incoming vessels, Baltimore, Maryland, July 2015. Photo by Sarah A. Hanks.


Can buoys are green, can-shaped, and have odd numbers. They indicate the port (left) side of the channel for incoming vessels.

Lighted buoys usually are found in deeper water, and their body and light color vary depending on their location. When they are green (including the light), they perform the same duties as can buoys, marking the port side of a channel for incoming vessels. When red, they mark the starboard side, like nun buoys. If buoys are red and green, the top color (with matching light, if present) indicates the preferred channel, and they may have letters.


[photo, Hooper Strait Lighthouse, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels, Maryland] Safe Water Marks indicate navigable water all around. They are red and white and may have a white light and sound device, as well as letters.

Isolated Danger Marks are anchored on or near hidden dangers. They are black with red bands, and may have a white light and letters.


Hooper Strait Lighthouse at Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels (Talbot County), Maryland, August 2016. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


Special Aids, yellow buoys with or without yellow lights and letters, alert mariners to nets, cables, jetties, military exercise areas, and other special areas. Mooring buoys are white with a blue band, and they may have a white light or reflector.


MARYLAND LIGHTHOUSES
(by county)


ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY
BALTIMORE CITY

[photo, Fort McHenry Channel Range Front Light, Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, Baltimore, Maryland]

  • Fort McHenry Channel Range Front Light (Skeleton tower)
    First lit in 1913 (current structure in 1934)
  • Fort McHenry Channel Range Rear Light (Skeleton tower)
    First lit in 1934 (current structure in 1963)
  • Hawkins Point Lighthouse [also known as Brewerton Range Front Light] (Screw-pile lighthouse)
    First lit in 1868
    Deactivated in 1924 (replaced with skeleton tower)
    Dismantled
  • Fort McHenry Channel Range Front Light, Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine, Baltimore, Maryland, June 2015. Photo by Sarah A. Hanks.


    [photo, Lazaretto Point Lighthouse replica, Baltimore, Maryland]

    Lazaretto Point Lighthouse replica, Baltimore, Maryland, July 2015. Photo by Sarah A. Hanks.


    [photo, Lightship 116 Chesapeake (Historic Ships in Baltimore), Pier 3, Inner Harbor, Baltimore, Maryland]
  • Lightship 116 Chesapeake
    Commissioned in 1930
    Decommissioned in 1971
  • Lightship 116 Chesapeake (Historic Ships in Baltimore), Pier 3, Inner Harbor, Baltimore, Maryland, July 2015. Photo by Sarah A. Hanks.


    [photo, Seven-Foot Knoll Lighthouse (Historic Ships in Baltimore), Inner Harbor, Baltimore, Maryland]
  • Seven-Foot Knoll Lighthouse (Screw-pile lighthouse - oldest screw-pile lighthouse in Maryland)
    First lit in 1855 (replaced Bodkin Island Light)
    Automated in 1949
    Deactivated in 1988
    Relocated to Baltimore's Inner Harbor (originally located at mouth of Patapsco River, Anne Arundel County)
  • Seven-Foot Knoll Lighthouse (Historic Ships in Baltimore), Inner Harbor, Baltimore, Maryland, June 2015. Photo by Sarah A. Hanks.


    BALTIMORE COUNTY

    CALVERT COUNTY

    CECIL COUNTY

    CHARLES COUNTY

    DORCHESTER COUNTY

    HARFORD COUNTY


    [photo, Concord Point Lighthouse, 700 Concord St., Havre de Grace, Maryland]
  • Concord Point Lighthouse (northernmost lighthouse in Chesapeake Bay) (Tower lighthouse)
  • Concord Point Lighthouse, 700 Concord St., Havre de Grace Maryland, June 2015. Photo by Sarah A. Hanks.


    [photo, Concord Point Lighthouse Keeper's House, 700 Concord St., Havre de Grace, Maryland]

    Concord Point Lighthouse Keeper's House, 700 Concord St., Havre de Grace Maryland, June 2015. Photo by Sarah A. Hanks.


    PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY

    QUEEN ANNE'S COUNTY

    ST. MARY'S COUNTY

    SOMERSET COUNTY


    [photo, Hooper Strait Lighthouse, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels, Maryland] TALBOT COUNTY
  • Choptank River Lighthouse (Screw-pile lighthouse)

  • Hooper Strait Lighthouse (Screw-pile lighthouse)
  • Hooper Strait Lighthouse at Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels (Talbot County), Maryland, August 2016. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


    WICOMICO COUNTY

    Maryland Geological Survey
    Maryland Government
    Maryland Constitutional Offices & Agencies
    Maryland Departments
    Maryland Independent Agencies
    Maryland Executive Commissions, Committees, Task Forces, & Advisory Boards
    Maryland Universities & Colleges
    Maryland Counties
    Maryland Municipalities
    Maryland at a Glance


    Maryland Manual On-Line

    Search the Manual
    e-mail: mdmanual@mdarchives.state.md.us


    This information resource of the Maryland State Archives is presented here for fair use in the public domain. When this material is used, in whole or in part, proper citation and credit must be attributed to the Maryland State Archives. PLEASE NOTE: Rights assessment for associated source material is the responsibility of the user.


    Tell Us What You Think About the Maryland State Archives Website!


    [ Archives' Home Page  ||  All About Maryland  ||  Maryland Manual On-Line  ||  Reference & Research
    ||  Search the Archives   ||  Education & Outreach  ||  Archives of Maryland Online ]

    Governor     General Assembly    Judiciary     Maryland.Gov

    Copyright July 31, 2017 Maryland State Archives