Maryland Lighthouses

Maryland lighthouses were once essential for boat safety, but currently only a few are still operational. The first lighthouse built in Maryland was constructed in 1822, and the last was finished in 1910. Although most of these historical structures no longer guide sailors through the Chesapeake Bay’s treacherous waters, many are now historical tourism sites.

There have been many different unique lighthouses in Maryland and each has a special story. For example, the Baltimore Harbor Lighthouse was the only lighthouse to have nuclear power. Piney Point Lighthouse was a favorite sightseeing destination for presidents. Holland Island Bar was the site of a mysterious death and many people believe the lighthouse itself is haunted.




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While the lighthouses of Maryland exhibited many different architectural designs and technological advances, many of the earlier structures were constructed by one builder: John Donahoo. Many of his constructions were made of stone and brick, and some of these original buildings remain.

One of the most famous lighthouses in Maryland is known as the Thomas Point Shoal Light. This lighthouse, located south of Annapolis, is one of only nine lighthouses to achieve National Historic Landmark designation. This lighthouse is the last of the iconic ‘screw-pile’ lighthouses still standing in its original location, and the only one that still serves a navigational purpose.

Preservation of Maryland lighthouses is problematic because many of the original structures are vulnerable to ice flows and storms. Even so, volunteer maintenance and protection may keep these structures around for future generations to enjoy.