|Location||off Thomas Point at the mouth of the South River in the Chesapeake Bay|
|Year first constructed||1875|
|Year first lit||1875|
|Tower shape||Square lantern on hexagonal house|
|Markings / pattern||White with red roof and black lantern|
|Focal height||43 feet (13 m)|
|Original lens||fourth-order Fresnel lens|
|Current lens||9.8 inches (250 mm) solar-powered lens[ clarification needed ]|
|Range||White 16 nautical miles (30 km; 18 mi)|
Red 11 nautical miles (20 km; 13 mi)
Flashing white 5 sec, with two red sectors
|Fog signal||Horn: 1 every 15 sec|
|Heritage||National Historic Landmark, place listed on the National Register of Historic Places |
Thomas Point Shoal Light Station
|Location||Kent Island, Chesapeake Bay, Annapolis, Maryland|
|Area||5 acres (2.0 ha)|
|Architect||U.S. Lighthouse Service|
|Architectural style||Screwpile design|
|NRHP reference #||75000864|
|Added to NRHP||February 20, 1975|
|Designated NHL||January 20, 1999|
The Thomas Point Shoal Light, also known as Thomas Point Shoal Light Station, is a historic lighthouse in the Chesapeake Bay on the east coast of the United States, and the most recognized lighthouse in Maryland. It is the only screw-pile lighthouse in the bay which stands at its original site. The current structure is a 1½ story hexagonal wooden cottage, equipped with a foghorn as well as the light.
A lighthouse is a tower, building, or other type of structure designed to emit light from a system of lamps and lenses and to serve as a navigational aid for maritime pilots at sea or on inland waterways.
The Chesapeake Bay is an estuary in the U.S. states of Maryland and Virginia. The Bay is located in the Mid-Atlantic region and is primarily separated from the Atlantic Ocean by the Delmarva Peninsula with its mouth located between Cape Henry and Cape Charles. With its northern portion in Maryland and the southern part in Virginia, the Chesapeake Bay is a very important feature for the ecology and economy of those two states, as well as others. More than 150 major rivers and streams flow into the Bay's 64,299-square-mile (166,534 km2) drainage basin, which covers parts of six states and all of Washington, D.C.
Maryland is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east. The state's largest city is Baltimore, and its capital is Annapolis. Among its occasional nicknames are Old Line State, the Free State, and the Chesapeake Bay State. It is named after the English queen Henrietta Maria, known in England as Queen Mary, who was the wife of King Charles I.
A stone lighthouse was constructed in 1825 on shore at Thomas Point workers to set each cast iron beam 12 ft (3.7 m) into the Chesapeake Bay's bottom.by John Donahoo. It was replaced in 1838 by another stone tower. The point was subject to continuing erosion (which would eventually bring down the lighthouse on the point in 1894), and in 1873 Congress appropriated $20,000 for the construction of a screw-pile structure. With an additional $15,000 appropriation in 1875, the light was built and activated in November of that year. It took 30
John Donahoo (1786–1858) was a lighthouse builder active in Maryland for much of the first half of the nineteenth century.
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, and consists of two chambers: the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. Both senators and representatives are chosen through direct election, though vacancies in the Senate may be filled by a gubernatorial appointment. Congress has 535 voting members: 435 representatives and 100 senators. The House of Representatives has six non-voting members representing Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia in addition to its 435 voting members. Although they cannot vote in the full house, these members can address the house, sit and vote in congressional committees, and introduce legislation.
Ice was a perpetual threat to screw-pile lights on the Chesapeake, and in 1877 the original lens was destroyed when it toppled by shaking from ice floes. This lens was replaced, and the additional piles and riprap were placed around the foundation in order to protect it. By 1964 it was the last manned light in the Chesapeake Bay, and it was not automated until 1986. It is currently the last unaltered screwpile cottage-type lighthouse on its original foundation in the Chesapeake Bay.
Riprap, also known as rip rap, rip-rap, shot rock, rock armor, rubble, Rob rab or rob rib are man-placed rock or other material used to armor shorelines, streambeds, bridge abutments, pilings and other shoreline structures against scour and water or ice erosion. Common rock types used include granite and limestone. Concrete rubble from building and paving demolition is sometimes used.
Concerns for its preservation brought it a National Register of Historic Places listing in 1975and National Historic Landmark status in 1999.
The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is the United States federal government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects deemed worthy of preservation for their historical significance. A property listed in the National Register, or located within a National Register Historic District, may qualify for tax incentives derived from the total value of expenses incurred in preserving the property.
A National Historic Landmark (NHL) is a building, district, object, site, or structure that is officially recognized by the United States government for its outstanding historical significance. Only some 2,500 of over 90,000 places (~3%) listed on the country's National Register of Historic Places, are recognized as National Historic Landmarks.
In 2004, ownership of the lighthouse passed to the city of Annapolis, Maryland, which now maintains the structure in conjunction with Anne Arundel County, Maryland, the Annapolis Maritime Museum, and the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society. In 2019, a Lighthouse Society spokesman said that the steel substructure, last replaced in the 1980s, is severely rusted and requires $300,000 in repairs. Fortunately, the cast iron screw pilings remain in sound condition, "as good today as they were 144 years ago", said the Baltimore Sun in reporting on the needed funding in August, 2019.
Annapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Maryland, as well as the county seat of Anne Arundel County. Situated on the Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the Severn River, 25 miles (40 km) south of Baltimore and about 30 miles (50 km) east of Washington, D.C., Annapolis is part of the Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area. Its population was measured at 38,394 by the 2010 census.
Anne Arundel County, also notated as AA or A.A. County, is a county located in the U.S. state of Maryland. As of the 2010 United States Census, its population was 537,656, a population increase of just under 10% since 2000. Its county seat is Annapolis, which is also the capital of the state. The county is named for Lady Anne Arundell (1615–1649), a member of the ancient family of Arundells in Cornwall, England, and the wife of Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore (1605–1675), founder and first Lord Proprietor of the colony Province of Maryland.
The United States Lighthouse Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to aiding in the restoration of American lighthouses and educating the public about their history. With four chapters, and more than a dozen affiliates, it is one of the largest and oldest lighthouse organizations in the world.
The United States Coast Guard continues to maintain the navigational aids at the Lighthouse. The lighthouse keeper's former living quarters are open to the public three months out of the year, through organized boat tours departing from Annapolis .
The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is the coastal defense and maritime law enforcement branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the country's seven uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the U.S. military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission and a federal regulatory agency mission as part of its mission set. It operates under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security during peacetime, and can be transferred to the U.S. Department of the Navy by the U.S. President at any time, or by the U.S. Congress during times of war. This has happened twice: in 1917, during World War I, and in 1941, during World War II.
A screw-pile lighthouse is a lighthouse which stands on piles that are screwed into sandy or muddy sea or river bottoms. The first screw-pile lighthouse to begin construction was built by blind Irish engineer Alexander Mitchell. Construction began in 1838 at the mouth of the Thames and was known as the Maplin Sands lighthouse, and first lit in 1841. However, though its construction began later, the Wyre Light in Fleetwood, Lancashire, was the first to be lit.
United States lightship Chesapeake (LV-116/WAL-538/WLV-538) is a museum ship owned by the National Park Service and on a 25-year loan to Baltimore City, and is operated by Historic Ships in Baltimore, Maryland. A National Historic Landmark, she is one of a small number of preserved lightships. Since 1820, several lightships have served at the Chesapeake lightship station and have been called Chesapeake. It was common for a lightship to be reassigned from one Lightship Station to another and thus "renamed" and identified by its new station name. Even though the "name" changed during a Lightship's service life, the hull number never changed. The United States Coast Guard assigned new hull numbers to all lightships still in service in April 1950. After that date, Light Ship / Light Vessel 116 was then known by the new Coast Guard Hull number: WAL-538. In January 1965 the Coast Guard further modified all lightship hull designations from WAL to WLV, so Chesapeake became WLV-538.
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