by Rachel Felver
June 14, 2018
Located on the western end of the Chesapeake Bay, about a mile and a half from the iconic Chesapeake Bay Bridge, the Sandy Point Shoal Lighthouse is in the midst of a major restoration.
The lighthouse was originally built on land at Sandy Point State Park in 1858, but was moved offshore in 1883. Featuring a foundation that is 51 feet high, the lighthouse also has a 37-foot, eight-sided red brick tower with a white roof and black lantern. The lighthouse was electrified in 1929 and the last keeper to live in the building stayed there from 1940 to 1945, nearly twenty years before the lighthouse became fully automated. Unfortunately, since the structure sits in a heavy-maritime traffic area, all of the windows and the original 19th-century lens were smashed by vandals in 1979 and its fog bell was stolen in later years.
These days, the light is powered through solar panels and can be seen for up to nine nautical miles when it flashes white every six seconds. The lighthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.
The lighthouse was auctioned off to the highest bidder by the U.S. Coast Guard in 2005. Years of severe weather and limited maintenance have taken its toll on this marine landmark, so its current, private owners have begun the major restoration project that can be seen today.
Keep track of the restoration of Sandy Point Shoal Lighthouse.