Baltimore Light Station

The Baltimore Harbor Light (historic names include Baltimore Harbor Lighthouse and Baltimore Light) is a privately-owned caisson lighthouse in the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. First lit in 1908, it sits at the mouth of the Magothy River, marking the channel which leads northwest to the opening of the Patapsco River, which then leads into the Baltimore harbor. At the time of its construction, it was the world's tallest caisson lighthouse. In June 2006, Baltimore Light was sold at auction to private owners by the General Services Administration for $260,000; the U.S. Coast Guard maintains rights to operate a light on the structure.

Although a lighthouse had been requested at the site since 1890, it was not until 1904 that construction actually began. In October of that year a violent storm struck the construction site, upturning the caisson and sending it to the bottom of the Bay. The contractor defaulted on the work, and it was not until late in 1905 that construction could resume. The lens was finally installed and the light lit in 1908. It was among the last lighthouses to be constructed on the Chesapeake.

In 1964, the Baltimore Light became the first and only American lighthouse powered by nuclear energy. Two years later the reactor was removed and a conventional electric generator was installed. Currently the lighthouse is solar-powered.


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