Sandy Point Shoal Light
The existing Sandy Point Shoal Light is a brick three story house on a caisson foundation that was erected in 1883. It lies about 0.6 mi (0.97 km) off Sandy Point, north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, from whose westbound span it is readily visible. The current light replaced a brick tower on the point itself, integral to the keeper's house, which was erected in 1857. By 1874 the Lighthouse Board complained that the extent of the shoal and the poor equipment of the lighthouse made a new light necessary; appropriations were not forthcoming, however, until 1882. The whole gamut of light sources has been run, from oil wicks to incandescent oil vapor (1913) to electricity (1929). The characteristic changed from flashing to fixed and back to flashing along with the change in light source. The present light is powered by a pair of solar panels attached to the roof on the south side. A foghorn is also sounded from September to June. After automation in 1963, the light became subject to vandalism due to its visibility and its accessibility. Of particular note was the destruction of the original lens in 1979, apparently smashed with a baseball bat. Though the Coast Guard made efforts at maintaining and restoring the structure from 1988 to 1990, it continued to deteriorate. In 2006 it was sold at auction to a private bidder, after an unsuccessful attempt to find a non-profit group to take responsibility for the light. The Coast Guard continues to maintain the navigation aids.


2 photos