Watts Island Light

The Watts Island Light was a historic lighthouse located near Watts Island in the Chesapeake Bay. It was the only lighthouse built by John Donahoo outside of Maryland.


The island on which this light stood was originally called Little Watts Island, though by 1867 the light was referred to as if it were on the much larger Watts Island proper a short ways north. It was constructed in 1833 by John Donahoo and is the only one of his thirteen lights outside of Maryland.

The island was plagued with erosion, and by 1923 four of the original 7 acres (28,000 m2) had disappeared. In that year the light was automated and the entire island, including the keeper's house, was sold to a Baltimore insurance executive, save a 30-foot (9.1 m) diameter plot centered on the tower. In 1944 a winter storm demolished both the house and the tower, and now even the island itself is gone. The spot is now charted as "Watts Island Rocks" and is marked only with a lighted buoy.


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