Hooper Island Light facts for kids
|Location||4 mi west of Middle Hooper Island in the Chesapeake Bay|
|Year first constructed||1902|
|Year first lit||1902|
|Tower shape||round "sparkplug" tower|
|Markings / pattern||White on brown base|
|Focal height||63 feet (19 m)|
|Original lens||fourth-order Fresnel lens|
|Range||9 nautical miles (17 km; 10 mi)|
|Characteristic||Flashing White, 6 seconds|
|Fog signal||Horn, 1 every 30 seconds Operated continuously from Sept. 15 to June 1|
The initial request of a light at this site was made in 1897, but construction was delayed until 1901 after the Variety Iron Works Company failed to deliver materials in time. Unlike earlier caisson lights in the bay, the foundation was placed using the pneumatic process, in which the caisson is kept under pressure to expel water, and the interior is excavated to bring the cylinder down to the desired depth.
The tower is taller than other Maryland sparkplug lights because of the provision for a watch room as well as a lantern atop the tower, the only example in the state. A fog bell was originally housed on the lower gallery but was later moved to the watch room level, a backup to the fog horn added in the 1930s. The characteristic was changed several times through the years, with different patterns of flashes and eclipses.
Along with many other Chesapeake Bay lights, automation came in the early 1960s. In 1976 the original fourth-order Fresnel lens was stolen, and it was replaced with a solar-power lamp.
The lighthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 2, 2002 as Hooper Island Light Station. The structure was officially turned over to the U.S. Lighthouse Society in June 2009, but the light remains active.
- Hooper Island Light Station, Dorchester County, including photo from 1991, at Maryland Historical Trust
Hooper Island Light Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.