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Point No Point Light (Maryland) facts for kids

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Point No Point Light
Undated photograph of Point No Point Light, Maryland (USCG)
Location off west shore of the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland north of the mouth of the Potomac River
Coordinates 38°07′41″N 76°17′24″W / 38.128°N 76.29°W / 38.128; -76.29Coordinates: 38°07′41″N 76°17′24″W / 38.128°N 76.29°W / 38.128; -76.29
Year first constructed 1905
Year first lit 1905
Automated 1938, but remained manned until 1962
Foundation Pneumatic caisson
Construction Brick
Tower shape Octagonal
Focal height 52 ft (16 m)
Original lens original: fourth order Fresnel lens
current: 14.8 inches (375 mm)
Range 9 nautical miles (17 km; 10 mi)
Characteristic Flashing white 6 sec
Fog signal Horn, 1 every 30 sec
Admiralty number J1974
ARLHS number USA-630
USCG number 2-7560
For the light in Puget Sound, see Point No Point Light (Washington).

Point No Point Light, located in the Chesapeake Bay off the eponymous point several miles north of the mouth of the Potomac River, was constructed as part of a program to add lighted navigational aids in a thirty-mile stretch of the bay between Cove and Smith Points.


The first request for funds to construct this light came in 1891; funds were not appropriated, however, until 1901. Due to the exposed location a pneumatic caisson base was used. This was constructed in 1902 and towed to the site in April 1903, when it was secured to a temporary pier. As with construction of Baltimore Light, a series of mishaps followed. First, the temporary pier collapsed, breaking off two courses of iron plates from the caisson and releasing it from its mooring. The caisson was retrieved and repaired, and in October of that year was set in place. However, in February 1904 the temporary pier was again destroyed, this time by moving ice. The caisson survived without damage, and the light was first shown on April 24, 1905.

Although the light was automated in 1938, it continued to be manned until 1962. Renovations were carried out in 1989–2001 in order to arrest deterioration of the now-unoccupied structure. In 2006, like other Maryland lights, it was made available to non-profits or government agencies who would be willing to take over maintenance, and in 2007 the offer was extended to individuals. Public auction of the light was cancelled in February 2008, however, "due to safety requirements of the U.S. Navy."

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