Baltimore Lighthouse
The Light

For one hundred years, Baltimore Harbor Light has guided northbound vessels to the Port of Baltimore, and southbound vessels on their way to the Atlantic Ocean.

     Located just north of the mouth of the Magothy River, Baltimore Harbor Light sits 1.5 nautical miles off the shore of Gibson Island, where it marks the southern entrance to the Craighill Channel.

     Commissioned in 1908, Baltimore Harbor Light was the last lighthouse constructed on the Chesapeake Bay, and the most challenging to build. From the time the original request for funding was made by the Lighthouse Board, in 1890, it would be eighteen years before the light was commissioned. The final cost of construction was well more than triple the amount originally requested.

     The Chesapeake's soft bottom meant that the caisson would need to be sunk deeper than any other caisson had been before. Like an iceberg, there is much more to this lighthouse than what one sees on the surface.  

     Baltimore Harbor Lighthouse consists of a three story octagonal brick cottage constructed atop a one hundred and three foot tall concrete and stone filled cast-iron caisson. The main deck of the cottage houses a sitting room, a storage area and the galley. The second deck holds the keepers quarters in two bedrooms. The third deck is one large open space, known as the watchroom. With windows facing North, South, East and West, the watchroom provides a 360 degree view. Atop the the 3rd story sits the lantern room. Connecting these levels is a spiral staircase that leads from the lantern room to the cellar floor, ten feet into the caisson.

Official Name: Baltimore Harbor Lighthouse
Location: 39° 03' 30" N, 076° 23' 56" W - Click here for NOAA Chart 12282 (2.9mb)
Date Commissioned: October 1st, 1908
Date Automated: May 1st, 1923
Current Status: Active Aid to Navigation
The Structure:
Structure Type: Pneumatic caisson with a 3 story octagonal brick cottage, topped by a lantern room.
Overall Height: 137ft

Height Above Water: 55ft

Height of Focal Plane Above Water: 52ft
Overall Diameter: 36ft
Caisson Diameter at Sea Level:30ft

Minimum Environmental Resistance:

Current: 3 knots
Wind: 100 knots
Ice Force: 30,000 lbs/sq ft
Baltimore Harbor Light

BHL, L.L.C. • 2060 West Street • Annapolis, MD 21401