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Maryland's National Register Properties



Photo credit: Skip Willits, 1991
Point No Point Light Station
Inventory No.: SM-272
Date Listed: 12/2/2002
Location: Chesapeake Bay , Dameron, Saint Marys County
Category: Structure
Period/Date of Construction: 1905
Architect/Builder: Builder: Toomey Brothers, New York
Description: The Point No Point Light Station consists of a wooden caisson supporting a round 30' diameter 51' tall cement-filled cast iron cylinder. Atop this is a brick 22-story 35' tall octagonal-shaped brick quarters, whose mansard roof is surmounted by a one-story iron lantern. The brick section is a regular octagon with 10'-8" long sides. The mansard roof, consisting of the watch level, contains four gable-roofed dormer windows with 2/2 sash with a round-arched top. These four same sides also contain openings in the two brick levels below. On the north and south sides are pairs of narrow 4/4 sash windows on either level. The east and west sides contain an entrance door on the first level and a single window above. Two courses of corbeled brick above the first-level windows and four above the second add an attractive decorative feature to the masonry stories. Atop the mansard roof is a black 8-sided lantern, wood-framed with cast iron mullions for the storm panels. An acrylic lens has replaced the fourth-order Fresnel lens, and now rests on the original pedestal. On the interior, the walls of the stairwell leading from the first to second levels of the brick tower are sheathed in beaded vertical paneling. Most of the trim around the door jambs and windows include bullseye corner blocks and 4" molding. The wooden baseboards are capped with a 2" ogee. Along the interior wall of the sitting room are sturdy shelves that held batteries after the station was automated. Some of the original beaded board paneling on the interior of the tower remains in places, but some has been covered with fiberboard. Although the Coast Guard removed the once-extant fog bell in 1964, some of the hardware remains, although some has been placed inside the watch room. Cantilevered from the first-level gallery deck is a hexagonal cast iron privy with a pyramidal roof topped with a finial. Significance: The Point No Point Light Station is significant for its association with federal government efforts to provide an integrated system of navigational aids and to provide for safe maritime transportation in the Chesapeake Bay, a major transportation corridor for commercial traffic from the early 19th through 20th centuries. This pneumatic caisson lighthouse embodies a distinctive design and method of construction that typified lighthouse construction on the Chesapeake Bay during the latter half of the 19th and the early 20th century. Of the eleven pneumatic caisson lighthouses built in the United States, seven were built in the Chesapeake Bay. Three of these were in Virginia: Wolf Trap Lighthouse, 1894; Smith Point Lighthouse, 1897; and Thimble Shoal Lighthouse, 1914. Four were in Maryland: Solomons Lump Lighthouse, 1895; Hooper Island Lighthouse, 1902; Point No Point Lighthouse, 1905; and Baltimore Lighthouse, 1908. The Point No Point Lighthouse is one of four lighthouses built on the Chesapeake Bay in the 20th century. Despite delays caused by icy conditions, the lighthouse was completed in 1905. It was fully automated in 1938, and has been unmanned since 1962.

 

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