Baltimore Harbor Light
|Location||Entrance to the Magothy River, Chesapeake Bay, Maryland|
|Year first lit||1908|
|Foundation||Pneumatic caisson sunk into seabed|
|Markings / pattern||White with brown base|
|Focal height||52 ft (16 m)|
|Original lens||Fifth order Fresnel lens|
|Range||White 7 nautical miles (13 km; 8.1 mi)
Red 5 nautical miles (9.3 km; 5.8 mi)
Flashing white 2.5 sec, with one red sector
Baltimore Light Station
|Nearest city||Gibson Island, Maryland|
|Area||less than one acre|
|Built by||Flaherty, William H.; Lande, Frederick Martin, et al|
|MPS||Light Stations of the United States MPS|
|NRHP Reference #||02001417|
|Added to NRHP||December 2, 2002|
The Baltimore Harbor Light, officially Baltimore Light and historically Baltimore Harbor Lighthouse is a privately owned caisson lighthouse in the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. First lit in 1908, it sits at the mouth of the Magothy River, marking the channel which leads northwest to the opening of the Patapsco River, which then leads into the Baltimore harbor. At the time of its construction, it was the world's tallest caisson lighthouse. In June 2006, Baltimore Light was sold at auction to private owners by the General Services Administration for $260,000; the U.S. Coast Guard maintains rights to operate a light on the structure.
Although a lighthouse had been requested at the site since 1890, it was not until 1904 that construction actually began. In October of that year a violent storm struck the construction site, upturning the caisson and sending it to the bottom of the Bay. The contractor defaulted on the work, and it was not until late in 1905 that construction could resume. The lens was finally installed and the light lit in 1908. It was the last lighthouse to be constructed on the Chesapeake.
In May 1964, the Baltimore Light became the first and only American lighthouse powered by nuclear power, as a test of the SNAP-7B 60 Watt radioisotope thermoelectric generator. One year later the RTG was removed and a conventional electric generator was installed. Currently the lighthouse is solar-powered.
The structure was added to the National Register of Historic Places as Baltimore Light Station on December 2, 2002.
- "Historic Light Station Information and Photography: Maryland". United States Coast Guard Historian's Office.
- Light List, Volume II, Atlantic Coast, Shrewsbury River, New Jersey to Little River, South Carolina (PDF). Light List. United States Coast Guard. 2012. p. 76.
- Rowlett, Russ. "Lighthouses of the United States: Maryland". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
- National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- Ralph E. Eshelman (March 1996). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Baltimore Light Station" (PDF). Maryland Historical Trust. Retrieved 2016-01-01.
- Baltimore Harbor Lighthouse, from the Chesapeake Chapter of the United States Lighthouse Society.
- History of Baltimore Lighthouse, from Lighthousefriends.
- de Gast, Robert (1973). The Lighthouses of the Chesapeake. Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 86–89.
- Baltimore Light Station, Anne Arundel County, including photo from 1991, at Maryland Historical Trust
- Baltimore Harbor Light. New owners as of 2006.
- Chesapeake Bay Lighthouse Project - Baltimore Light