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Clay Island, MD  Lighthouse destroyed.   

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Clay Island Lighthouse

1828 – The act of May 23, 1828, provides, “That the Secretary of the Treasury be empowered to provide, by contract, for building a light-house on Clay Island, at the northernmost extremity of Tangier Sound, in the State of Maryland,” May 23, 1828, $6,500.

1831 – On March 2, 1831, Congress reappropriated $5,900 for the project as that amount of the previous appropriation had carried to the surplus fun.

1838 – C =lay-island light-house—Burns eleven lamps, with spherical reflectors; lantern leaks; oil freezes in winter: this has been the case for the last four years.
Keeper's dwelling built of bad materials; requires to be replastered, and a small closet built in the kitchen; the chimney injured by the late gale.

1850 – Clay Island light-house. – 10 lamps; Littleton Harris, keeper; supplied June 27, 1850.
Dwelling-house is built of brick, with the lantern upon the roof. The copper which covers the lantern-dick wants refastening; water-gutters and spouts are rusted, and some leaky; door trimmings are wanted. Lighting apparatus, that is, lamps and reflectors, are good; put on six burners complete. The land is washing away very fast to the south and west. The present keeper took charge here in August last. Keeper was absent
Left June 22, 1849 419 gallons of oil. Found on hand 90. 329 consumed in 370 days is equal to 324 gallons per year, or 32 4/6 gallons per lamp.
Delivered 214 gallons spring oil, 110 gallons winter oil, on hand 90, for total on hand of 414 50 tube glasses; 25 yards cloth; 2 gross wicks; 1 buff skin; 1 pair scissors; 1 box soap; 1 box Tripoli; 1 lamp feeder; 1 file; 1 glazier’s diamond; 6 burners, complete; 6 outside burners. 2 spare lamps, in good order; long burners; 14-inch reflectors.

1855 – Keeper Theodore Porter $375

1856 – New illuminating apparatus has been placed in the following lighthouses, in this district, during the past year, viz: Hog island, New Point Comfort, Pool's island, Turkey Point, Sharpe's island, Pamlico Point, Fishing Battery, Clay island, Blackistone's island, the two at North Point, and Beacon island.

1864 – The light-houses at Clay island, Fog Point, Watt's island, Tuckey Point, Fishing Battery, and Havre-de-Grace, being at present fitted with lanterns of an old and exceedingly defective character, the interests of commerce demand that steps be taken to remedy the evil. An estimate to cover the cost of furnishing new lanterns of proper plan is submitted.

1867 – Franklin lamps have been substituted for the Fountain lamps heretofore in use at Cherrystone, Piney Point, Sharp's island, Fog Point, Watte island, Craney island, Clay island, and Stingray Point

1867 – Watt's island, Fog Point and Clay island.—New lanterns have been substituted for the old and worn-out ones, and the stations have been generally and thoroughly repaired.

1868 – Clay island.—In good condition.

1869 – Clay Island.—The dwelling needs repairing.

1882 – Clay Island, Maryland.—Some red panels are inserted to produce, for some parts, red rays, as a guide for vessels. April 1, 1882.

1881 – Clay Island, entrance to Fishing Bay and Nanticoke Rivers, Maryland and Hooper’s Straits, north side of entrance to Tangier Sound, Maryland.—In April, in accordance with the published notice to mariners, red rays were introduced in the lanterns of these houses. This was done by putting narrow panels of red glass inside the lantern panes in front of the lights. The southern limits of the red rays from both lanterns intersect at Bishop's Head buoy, and distinctly mark the shoal at that point, thus greatly aiding the navigation of Hooper's Straits and Tangier Sound.

1886 – Clay Island, entrance to Fishing Bay and Nanticoke River, Maryland.—The land near this site is being rapidly washed away, and, unless a new light-house is to be erected in the near future, it should be protected by an additional quantity of riprap stone

1890 – Clay Island, entrance to Fishing Bay and Nanticoke River, Chesapeake Bay, Maryland.—This station has been in bad condition for some time past, but no steps have been taken to repair it, in view of the contemplated early erection of the Shark's Fin Shoal light-house, which is to take its place.

1892 – Sharkfin Shoal Lighthouse was completed in early July, and the light was exhibited August 1, 1892. Clay Island Lighthouse discontinued August 1, 1892.

1894 – Clay Island Lighthouse collapsed.

Keepers: James L. Waller (at least 1833 – at least 1839), William Tait (at least 1841 – 1843), George Hopkins (1843 – 1844), John S. Evans (1844 – 1845), Garrison Sewell (1845 – 1849), Littleton Harris (1849 – 1853), Theodore Porter (1853 – 1861), James N. Wright (1861 – 1869), John Langrell (1869 – 1873), Thomas F. Cole (1873 – 1892).


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