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Cobb Point Bar, MD  Lighthouse destroyed.   

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Cobb Point Bar Lighthouse

1885 — Cob Point Bar, Wicomico River, Maryland.—Three steamboat lines run regularly into the Wicomico from the Potomac River, doing a heavy carrying trade in oysters, tobacco, and other productions. As many as 350 vessels have anchored at one time inside the bar. This is also a good harbor for refuge in storms or from drifting ice. The mouth of the river is, however, so nearly closed by the bars projecting from opposite sides that a vessel endeavoring to avoid one is in danger of being stranded upon the other. Hence sailing-vessels rarely attempt to leave or enter at night. In 1883, the steamer Sue in going out, by a mistake of one minute in the time of running, ran upon the bar at Cob Point. The light at Blackistone's Island is nearly 5 miles distant from this bar and affords no guide to this location. An appropriation of $15,000 is needed for a light-house at this point.

1887 — Cob Point Bar, Wicomico River, Maryland.—The following recommendation, made in the Board's annual report for 1885, is repeated:
Three steam-boat lines run regularly into the Wicomico from the Potomac River, doing a heavy carrying trade in oysters, tobacco, and other productions. As many as 350 vessels have anchored at one time inside the bar. This is also a good harbor for refuge in storms or from drifting ice. The mouth of the river is, however, so nearly closed by the bars projecting from opposite sides that a vessel endeavoring to avoid one is in danger of being stranded upon the other. Hence sailing vessels rarely attempt to leave or enter at night. In 1883 the steamer Sue, in going out, by a mistake of one minute in the time of running, ran upon the bar at Cob Point. The light at Blakistone Island is nearly 5 miles distant from this bar and affords no guide to this location.
An appropriation of $25,000 is needed for a light-house at this point.

1888 – Appropriated by act of Congress for a lighthouse at Cob Point Bar, Maryland, October 2, 1888, $15,000.

1888 — Cob Point Bar, Wicomico River, Maryland.—An appropriation of $15,000 having been made during the current session of Congress for this purpose, a lighthouse will be established at this point as soon as practicable. It will guide vessels into the mouth of the Wicomico River, which is a good harbor of refuge from storms or from drifting ice. It is so nearly closed by bars projecting from opposite sides that vessels endeavoring to avoid one are in danger of being stranded on the other. Heretofore sailing vessels rarely attempted to enter or leave except by day. When this light is completed, the mouth of this river will be rendered accessible also at night.

1889 – Cob Point Bar, Wicomico River, Maryland.—The light-house to be erected at this point will be built upon the same plan as the Tangier Sound light-house, and the two works are being carried forward together. Under the contract the metal-work should be delivered at Baltimore by August 10, 1889.

1890 – Cob Point Bar, Potomac River, Maryland.—A bell struck by machinery, December 25, 1889.

1890 – Cob Point Bar, Potomac River, Maryland.—A fourth-order light, December 25, 1889.

1890 – Cob Point Bar, entrance to Wicomico River, north side of Potomac River, Maryland.—The work of framing the superstructure, preparatory to erection at the site, was completed at the Lazaretto depot early in August. Further operations, however, had to be suspended on account of the delay in the delivery of the metal-work by the contractors. Matters were not in readiness to proceed to the site until November 1,1889, and it was not until the 5th that erection was commenced. It was rapidly pushed, and at the end of November it was completed except the painting. The new structure is a square wooden dwelling standing on five iron screw piles, and exhibits from its lantern a fixed white light of the fourth order, which was shown for the first time on the night of December 25, 1889, in accordance with the published notice to mariners. When required a fog-bell is sounded by machinery every fifteen seconds.

1893 – Cob Point Bar, entrance to Wicomico River, Maryland.—Arrangements are being made to insert a red sector in this light to mark, in conjunction with one in the Lower Cedar Point light, the fifteen and seventeen foot lumps in the Kettle Bottom Shoals.

1894 – Cob Point Bar, entrance to Wicomico River, Maryland.—Arrangements were made in July for the exhibition on August 15, 1893, of a red sector in this light to mark, with one in the Lower Cedar Point light, a dangerous lump in the Kettle Bottom Shoals. On April 10, 1894, an additional red sector was established to cut Edge of Channel buoy No. 4, and Blakistone Spit buoy No. 3, marking part of the Dukehart Channel.

1899 – Cobb Point Bar, entrance to Wicomico River, Maryland.—New model fourth-order lamps were supplied.

1914 – Ole O. Johnson, keeper, and Robert Kuhn, assistant, rendered assistance to disabled lumber-laden power boat, owned by M.T. Wise and Olli Bailey, St. Marys County, MD. Occurred April 13, 1914.

1917 – Ole O. Johnson, keeper, and George H. Cullison rendered assistance to 5 persons in disabled motor boat. Happened on Sept 22, 1917.

1920 – The act of March 28, 1918, appropriated $150,000 for rebuilding, repairing, and reestablishing aids damaged by storm and ice, from which $100,000 was allotted to the fifth district. The act of November 16,1918, appropriated $300,000 additional for the same purpose, from which $284,000 was allotted the fifth district. The restoration of light stations in the fifth district damaged by ice floes during the winter of 1917-18 was continued during the past fiscal year by depositing riprap at nine light stations, building up existing protective works near or around these stations, or constructing new barriers or ice breakers, and by constructing new foundations and inserting bracing under several screw pile lighthouses, as follows: At Cobb Point Bar Light Station, Potomac River, Md., 800 tons of riprap stone were deposited on the southeast side of the station, forming an ice breaker and protecting same from ice fields carried against it by the ebb tide of the Potomac River.

1921 – At Cobb Point Bar repairs were made to metal substructure.

1927 – O. O. Johnson, keeper of Cobb Point Bar Light Station, Md., and W. A. Gibbs, assistant keeper, on June 26 rescued five persons adrift in a small skiff during a heavy gale. The keeper sailed about a mile from the station to pick up these people, and his arrival was most timely, as the skiff was filling fast and the wind increasing.

1928 – Thomas J. Steinhise, assistant keeper of Cobb Point Bar Light Station, Md., rendered assistance during October to the boat Demo, which went aground near the light station with a number of passengers.

1939 – The purposed of the proposed legislation is to pay “to Alaksa D. Jennette, of Buxton, N.C., the sum of $480.06, in full satisfaction of all claims against the United States for loss of personal property sustained by him in the fire of the lighthouse station, while employed at the Cobb Point bar Light Station, on December 7, 1939.”
A Coast Guard Board of Investigation directed to investigate the destruction of the aforesaid light station held a hearing on December 9, 1939, and found that the fire had its origin in causes unknown and without in any way imputing fault or negligence to the claimant, Alaska D. Jennette. At the hearing Mr. Jennette testified that he had suffered losses of private personal property amounting to $300, but it appears that on that occasion the list of articles lost was stated by him from memory, without opportunity to make a careful inventory.

1940 – An automated light was established on the screwpile foundation after the superstructure was severely damaged in the fire of December 1939.

Keepers:

  • Head: James L. Weems (1890 – 1891), William S. Brown (1891 – 1897), Charles Robinson (1897 – 1901), Charles W. Hartmann (1901 – 1903), John H. Grain (1903), Michael Cotter (1903 – 1907), H.C. Wingate (1907 – 1908), William K. Slacum (1908 – 1910), Ole O. Johnson (1910 – at least 1927), William M. Goeshy (1928 – 1929), James W. Wilson (at least 1939).
  • Assistant: Obed T. Dize (1893 – 1895), John H. Williams (1896 – 1897), James C. Evans (1898 – 1899), James D. Wilkins (1899), George M. Gaskins (1899 – 1900), Charles E. Robinson (1900), Robert S. Austin (1900), Jesse M. Shockley (1900 – 1901), George A. Fowler (1901), Charles A. Sterling (1901 – 1902), John Williams (1902), Albert J. Lomax (1902 – 1905), Charles F. Hayden (1905 – 1909), W.T. Brooks (1909 – 1911), Sheldon R. Van Houter (1911 – 1912), Robert Kuhn (1912 – 1915), Charles C. Harding (1915), John H. Williams ( – 1916), George H. Cullison (1916 – 1919), Walter W. Thomas (at least 1919 – 1925), William A. Gibbs (1925 – 1927), Thomas J. Steinhise (at least 1928 – 1929), Alaska D. Jennette (at least 1930 – at least 1939).

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