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Sharkfin Shoal, MD  Lighthouse destroyed.   

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Sharkfin Shoal Lighthouse

1887 – Shark Fin Shoal, to take the place of Clay Island light-house, entrance to Fishing Bay and Nanticoke River, Maryland.—The site of Clay Island light-house is being rapidly washed away, to prevent which, expensive works of protection would be needed. The structure is old and in need of repairs almost to the extent of rebuilding. The Board is of the opinion that a light would be of much more service to the interests of navigation if located on Shark Fin Shoal, and therefore recommends that a screw-pile light-house and a fog-signal be built there at an estimated cost of $25,000.

1888 — Shark Fin Shoal, entrance to Fishing Bay and Nanticoke River, Chesapeake Bay, Maryland.—The following remarks are copied from the last annual report of the Board, and the recommendations made therein are renewed.
The site of Clay Island light-house is being rapidly washed away, to prevent which, expensive works of protection would be needed. The structure is old and in need of repairs almost to the extent of rebuilding. The Board is of the opinion that a light would be of much more service to the interests of navigation if located on Shark Fin Shoal, and therefore recommends that a screw-pile light-house and a fog-signal be built there at an estimated cost of $25,000.

1889 — Shark’s Fin Shoal, to take the place of the Clay Island light-house, Maryland.—Congress, at its last session, having made an appropriation of $25,000 for establishing a light on Shark’s Fin Shoal, examinations and borings were made at the site to determine the character of the shoal preparatory to deciding upon the style of structure best adapted for the locality.

1890 – Shark's Fin Shoal, to take the place of the Clay Island light-home, Chesapeake Bay, Maryland.—The necessary plans and specifications having been prepared, proposals were advertised for in January, 1890, for the metal work required for two lighthouses of similar construction, one to be erected at Shark's Fin Shoal, the other at Greenbury Point Shoal, Maryland. Contract was entered into in February for this part of the work and the construction of the wooden superstructure at the Lazaretto depot in Baltimore, which was commenced in April, is now well under way. The metal-work is under contract to be delivered by the end of July, 1890.

1891 – Sharkfin Shoal, Maryland.—This new structure, designed to take the place of the Clay Island light-house, is now in readiness for transportation to the site. It will probably be in position and ready for lighting by September 15, 1891.

1892 – Sharkfin Shoal, between Clay and Bloodsworth islands, Tangier Sound, Chesapeake Bay, Maryland.—The erection of this light-house was not commenced as soon as anticipated in the last annual report, owing to the need of boring to show the feasibility of placing the light farther south that it might give more aid to mariners. A proper site was found about 2 miles southwesterly from Clay Island light. Proper measures were taken to secure title to this site and cession of jurisdiction from the State of Maryland. This was not done until December, too late in the season to begin work at the site. In May the superstructure, and the working plant required in the erection of the lighthouse were loaded on scows, and on June 3 were towed, together with the working party, to the site by the tenders. The platform for setting the ironwork was put up and the shears, engine, and boiler were adjusted. The screw piles were placed and secured to the system of beams, braces, and rods which form the foundation. The erection of the superstructure was then begun and at the end of the month it was almost completed. The exterior was practically finished, the lining of the rooms was completed, and the putting in of the partitions was under way.

1893 – Sharkfin Shoal, Tangier Sound, Maryland.—A fourth-order light, August 1,1892.

1893 – Sharkfin Shoal, between Clay and Bloodsworth Islands, Tangier Sound, Chesapeake Bay, Maryland.—The light house was completed early in July, and the light was exhibited August 1, 1892.

1899 – Sharkfin Shoal, between Clay and Bloodworth islands, Maryland.— New model fourth-order lamps were installed and material was supplied for renewing the roof, gutters, and downspouts.

1901 – Sharkfin Shoal, Tangier Sound, Maryland.—Soundings were made around the light-house. Various repairs were made.

1918 – W. C Carew, keeper of Sharkfin Shoal LIght Station, Md., rescued two men in a small skiff and took them to the station and cared for them from February 2 until February 8. The men had left their vessel in order to procure fuel and, being caught in drift ice, were unable to reach their vessel again.

1964 – Sharkin Shoal Lighthouse was dismantled, and an automatic light on a skeletal tower erected in its place. Conversion of the screwpile lighthouse was typically handled in the following manner. The wooden superstructure was removed, and, when necessary, the foundation beams were replaced by steel I-beams. A reinforced concrete platform was then poured, and a small concrete-block batter house, about eight feet square and ten feet high, was build in the middle of the platform. A metal, skeletal tower was then erected atop the battery house to give the new light the same focal plane as the old lantern room. By the end of 1964, all the screwpile lighthouses on Chesapeake Bay had been automated except for Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse.

Keepers:

  • Head: Thomas T. Cole (1892 – 1903), Henry C. Sterling (1903 – 1904), William R. Schoenfelder (1904), Walter C. Carew (1904 – at least 1921), Joseph D. Elliot (at least 1939), Henry Bradford (at least 1940).
  • Assistant: Walter S. Brown (1892 – 1900), D.A. White (1900 – 1901), J.H. Wainwright (1901), Henry C. Sterling (1901 – 1902), Walter C. Carew (1902 – 1904), Clinton B. Gray (1904 – 1905), Calvin H. Bozman (1905 – 1909), Addison S. Hall (1909 – 1914), Henry T. McGrath (at least 1915 – at least 1917), Ulman Owens (1918 – 1924), Bertie E. Ford (at least 1930), Raymond C. Peters (at least 1939), Charles E. Palmquist ( – 1947).

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