Watts Island Light

Watts Island Light

Infobox Lighthouse

caption = undated photograph of Watts Island Light (USCG)
location = South of Watts Island in the lower Chesapeake Bay
coordinates = coord|37.782|N|75.894|W|type:landmark (approximate)
yearlit = 1833
automated = 1923
yeardeactivated = 1944
foundation =
construction = stone
shape = conical tower
height = 48 ft
lens =
currentlens =
range =
characteristic =
status = no longer extant
The Watts Island Light was a historic lighthouse located near Watts Island in the Chesapeake Bay. It was the only lighthouse built by John Donahoo outside of Maryland.


The island on which this light stood was originally called Little Watts Island, though by 1867 the light was referred to as if it were on the much larger Watts Island proper a short ways north. It was constructed in 1833 by John Donahoo and is the only one of his thirteen lights outside of Maryland.

The island was plagued with erosion, and by 1923 four of the original seven acres had disappeared. In that year the light was automated and the entire island, including the keeper's house, was sold to a Baltimore insurance executive, save a 30 foot diameter plot centered on the tower. In 1944 a winter storm demolished both the house and the tower, and now even the island itself is gone. The spot is now charted as "Watts Island Rocks" and is marked only with a lighted buoy.


* [
] NOAA Nautical Chart 12228
*cite book
last= de Gast
first= Robert
title= The Lighthouses of the Chesapeake
year= 1973
publisher= Johns Hopkins University Press
p. 169

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