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Iconic 144-Year-Old Chesapeake Bay Lighthouse in Dire Straits

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Anyone who has cruised up or down the Chesapeake Bay’s main stem just south of Annapolis, Maryland, has likely seen the inimitable, red-and-white, six-sided Thomas Point Lighthouse. Lit in 1875, the screwpile lighthouse today is owned by the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

But there’s trouble afoot underneath the beautiful lighthouse.

Screwpile lighthouses like Thomas Point Lighthouse are built on a base consisting of several massive iron bars that are literally screwed into the bottom before being tied together with steel supports. Thomas Point’s iron screwpile supports remain in good shape. The steel supports, however, have corroded to the point of requiring replacement, a job that will require $300,000.

The U.S. Lighthouse Society has already raised all but $100,000 needed for the repairs, according to an article in the Capital Gazette newspaper, and the society has set up a GoFundMe page to help raise some of the needed funds. The page currently shows just more than $30,000 raised.