Chesapeake Bay Lighthouse Is The Right House For $15K
Looking for a fixer-upper on the water? This lighthouse in Chesapeake Bay, 2 miles offshore near Baltimore, is for sale.
BALTIMORE, MD — More and more people are comfortable with non-traditional homes these days, from the tiny house craze to retirees who chuck everything and live out of an RV full time. But an old lighthouse 2 miles offshore in Chesapeake Bay could be the ultimate getaway spot. And for $15,000, you can own the 144-year-old structure near Baltimore, which has been put up for sale by federal officials.The structure — built in 1873 — was put up for bids by the federal government in an online auction that began July 18 and closes on Sept. 15. So you still have to time take a boat ride out to inspect your future spot on the Bay. And if it seems odd that the government is selling a lighthouse, you should know the feds are actually trying to unload six lighthouses, the others all are in Michigan.According to the U.S. General Services Administration website, the lighthouse has a 1.5-story keepers quarters with a deck. Photos show that the interior needs some TLC; search for lighthouse on the main site to find the details. (Get Patch’s daily newsletter and real-time news alerts, or like us on Facebook. Or, if you have an iPhone, download the free Patch app.)SEE ALSO: Maryland WOW Houses: Riding Rings, Lush Front Yards, Disability-Friendly DesignsHere’s how the lighthouse is described on the GSA website:
Craighill Channel Lower Range Front Light Station is located in the Chesapeake Bay approximately two miles offshore from North Point State Park at longitude 39.188614, latitude -76.394399. The historic caisson type light station was first lit in 1873. The cast iron caisson rests upon driven wood piles below the 1.5 story cylindrical keeper quarters with perimeter gallery deck. The cast iron lantern room tops the structure approximately 25 feet above the surface of the water. Only the structure will be conveyed in the sale. No land will be conveyed. The underlying land will remain in government ownership. The buyer will be obligated to acquire and maintain a right of occupancy accordingly.
The website Lighthousefriends.com says Craighill Channel forms the first leg of the maintained channel from Chesapeake Bay to the Patapsco River and leads from the mouth of the Magothy River to Seven Foot Knoll and the Brewerton Channel. The importance of Baltimore as a port persuaded Congress to set aside $50,000 in 1870 to improve the channel. Work began in 1873 on the lighthouse and took several appropriations from Congress to complete the structure, which was a technical challenge to create a solid footing for it.Initially, the interior consisted of a kitchen, sitting room and two bedrooms, while a privy was supported from the gallery around the dwelling, says the website. Two 750-gallon iron tanks were used to store rainwater collected from the roof of the lighthouse. A wooden, circular stairway leads from the dwelling space to the smaller cylindrical watchroom, which is surmounted by the 10-sided lantern room.Since the lighthouse was automated in May 1964 and keepers were no longer needed on site, the exterior of the lighthouse has received regular attention and is in fair condition, says the lighthouse website. But, the interior was open to the elements and became a residence for nesting birds.Plans for two non-profit groups to take control of the structure and restore it so it could be open to the public failed to materialize, so federal officials put it up for sale.Photos via the U.S. General Services Administration