Report for Mathias Point Shoal (Maryland) - 1938

District: 5th
Inspector: John Murdoch, Assistant Lighthouse Engineer
Location: On the end of the shoal off Mathias Point, S'ly side of Potomac River, MD.
Date of Report: 01/16/1938
Latitude: 38° 24' 19"
Longitude: 77° 02' 36"
Site: Submarine
Date of Reservation:
Date of Deed:
Date of Permission:
Date of Lease:
Area of the Entire Site:
Area Inclosed:
Character of Soil:
Distance of tower from Nearest High-Water Mark:
Inclosures to Premises / Type of Fence:
Wharf or Landing on Premises:
Road to Land or Wharf Chararacter of and Distance:
Means to Reach Light Station: By boat
Distance to Nearest Road: 1/2 mile to Mathias Point, VA
Distance to Post Office: Owens P.O. VA 5 miles
Distance to Village: Dahlgreen, 5 miles
Facilities for Public Conveyance: Steamboat
Facilities for Private Conveyance: Boat, 1/2 mile & car 5 miles
Means Used for Support of Lantern: Dwelling
Number of Separate Lights: One
First Built or Established: 1876
Last Rebuilt, Repaired, or Renovated: June, 1909
Condition at This Date: Good
Shape of Tower in Plan: Hexagonal
Form of Tower: No tower
Height from Base to Ventilator Ball: 50'
Height of Focal Plane Above Mean High Water: 7'
Background of Lighthouse as Seen from Sea: Woods
Color of Tower:
Color of Tower/ How Produced:
Tower Connection: No tower
Object of Navigation: Local
Building Materials: Wood & iron
General Description:
Wall Thickness at Base:
Wall Thickness at Parapet:
Diameter at Base:
Diameter at Parapet:
Kind of Stairway and Steps: Wood
Number of Landings: 2
Size of Glass: 8" x 14" ruby glass 9 1/8" x 35.5" & 12" x 35.5"
Number of Windows and Size of Sash: 12 35" x 36'
Number of Doors: 22
Kind of Foundation and Depth Below Surface: Iron, screw pile, 10' below surface of shoal
Character of Soil Surrounding the Lighthouse:
Soil Susceptibility:
Miscellaneous Remarks:
Lantern and Fixtures
Order of Lantern: 5th
Shape of Lantern: Polygonal
Diameter to Glass: 7' 8"
Diameter in the Clear:
Number of Sides: 8
Type of Bars: Vertical
Thickness of Bars:
Height Glazed: 36.5"
Number of Plates in Height: One
Number of Plates Each Side: One
Thickness of Plates: 3/8"
Size of Plates: 36" x 34 1/4"
Number of Storm Panes: 8
Unglazed Side of Lantern:
What Bearings:
Construction Material Lantern: Wood, iron & copper
Construction Material Roof / Cowl: Copper
Ventilator / Cowl: Copper
Lightning Spindle: Brass
Description of Lightning Rod: Copper. Fastened to roof down side of house to foundation & water.
Balustrade: Wood & iron
Lantern Doors: Fitted into frame of lantern, hung on hinges.
Floor of Lantern: Wood
Watchroom Doors: Wood, fitted with hinges to lantern floor
Parapet Diameter:
Location / Number: Lower part of lantern
Ladders / Cleaning Arrangement: None
Curtain Hooks / Hanger: Screwed into frame of lantern
Illuminating Apparatus
Kind of Apparatus:
Intensity in Candles:
Name of Maker: Henry LePaute, Paris
Year Made: Not known
Marks and Number: 3
Order of Apparatus: 5th
Inside Diameter: 14.5"
Light Characteristic: Fxed white and red sector
Time of Revolution:
Flash Interval:
Duration of Flash:
Arc of Each Fixed Part:
Number of Panels: 4 - door 90 degrees has no central drum
Number of Flash Panels:
Arc of Each:
Number of Elements in Central Drum: 5
Number of Prisms Above Center Drum: 5
Number of Prisms Below Center Drum: 3
Does Apparatus Revolve?: False
Is There a Revolving Belt?: False
Revolving Panels:
How Flash is Produced:
Number of Vertical Elements Panel:
Fixed Lens Covered:
Pedestal: Iron
Service Table: Iron
Draft Tube Description: An inverted sheet iron funnel 18" dia with hole in center leading to ventilator ball.
Revolving Machinery:
Standby and Description:
Chariot Float or Balls:
Chariot Description:
Length of Drop Tube:
Clock Weight:
Length of Winding Time:
Drive During Rewind:
Machinery Protection:
Lens Protection:
How Color is Produced: Ruby glass in red sector
Red Sectors Description:
Where Color Attached: Against lantern glass - really red sector instead of dark
Form of Colored Glass:
Lamp Description: Aladdin 5th order
Type of Illuminant:
Number of Spare Lamps: 1
Number of Spare Burners: 2
Candle Power:

Vapor Oil Lamp
Number of Wicks or Mantels:
Diameter of Outside Wick: 1 5/8"
Diameter of Mantel: 1 3/4"
Diameter of Circum Circle:
Closets and Store Rooms
Tower Closet Use:
Oil House Description: Discontinued
Oil House Inside Dimension:
Oil House Construction Material:
Oil House Capacity: 275 gal steel tank under house
Other (Describe): In several rooms, fitted with shelves, for general purposes
Suitability: Dry & Suited.
Fog Signal General
Fog Signal Kind: Stevens Bell machine, type C # 12
Time to Start: 2 minutes
How Long Will Pressure Last:
Manufacturer: Geo. M. Stevens Co., Boston, Mass
Year of Manufacture: Not known
Characteristic: A single & a double blow alternately, intervals 30 secs.
Duplication: 1 spiral spring
Timing Device:
If whistle, siren, or trumpet, Pressure at Which Blown:
Height Above Water:
Compass Direction:
Location: Local navigation
Distance and Direction:
Water Supply:
Reached from Lighthouse:
Description of Fog Signal Building: Bell frame on roof 1st floor
Pressure And Recording Gauge:
Bell Signal
Weight: 1200 lbs
Metal: Bell metal
Diameter: 36"
Height: 28"
Time: 1.5 hours
Weights for Operation:
Location: No tower
Coloring: White
Construction Materials: Wood & iron
Number of Rooms: 7
Number of Dwellings:
Heating Plant:
Number of Keepers: 2
Furnished Quarters:
NOT Furnished Quarters:
Outhouse Coloring:
Paths and Walks:
Area Inclosed:
Area of Garden:
Area Timber or Shrubbery:
Cultivation Area Available:
Area Cultivated:
Character of Surroundings:
Stove, Maker: New Perfection 503
Stove, Size: 3 burner No 15 Magnum
Sink, Maker:
Sink, Size: Enamel 2' long x 18" wide L.H. drain
Pump, Maker:
Pump, Size:
How Procured: From roof
Quality: Good
Quantity: Ample
Injury Possible: Not liable
Purity Precaution: By cleaning tanks; 1 steel tank has a hole in it, can be used since hole is about 8" from top.
Tank Capacity: 3 tanks, 200 gal each; on 1st floor
Tank Material: 1 Iron & 2 wood (1 iron tank removed)
Distilling Apparatus: False
Distilling Manufacturer:
Well Description:
Well Diameter:
Well Lining:
Pump or Bucket:
What Power Used:
Distance from Dwelling:
General Opinion: Good
Local Causes:
Recommended Improvements:
Access to Lighthouse:
Distance and Direction:
Miscellaneous Remarks: Ice moved about 20' rip rap east side.