Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse, Baltimore

4.2
#9 of 13 in Historic Sites in Baltimore
The Seven Foot Knoll Light was built in 1855 and is the oldest screw-pile lighthouse in Maryland. It was located atop Seven Foot Knoll in the Chesapeake Bay until it was replaced by a modern navigational aid and relocated to Baltimore's Inner Harbor as a museum exhibit.LocationIt was initially installed on a rocky shoal, Seven Foot Knoll, at the mouth of the Patapsco River. The northern tidal reach of this river is the Baltimore Harbor, where the now-decommissioned lighthouse has been placed as a museum exhibit. In 1997 the lighthouse was transferred to the Baltimore Maritime Museum (now the Historic Ships in Baltimore museum) and is permanently installed at the south end of Pier 5.ConstructionConstructed of 1in rolled iron, the lighthouse consists of three main sections. The gallery deck was located above the average high tide waters. The house was the second section, sitting directly atop the gallery deck. This is where the keeper and his family would live. Atop the housing area was the third section of the lighthouse, the light beacon. A 4th order Fresnel lens was housed in the small light compartment. It was visible for 12nmi.HistoryThe first requests for a light came in 1848, with initial appropriations in 1851. Delays in planning and bidding pushed the start of construction to 1854. The original house consisted of an iron cottage sitting upon nine iron piles which formed an octagon, with the ninth pile in the center. Total construction costs came to $43,000 by its completion the following year. Most parts were fabricated in Baltimore at the Murray and Hazelhurst iron foundry. The parts were then shipped to Seven Foot Knoll by boat where they were assembled atop of the screw piles. In 1875, the original house was replaced with the current cylindrical structure made of wrought iron plates. Ice, the perennial threat to screw-pile structures, caused damage in 1884 and 1894, leading to the piling of 790cuyd of riprap around the piles.
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Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse Reviews
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78 reviews
Google
4.1
TripAdvisor
  • We love going to lighthouses and it was cool seeing this one. It was not that far to walk to at the inner harbor. It does not cost anything to go inside, but they do have a box for donations.  more »
  • If you're in the Inner Harbor area stop by the lighthouse for a quick peek. It has an interesting history and is worth the stop...especially since it's free.  more »
  • Walking around the Inner Harbor is great, as there is always something up ahead or around the next corner. This is one of those sites.  more »
Google
  • It doesn't get a lot of foot traffic because of its obscure location but is definitely worth a visit. The view from here is quite nice that someone during our visit chose it to propose to his girlfriend (it appeared that she said yes). There is a small museum inside that tells the story of the lighthouse and how it was moved to its current location after it stopped operating. Admission is free. Come visit if you have at least half an hour to spare.
  • Very unique lighthouse rich with history. I wish the staff was a bit more helpful and conversive with visitors.
  • Not much to do here but take pictures and enjoy the view. Cool little place though, just not much to do here.
  • The attendant was very pleasant and knowledgeable. This is a nice piece of history right along the path to all the other tourist-y things.
  • Quaint little historic lighthouse that was moved from the mouth of the river and made into a museum at this location. Nice museum displays inside. Free. Open Sundays. Stop for a short visit and photo opportunities.
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