The Sandy Point Shoal Lighthouse
From the shores of Sandy Point State Park you can see the Sandy Point Lighthouse. The Sandy Point Shoal lighthouse was built in 1883 and features a 37-foot Empire-style, eight-sided red brick tower with a white roof and black lantern, which houses a 4th order Fresnel lens. This structure replaced an earlier Sandy Point Light that had been built on land where Sandy Point State Park is located now. The original lighthouse, a brick tower constructed in 1858, (see illustration below) was located on shore and situated in a poor location.
The current Sandy Point Shoal Light has a wooden foundation supporting a round 35-foot-diameter cement-filled cast iron cylinder on which a 2 1/2-story brick structure rests. The structure is 24 by 24 feet with cut corners. Although not originally painted, the brick portion of the structure is now painted red. The first two stories were used as living quarters, the third level as the watch room, and the lower level within the cast iron cylinder, as a storage area for water, coal, and oil. The lighthouse was electrified in 1929 and fully automated in 1963. The lighthouse is in 5 to 7 feet of water, approximately 1000 yards east from the beach at Sandy Point State Park and approximately 1 1/2 miles north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.
Until 2019, the light station lit the way for safe passage through the perilous sand shoals at Sandy Point. An excellent surviving example of the caison-style lighthouses that were built throughout the Chesapeake Bay, the Sandy Point Shoal Light Station was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002. Today the lighthouse is privately owned and is not open to the public.