“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Seven-Foot Knoll Lighthouse

Seven-Foot Knoll Lighthouse Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Pfingsten, March 8, 2008
1. Seven-Foot Knoll Lighthouse Marker
Seven-foot knoll lighthouse was the second screwpile structure to be built by the U.S. Lighthouse Service. It was originally located 15 miles southeast of this location. The 42 foot high round screwpile lighthouse was completed by the Baltimore "ironfounders" firm of Murray and Hazelhurst in 1856 at a cost of more than $30,000. It was constructed of rolled-iron plates, drilled and riveted together and supported on nine cast-iron screwpiles. The screwpiles eliminated the need for an underwater masonry foundation.

The light at Seven-Foot Knoll marked the outer entrance to Baltimore's busy harbor. It was manned from 1856 until 1948, when the Coast Guard automated the lighthouse. In 1988, Seven-Foot Knoll lighthouse was officially retired. With the help of a barge and a 400 ton crane, the screwpile lighthouse was moved to Pier 5 in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Today this lighthouse is a National Historic Seaport landmark welcoming visitors daily
Erected by National Historic Seaport of Baltimore.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Communications
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LandmarksWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Lighthouses series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1856.
Location. This marker has been replaced by another marker nearby. It was located near 39° 17.027′ N, 76° 36.327′ W. Marker was in Baltimore, Maryland. It was in the Inner Harbor. Marker could be reached from Eastern Avenue. Marker and Lighthouse are located on Pier 5 of Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Touch for map. Marker was in this post office area: Baltimore MD 21202, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this location. Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse (here, next to this marker); Living Classrooms Foundation (a few steps from this marker); The Last Pear Harbor Survivor (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Tilly's Escape (about 600 feet away); The Inner Harbor Water Wheel (about 600 feet away); Pathways to Freedom (about 600 feet away); Water Power: Baltimore's Economic Engine (about 600 feet away); Baltimore Public Works Museum (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Baltimore.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. This marker has been replaced
Seven-Foot Knoll Lighthouse Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, May 16, 2010
2. Seven-Foot Knoll Lighthouse Marker
by the linked marker.
Seven-Foot Knoll Lighthouse image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Pfingsten, March 8, 2008
3. Seven-Foot Knoll Lighthouse
The lighthouse is open to the public for a fee.
Seven-Foot Knoll Lighthouse - Description at Base of Lighthouse image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Pfingsten, March 8, 2008
4. Seven-Foot Knoll Lighthouse - Description at Base of Lighthouse
Seven-Foot Knoll Lighthouse was built in 1856 and stood at the entrance to Baltimore Harbor for 134 years. The oldest surviving screwpile lighthouse and the only one employing caisson construction, the house is a cylinder of rolled iron plates from the Murray and Hazelhurst foundry in Baltimore.
For many years, the lighthouse keeper and his family lived in the lighthouse year-round. Livestock were kept on the platform beneath the structure, open in summer and enclosed in winter. Next to the livestock pen was the privy. Rainwater was collected from the roof and directed by downspouts to water storage tanks inside. A dory was kept on davits for family trips to shore.
The US Coast Guard donated the structure to the City of Baltimore in 1986. With a $200,000 grant from Wheelabrator Technologies Inc., Mayor William Donald Schaefer initiated a restoration and preservation project led by Center City Inner Harbor Management and community volunteers.
A giant barge crane moved the lighthouse to its location on Pier 5 in November of 1988. Restoration work was begun by a volunteer task force led by Lady Maryland Foundation, students from the Baltimore City Futures Program, descendants of Lighthouse Keeper Thomas Steinhise, and workers from Wheelabrator Technologies. Volunteers scraped, cleaned, sanded and painted while City of Baltimore crews worked on electrical, plumbing and heavy construction jobs. The restored lighthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 22, 1989.
Seven-Foot Knoll Lighthouse now serves as a public museum and headquarters for programs. You are welcome to visit the Steinhise Exhibit Gallery and enjoy the view from the observation deck.
We salute all who brought this wonderful treasure to our Inner Harbor Family.
Kurt Schmoke, Mayor
City of Baltimore
April 23, 1990
Credits. This page was last revised on February 18, 2021. It was originally submitted on March 10, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 2,509 times since then and 49 times this year. Last updated on April 23, 2013. Photos:   1. submitted on March 10, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.   2. submitted on August 24, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   3, 4. submitted on March 10, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.

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Dec. 4, 2023