Bids Start at $15,000 for the Craighill Channel Lower Range Front Light

The Craighill Channel Lower Range Front Light, named for William Price Craighill, was the first caisson lighthouse built in the Chesapeake Bay. First lit in 1873, the range marks the first leg of the maintained Craighill Channel from the Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the Patapsco River into the Baltimore harbor and works in conjunction with the Craighill Channel Lower Range Rear Light. It has been owned by non-profit organization Historical Place Preservation since 2005.  


1. LOCATION The property is located in the Chesapeake Bay approximately two miles offshore from North Point State Park at 39 11.3 North and 76 23.4 West.

The interior has potential, no?

The interior has potential, no?

2. SALE DESCRIPTION The property is a historic caisson type light station, first lit in 1873. The cast iron caisson rests upon driven wood piles below the 1.5 story cylindrical keeper’s 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.

Historical photo, 1885.

Historical photo, 1885.

3. UTILITIES AND SERVICE PROVIDERS No public utilities are available.

4. HISTORICALINFORMATION The Property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (#02001420). A Historic preservation covenant will be incorporated into the Quitclaim Deed. 

5. AIDS TO NAVIGATION The Property contains active aids to navigation. These aids shall remain the personal property of the United States. The United States reserves an unrestricted right of ingress and egress to operate, maintain, repair, replace or relocate aids to navigation or add any aids to navigation, any associated equipment, and a 360 degree arc of visibility for said aid(s).




1. AUCTION START DATE The auction opens on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 at 2:00 p.m.(Central Time).

2. TYPE OF SALE This sale will be an online auction conducted at The auction will be conducted over a period of time, usually several weeks, as determined by bid activity. The date of the auction close will be announced at, with at least three business days prior notice. The auction may continue beyond that date as long as bidders continue to submit higher bids. Thus, the bidders determine when the sale closes by their bidding activity.

3. BIDS AND TERMS OF SALE Bids to purchase must be ALL-CASH. Buyers are expected to arrange their own financing and to pay the balance in full by the closing date. No Government credit terms are available. GSA has no information on the availability of private financing or on the suitability of this Property for financing.

4. STARTING BID This auction is being opened with an amount which does not represent the value of the Property but rather provides a reasonable starting point for the online auction. The starting bid will be displayed as the Current Bid. The Government seeks to obtain fair market value for the Property and reserves the right to reject any and all bids.


Invitation For Bids (IFB)

Contact: Eric Stavely
Phone: 404-803-3128
Fax: 404-215-8600


The station has never suffered ice damage despite it being located in a very exposed position; however the station was once abandoned and the light extinguished on February 11, 1936, because of dangerous ice conditions. It was not relit till February 24. In 1899 the station received "new model fifth-order lamps." A fog bell operated by gas was established at the station in 1923. The light was changed from oil to electric on November 26, 1929.

The fog signal was changed to an air whistle on October 24, 1932. In 1938 the light was described as having a Reynolds flasher to produce the one-second flash with two-second eclipse. A spare fourth-order "wick lamp" was kept as a backup. Oil was stored in a 225-gallon tank kept in the cellar. The fog signal was a number 4 Typhone Horn with an eight-inch-diameter whistle, which gave a three-second blast every 27 seconds.

A backup Gamewell weight-driven clock mechanism produced a double strike every 30 seconds. The weight had to be rewound every hour and a half. The fog bell was a standard 1000-pound bell.

Water was collected from the roof and stored in two steel 500-US-gallon (1,900 l; 420 imp gal) tanks. The station had a 18-foot (5.5 m) "motor boat" and a 16-foot (4.9 m) "skiff" hung from davits. There was a keeper and an assistant until the station was automated on May 5, 1964.