ON THE CHESAPEAKE (WUSA9) - It's a bit of a fixer upper, but the price is amazing, and so is the location.
Just $15,000 will get you the first bid on a lighthouse for sale two miles off North Point State Park at the mouth of the Patapsco River, where boats enter the Baltimore Harbor.
We were greeted by a nervous osprey who has built a nest on the widow's walk, about 20 feet above the water line. She keened at us repeatedly and flew off, circling back repeatedly to her nest.
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"You start dreaming, when you think about stuff like that," said Paul Lindt, who took us out in his Bayliner. He roared through the water from the North Point Yacht Club and made it to the lighthouse in 15 minutes or so. The day was spectacular and the water of the Chesapeake was quiet and glassy. "You build a deck at water level, have a covered slip for your boat," Lindt imagined.
Craighill Light was built in 1873 to guide ships into Baltimore. Up until 1964, a keeper and an assistant lived here. But the Coast Guard automated the light then, and it has since been replaced by smaller lights that are just anchored to the bottom.
Craighill sits on timbers driven into the silty bottom and topped with an iron caisson. The house is built on top of that and tops out with a metal lantern room at 25 feet.
The inside is a story and a half. We couldn't get on board, but we understand that while the outside is in good shape, the inside is in need of a lot of work. There were generators that once supplied electricity to power the light, but you may have to supply your own water. An outhouse hangs out over the Bay. Yuck!
The General Services Administration says you have to, "acquire and maintain a right of occupancy," which apparently means you have to repair it enough to live there.
On lighthousefriends.com, there's a long history of the light, and the author says it's never been damaged by ice. The keeper and his assistant did over the years rescue a number of people who had capsized in the water.
On a sunny day, it's a pleasure cruise, but it's got to be bitter in the winter, and a choppy Bay would make the commute a challenge.
Still, it's fun to dream.
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