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Kenrick A.Claflin & Son

12287b. (photo) Bloody Point Bar Lighthouse, Maryland, After Fire c.1960.

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12287b. (photo) Bloody Point Bar Lighthouse, Maryland, After Fire c.1960.

12287b. (photo) Bloody Point Bar Lighthouse, Maryland, After Fire c.1960. Unusually large 11” x 14” b/w press photo provides great detail of caisson lighthouse following a disastrous fire in 1960. Bloody Point Bar Lighthouse is located just off the southern tip of Kent Island, marking the entrance to Eastern Bay and warns mariners of shoals near Poplar Island with a red sector. The station’s overall appearance changed little over the years until 1960, when an electrical short caused a fire to erupt in the lighthouse. Two young Coast Guardsmen on duty attempted to quell the flames as they spread outwards from the equipment room. “We would use the extinguishers until the smoke got us, then run outside for air,” said the station’s engineman. “We did this maybe three or four times until the fire spread into the kitchen and living room.” At this point it was evident that the flames would reach a storage room containing a 500-gallon fuel tank, so the two decided to abandon the station. They lowered the escape boat by using a 20-foot oar to operate the manual clutch on the boat hoist. The boat descended through flames until it just touched the water, but could not float free of the davits. “Neither of us had a knife to cut the block and tackle. We were stuck there, an inch from escape,” recounted the engineman. Right before the terrible explosion a large wave lifted the boat and freed it, allowing the two coastguardsmen to escape with their lives. The blaze was fought by a Coast Guard cutter and two other boats for more than six hours, but the wooden interior of the structure was a total loss. The lens fell victim to the blaze as well, so a temporary buoy was used until the station was automated with an acrylic lens in 1961. Great close-up view of the exterior damage. With date and identification on back. Dated May 4, 1960. (VG+). $68.