Smith Point Lighthouse Extreme Makeover

blogsmithpt The dream of being a modern Lighthouse Keeper can be realized by purchasing a extreme home with a 360-degree view of the bay and a Night Light visible to 22 nautical miles! Smith Point Lighthouse, built 110 years ago to mark the shoals off Smith Point in the Chesapeake Bay, was purchased by Dave McNally as his dream vacation home!

Dave, a resident from Minnesota, began trawling for Lighthouses on eBay in 2005. Disappointed with eBay, Dave Googled “lighthouses for sale” and discovered four offshore Lighthouses being auctioned by the General Services Administration. Dave was drawn to the “Coffee Pot” Lighthouse in Virginia near the mouth of the Potomac River due to the lopsided shape of the Beacon. McNally eventually won the online bidding battle for $170,000 on October 21, 2005.

For the past two years, Dave has been restoring his extreme home complying with the historic preservation guidelines. Can you imagine being told three times you can not buy the windows you want? On his fourth selection, the Virginia preservation society finally approved his hurricane-proof tempered glass windows!

Amazingly, Dave does not have home insurance because his Lighthouse is located in a flood-plain! And no doubt, Dave is rudely awaken every 15-seconds when his Fog horn blasts. Hopefully, the pleasures of his extreme weekend retreat outweigh his headaches?

Fortunately for Dave, the Coast Guard’s access to the active Lighthouse aid is a minor inconvenience. Currently, Smith Point Lighthouse exhibits a Flashing White Light every 10-seconds illuminated by a DCB-24 Aerobeacon 52-feet above sea level to a visible range of 22 nautical miles.

blue_starMap Location:
For directions to Smith Point Lighthouse, please click on the Google Map of Smith Point Lighthouse

Related News Story:
The light fantastic

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About Debbie Dolphin

Lighthouse author and photographer living in New England

Posted on October 8, 2007, in Preservation News and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. William Hoitt

    Well Smith Point has never been to foreign to me as I lived on it for five years, it was a great experence to me, did fishing, boat riding and had five other people on it most of the time, storms were never a problem, tore the boats off the davits sometimes but no light house problems. I see it pretty as I live not to far away, would like to go aboard sometime, will answer any quetions that I can that you care to ask Bill H

    • Debbie Dolphin

      Hi William Hoitt,

      Have you sailed by the Lighthouse to ask Dave McNally, the new Lighthouse Owner, for a tour?
      Sounds like you and Dave could write an interesting article about living in the Lighthouse from two different perspectives.

      Thank you for visiting and commenting.

  2. Hi Dave. My 9 yr old daughter & I just saw your story on “On the road again” with Jason Davis. We thought it was such a neat adventure you are on with buying & renovating this beautiful lighthouse. We were wondering if you have any pictures posted somewhere of what it looks like now? We are also from Minnesota. Good luck with everything!

    • Hi Joanie McIntyre,

      Sorry, Dave McNally doesn’t write posts for me. When Dave commented on my article last year, he didn’t provide his contact information. The only way for me to contact Dave is a lighthouse tour if I sail into the bay.

  3. Hi Dave,

    Thank you for your compliments, your Lighthouse tour offer, and sharing your Lighthouse adventure!

    Debbie Dolphin’s last blog post..New England Vacation Tips and Entertainment Ideas

  4. Dave McNally

    Nice article. The light is like a rock. Large waves hitting it do not even make it quiver. If your ever in the bay when I am there, look me up and take the tour. Every day on the lighthouse is an adventure.

  5. Wow! I’ll pass then! LOL

  6. Bobby, you are one adventurous character to face a hurricane in a steel trap! I would wrap myself in 10 Life jackets and two Life boats to insulate me from any flying or floating debris!

    Lighthouses located in open waters are a very dangerous place to be in a hurricane. During the Great Hurricane of 1938, two Light-keepers sought refuge by lashing themselves, back to back, to the pipe containing the weights of the clockwork mechanism that rotated the lens in the center of the galley at Plum Beach Lighthouse in Rhode Island. Fortunately, both men survived the storm that severely damaged the Lighthouse!

  7. Wow…I bet that is one awesome place to ride a storm out!
    I would love to stay in it during a hurricane!

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