News & Politics  |  Real Estate

Who Wants to Buy a Historic Lighthouse in the Chesapeake Bay?

Bidding for Maryland's Hooper Island Lighthouse starts at $15,000.

The federal government is auctioning off the Hooper Island Lighthouse for $15,000. Photo courtesy of GSA Auctions.

Buying a pirate ship houseboat? Tired. Buying a 120-year-old Chesapeake Bay lighthouse? Wired.

On your list labeled “Things I Didn’t Know I Needed Until I Saw Them on the Internet,” add the Hooper Island Lighthouse, which the federal government is currently auctioning off. The 1902 lighthouse, located west of Maryland’s Middle Hooper Island, sits in 18 feet of water and rises 63 feet above the bay. Bidding starts at $15,000.

But before you begin romanticizing about your future as a monastic lighthouse keeper, a few caveats: You can’t live there, reports WTOP—the government is just looking for a steward. You also have to provide access to the US Coast Guard, as it’s an active lighthouse. You must ensure it meets guidelines for historic preservation, and you won’t own the land below the lighthouse—only the structure itself. Plus, you’ll also have to enter an agreement with the Navy stipulating when you can and can’t access the lighthouse.

All these rules might be why no one has bid on the lighthouse since the auction opened on August 8. Or maybe we all saw what happened to Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe in the Lighthouse and, well, let’s just say it wasn’t a great motivator.

For those looking to add “lighthouse keeper” to their LinkedIn—you have until September 21, when the auction closes.

Mimi Montgomery Washingtonian
Home & Features Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. She’s written for The Washington Post, Garden & Gun, Outside Magazine, Washington City Paper, DCist, and PoPVille. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Del Ray.