BNHA Lightship Chesapeake


Chesapeake Bay Gateway

National Historic Landmark

National Register of Historic Places

Resource Type


Pier 3

Baltimore, Maryland 21202

The lightship Chesapeake was launched in 1930 to help protect and guide shipping along the Delaware and Maryland coasts. Floating lighthouses played a critical role in early 20th-century navigation, and even served as coastal patrol boats during World War II.  With its then state-of-the-art diesel-electric engines, all-steel body, and powerful signaling equipment, the Chesapeake’s rugged construction allowed it to serve in even the roughest weather, including two major hurricanes that snapped the ship’s anchor chains. After years spent marking the mouth of the Chesapeake and Delaware bays for commercial vessels, the Chesapeake was retired in 1970, and is today a proud addition to the Historic Ships in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor “fleet.”