Potomac River Guide Home

Interactive Maps

The Lower Potomac

The Potomac Estuary

Mount Vernon to Anacostia River

Mall Area

Georgetown to Great Falls

Potomac Piedmont

Upper Potomac

The North Branch

Boat Ramps

Monitoring Sites

Bridges and Ferries

Cruises and Charters

Search Potomac Sites

Also Explore

The Hudson River GuideThe Delaware River Guide

Smith Point

Virginia Historic Site

blank dot

Smith Point is the southernmost point of the Potomac River, a location that has been vulnerable to erosion, storms, and war.

As early as 1802, Thomas Jefferson appointed a lighthouse keeper to manage the lighthouse at Smith Point. Erosion threatened the lighthouse, and in 1808 it was replaced with a lighthouse further inland. But that proved not to work well; in 1828 it was replaced with a third lighthouse. Eventually, a lightship was set up. During the Civil War, it was destroyed. A new lighthouse was finally built in 1896--this one lasted until 1936.

The Smith Point Light was automated in 1971. In 2005, the lighthouse was sold to a private owner for $170,000. It remains in active use. It is located 2.5 miles east of Smith Point, Va. and is accessible only by boat.

Suggested Links

Click here for larger map and nearby sites.

Contact Information
Northumberland County Government
P.O. Box 129
Heathsville VA 22473