Jones Point Lighthouse Alexandria Reviews
A Lighthouse on the Potomac Apr 13, 2013
Many lighthouse fans are surprised to learn that there is a lighthouse near Washington, DC, on the Potomac River. Jones Point Lighthouse is located in Jones Point Park, at the southern edge of Alexandria, Virginia.
The wood frame lighthouse is no longer active and has not been since 1926. But it has an interesting story and sits on top of an historic landmark.
The lighthouse was built in 1856 as a Potomac River navigation aid at Jones Point. At that time, there was considerable passenger and freight traffic along the river to Washington, DC, as well as from the river ports of Alexandria and Georgetown. Until after World War II, Alexandria was a very industrial city, not the city of quaint shops one encounters today. The lighthouse was one unit, with the rotating beacon on top of the frame structure rather than in a masonry tower. A keeper lived in the lighthouse, instead of in a separate keeper's house, until 1919. After the lighthouse was closed, it was deeded to the Daughters of the American Revolution. In turn, the DAR gave it to the National Park Service when Jones Point Park, a unit of George Washington Memorial Parkway, was established in 1964.
The lighthouse is not open to visit, but there are many interpretive markers about to tell the story of this part of Alexandria. In 1791, the South Cornerstone of the District of Columbia was placed at the site in a ceremony led by George Washington. (Alexandria was part of the District of Columbia until 1846 when it was returned to Virginia.) The stone marker is still in place. Time and river tides have buried the marker, but it is visible through a glass-topped casing in front of the lighthouse.
Something to see and the riverfront Jones Point Park is very pleasant to visit on an afternoon.
Part of the Daytripping around Virginia travel blog
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