Jones Point Lighthouse

Located at Jones Point Park in the City of Alexandria

[Jones Point Lighthouse]


This is the nation's oldest standing river light located only six miles from downtown Washington. It has guided boats up the Potomac River to ports in Alexandria VA, Washington DC, and Georgetown DC. It was built in 1855 and lit in May 1856. The light was automated in 1919 only to be deactivated in 1926. It was initially replaced with a 60-foot steel tower built 100 yards away. But that was torn down after the Army annexed the property in 1936. It wasn't until 1995 when the exterior of the lighthouse was renovated and the light relit. The interior has been gutted. The original optic was a fifth-order Fresnel lens but in 1995 it was given a small plastic lens.

More Photos of Jones Point.

Jones Point Park is significant because it features the south cornerstone of D.C., which was placed in 1791. It is a stone marker indicating one of the corners of the original boundaries of the diamond-shaped 10-square-mile District of Columbia. The stone marker is in a small alcove under the lighthouse's white fence. It is on the river's edge and is damaged from floods. During WWII the U.S. Army had a communications center and a canine depot here. After the war the U.S. Coast Guard had a radio station built here. In 1955, the U.S. Navy moved in and operated a Naval Reserve center. The land was later transferred to the National Park Service. Jones Point Park is now a public park, but the lighthouse is still owned by the National Park Service.


1988 USGS Satellite image of the Jones Point Lighthouse
courtesy of Microsoft TerraServer


return to port continue tour