— The General Services Administration will be auctioning off a piece of
Delaware Bay lore when it opens bids for the Miah Maull lighthouse on
A public auction for the lighthouse at Ship John Shoal will also open on June 4.
sales will be open to the general public and will be conducted in
accordance with the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act
Established in 2000 as an amendment to the National
Historic Preservation Act, the act allows for the transfer of historic
lighthouses at no cost to federal agencies, state and local governments,
non-profit organizations, educational agencies and community
If no agency steps forward to accept
stewardship of an historic lighthouse, the structure can be auctioned
off to the general public.
According to Meta Cushing of the
General Services Administration, prospective bidders must register and
put down a fully refundable deposit of $10,000. The suggested opening
bid for Miah Maull is $25,000.
Cushing also strongly suggests that all interested bidders attend the scheduled bidder inspections.
is very important that prospective bidders come out and get a good look
at the properties and know what they are getting into,” she said.
Miah Maull has been a part of the topography of the Delaware Bay for
nearly a century. Because of the protections granted to such structures
by the NHLPA, it will remain a functional fixture of the bay for
generations to come.
The lighthouse stands sentinel upon a rocky shoal named for famed Delaware River pilot Nehemiah Maull.
The son of an English immigrant, Maull was born in 1737 in Lewes, Del., and made his name upon the waters of the Delaware Bay.
1780, he booked passage aboard a ship bound for England and, in an
ironic twist of fate, was drowned when the vessel ran aground on an
unknown shoal in the bay that he knew so well.
To this day, the
shoal bears Nehemiah Maull’s name — now shortened simply to ’Miah Maull —
and serves not only to honor his memory, but also as a warning for the
generations of baymen who have navigated the waterway over the
In 1906, the U.S. Congress allocated funds for the
construction of a lighthouse on Miah Maull shoal. Work on the cast iron
frame of the structure began in 1908, and the structure, commonly known
among locals as the Maull, was completed in 1913.
Over the past
99 years, the lighthouse has been a beacon, alerting vessels traversing
the bay’s shipping channel to the presence of the treacherous shoal.
the sale, the Miah Maull lighthouse will continue to be an active aid
to navigation in the bay, operated by the U.S. Coast Guard.
of the conditions of the sale is that the Coast Guard be allowed
continued access to and control over the signaling capabilities of the
The auction will be conducted online, at http://realestatesales.gov, and will begin on June 4.
instructions for bidding, as well as all applicable terms of the sale
and dates for public inspections, are included in the Invitation for
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