Scenic USA - Maryland

Point Drum Lighthouse

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Point Drum Lighthouse - Solomons, Maryland

Photo by Jack Ryan
Jack Ryan Photography

   Even though congress appropriated lighthouse funds for the Point Drum location in 1853, the Chesapeake beacon construction dragged on until the 1880s. First lit in 1883, after a 50 year wait, the cottage style lighthouse was set up on cast-iron screw jacks and remained in service until 1962. Originally the navigation aid was designed as a land based beacon. Politics and paperwork delayed the project until a submerged property site title was secured.
   An old light-keeper's log book, preserved in the national archives, gives a picture of the daily chores of lighthouse maintenance. Some not-so-usual records detailed an overboard rescue, an unnerving February Patuxent River ice flow that shook up the lighthouse residents. More tremors were felt at the lighthouse when a magnitude 7 quake rocked the structure during the Charleston Earthquake.
   Today, the Point Drum Lighthouse is part of the Calvert Marine Museum. Rescued from vandals, the lighthouse is a main feature at this Maryland attraction. The museum also displays exhibits of the seafood industry, area batoids, and the paleontology zone. Other features include a place for children's fun in the discovery room, the vintage J.C. Lore & Sons Oyster House, and a woodworking & model shop.

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