Scenic USA - Maryland

Choptank River Lighthouse

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Choptank River Lighthouse - Cambridge, Maryland

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

   The Choptank River, the largest river on the Delmarva Peninsula, is formed in Kent County, Delaware, and makes its way across Maryland to empty into the Chesapeake Bay. Navigable for about 45 miles upriver to Denton, the Choptank River is one of the bay's major tributaries.
     As the Choptank River enters the Chesapeake Bay, its broad mouth and shallows begged for a lighthouse to mark the major channel. The first light station was placed between Castle Haven and Benoni points in 1871. The lighthouse was the only manned station in the Choptank River, guiding ships into Cambridge and upriver toward Denton. The hexagonal shaped lighthouse was built onshore and floated out into the river to be placed on screwpiles. Lasting just 49 years, the Choptank River Lighthouse was ripped from its supports in a winter storm, and demolished in the ice flow. The lighthouse was replaced in 1922 with the unused Cherrystone Lighthouse from Cape Charles, Virginia. The replacement beacon remained in use until 1964 when the Coast Guard felt the lighthouse was no longer needed.
   Here at Long Wharf Park, Chesapeake Bay visitors can once again enjoy a look at the original Choptank River Lighthouse. Following plans from the national archives, a replica lighthouse stands as a reminder of the 19th century light station. Dedicated on September 22, 2012, the new Choptank River Lighthouse rests beside a C-shaped floating dock, providing access to the lighthouse and 270 degree views of this masterful replica. The Choptank River Lighthouse Society hopes the lighthouse will enrich future generations and educate them about the area's historic maritime heritage.

     Map - Long Wharf Park


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