Scenic USA - Maryland

Scenic USA offers a collection of select photographs from a wide variety of attractions, points of interest, historic sites, state and
national parks found throughout the United States. Each photo feature is coupled with a brief explanation.
For further detailed information, links to other related sites are provided.


Thomas Johnson Bridge

Thomas Johnson Bridge

Photos and Feature Article
by Monnie Ryan
Zenfolio Gallery

     The mile-and-half long bridge spans the lower Patuxent River, joining the Maryland counties of Calvert and St. Mary's. The bridge officially opened in 1978 and is named for the first governor of Maryland, Gov. Thomas Johnson. Elected in 1777 by the Maryland General Assembly, he was re-elected twice more, serving the statutory limit for consecutive terms.
     On the Calvert County side, the bridge leads to the town of Solomons, which is located where the Patuxent River meets the Chesapeake Bay. Huge pilings support the bridge, which can be categorized as both a beam bridge and an arch bridge. At sunset, it's not unusual to see sailboats that have dropped anchor nearby.
     The town of Solomons (actually an island) was known by various names until 1865, when about 80 acres were sold to a man named Isaac Solomon. It was largely unknown until after the Civil War, when the economy turned around and oysters became a big industry (with Maryland as the world's top supplier). Solomon, a Baltimore businessman, set up a cannery on his plot of land. Ready access to the mouth of the Patuxent River enabled the town to become a thriving center for shipbuilding as well as a seafood industry. In 1870, the U.S. Postal Service opened an office, providing service for its 237 residents. Drum Point Lighthouse
     Today, Solomons Island is a popular destination for tourists, many of whom visit the Calvert Marine Museum, containing more than 500 artifacts and documents in the main maritime history building. Tools used in the ship-building trades, scale models of steam and sail vessels, and much more can be found here as well. The centerpiece here is the Drum Point Lighthouse; an unusual screwpile style, it is one of only three of the 45 lighthouses that guarded the Chesapeake Bay at the start of the 20th Century. The light was decommissioned in 1962, and in 1975 was moved to the waters near the museum and restored. The museum acquired a second lighthouse, Cove Point, in 2000; the oldest continuously operating light station in Maryland.



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