Southern Maryland’s history is entwined with the waterways that run through the region. Four lighthouses still standing in Calvert and St. Mary’s counties offer a glimpse into Southern Maryland’s past and the people who worked the water.
Add these four Southern Maryland lighthouses to your summer tourism bucket list!
Cove Point Lighthouse
Since 1828, the Cove Point Lighthouse in Lusby has been warning ships of a shoal that extends from the land toward the shipping channel, and unlike the other lighthouses in Southern Maryland, this one is still active! Lighthouse keepers monitored the light until 1986 when it was automated. It is controlled from Baltimore today.
Calvert County owns the lighthouse, and access to the property is managed by the Calvert Marine Museum. The keeper’s house is available for rent as a vacation home or for special events like weddings. You can tour the lighthouse daily June through August and on weekends and holidays in May and September.
(Image via Cove Point Lighthouse on Facebook.)
Drum Point Lighthouse
Today, Drum Point Lighthouse sits at the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons, but that wasn’t always the case. Built in the water off Drum Point in 1883, the lighthouse is one of three screwpile cottage-type lighthouse left on the Chesapeake Bay. At one time, there were 45 such lighthouses! Decommissioned in 1962, the lighthouse was moved to the museum in 1975 and restored. It is open for tours, weather permitting, when the museum is open.
Piney Point Lighthouse
The Piney Point Lighthouse sits 14 miles up the Potomac River from the Chesapeake Bay, and from 1836 to 1946, the lighthouse warned ships of shoals in that area of the river. Today, the lighthouse is owned by St. Mary’s County and sits on 6 acres of land that includes a museum and park. Learn local history and the lighthouse’s story at the museum, see historic boats, and enjoy a picnic area, boardwalk, pier, and beach in the park. The state’s first Historic Shipwreck Dive Preserve sits offshore, the location of the sunken WWII U-1105 Black Panther German submarine. An exhibit in the museum tells you more about the submarine.
Point Lookout Lighthouse
From 1830 to 1966, the Point Lookout Lighthouse marked the entrance of the Potomac River and warned ships of the shoals there. Throughout the years, it was served by civilian and Coast Guard keepers, including several women. During the lighthouse’s history, a Civil War hospital for Union soldiers was built on adjacent property and was later converted to a prison for Confederate soldiers. A state park grew up around the lighthouse, which is where it sits today. Rumors of hauntings and unusual activity surround the lighthouse; it has been the subject of many paranormal investigations and featured on television.
The Point Lookout Lighthouse is owned by the state of Maryland, but it is open for occasional events by the Point Lookout Lighthouse Preservation Society, which works to preserve and restore the facility.
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