Drum Point Lighthouse
Maryland has several different types of lighthouses. In the Chesapeake Bay area you see several screw-pile type lighthouses.
Screw Pile Lighthouse
Because of the muddy and sandy bottom in the Chespeake Bay, the construction of typical lighthouses was difficult. The solution wa to use screw-pile foundations. The lighthouse at Drum Point has a foundation of seven iron piles filled with a screw-like flange. On top of this foundation a cottage was built for the lighthouse keeper.
Climbing to the Top of the Lighthouse
Calvert Marine Museum
The Drum Point lighthouse was build in 1863 at Drum Point. At the time it was built it was about 120 feet from the shore and the lighthouse keeper kept a small boat available to get to shore. As the years went by the shoals built up to the point where a small footbridge went out to the lighthouse. The lighthouse was active until 1962 when it was replaced fy a beacon type light and the keepers were then withdrawn.
After that time the lighthouse lay vacant until 1974 when it was acquired by Calvert county government. In 1975 the lighthouse made a 2 mile journey from Drum Point to Solomons. After extensive renovation the lighthouse was opened as a historic site in 1978.
Today visitors to the Calvert Marine Museum can climb the lighthouse and explore the rooms that the keepers and families lived and worked.
Light keeper and Family lived in the Cottage
I can't imagine living in the lighthouse all the time. When I visited the lighthouse I was able to climb up into the living quarters. The stairs ascend into the middle part of the cottage and the rooms are arranged in a circle around the stairs. On the first floor there was a kitchen, living room, workroom, dining area, and a bedroom. There was another set of stairs the ascended to the smaller second floor. On that floor was the childrens bedroom and a workroom. There was also a small room where the coal was kept. The toilet was out on the porch area in a small enclosed shed.
Climbing to the Top of Drum Point
After visiting the keepers and family quarters, I took the last flight of stairs up to the very top of the lighthouse. The lantern room was a very small room with the lens in the middle of the room and windows surrounding the room. The space between the light and the windows is small, just enough to walk around the light. As you can see in this photo several of the windows have a red tint on them a some are clear glass.
The lens is multi-faceted and inside is a light bulb. You can see the reflections of the harbor as you look at the lens. I found it very interesting and photographed it from all sides.
In the second photo below, I am looking out from the top floor of the lighthouse onto the harbor. It is a beautiful view to look out and see all the boats in the marina below.
Chesapeake Bay has three different types of lighthouses. This one at Drum Point is a screw-pile lighthouse. You will also find the conical tower lighthouse and the cupola style lighthouse along the shores of the Chesapeake. For more information on this lighthouse and other along the Chesapeake go to my page at Chesapeake Lighthouse or Piney Point Lighthouse.
Viewing the Light
Light Room on top of Lighthouse
View from the Light Room
Drum Point Light
View from Top