The lighthouses in Maryland can be found on or near the shores of the Chesapeake Bay and also on the Potomac River.
Lighthouse of Presidents
During our trip to southern Maryland we stop at several unique lighthouses. Piney Point lighthouse is one of my favorites. It was built by John Donahoe in 1836 and is a 35 foot brick tower. This lighthouse is called the "Lighthouse of Presidents" because it was used as a presidential summer retreat in the 19th century. Both the lighthouse and the keepers house have been restored and are now open to the public. This lighthouse sits on the southern shores of the Potomac river.
The first lighthouse was established in Hooper Strait in 1827. The lighthouse was built in an area of the Chesapeake Bay that had many hidden sand bars making it very treacherous for ships. The original lighthouse was a square screw-pile light that was destroyed by ice in 1877. In 1879 the present lighthouse was built. It is an octagonal cottage that sits on a screw-pile foundation. In 1966 this lighthouse was moved to St. Michaels, about 40 miles north of the original location. The light is now part of the marine museum in St. Michaels.
These photos were taken during a trip we took to see the lighthouse in June of 2011. I first took photos of the outside of the lighthouse and then I was able to climb up into the lighthouse. On the first two floors were the living quarters for the lighthouse keepers. Here they lived and worked in a small but efficent area.
Sandy Point Lighthouse
Chesapeake Bay Lighthouse
Sandy Point lighthouse was first established in 1858 and it's present building was built in 1883. It is an octagonal brick dwelling on a caisson foundation that sits out in the middle of the bay. It was built with a decorative brick, but salt spray soon deteriorated the brick and starting in 1890 it was coated with paint.
Today this lighthouse can be seen from the Chesapeake Bay bridge. I photographed the lighthouse from the beach at Sandy Point state park.
Point Lookout lighthouse
Cupola Style Lighthouse
There are three different types of lighthouses built along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac river. They are the screw-pile type like the ones at Hooper Strait and Drum Point, the typical conical light that those in Piney Point and Cove Point and the Cupola style house such as the one at Point Lookout. The cupola style is a cupola that sits atop a square type house.
The lighthouse at Point Lookout first operated in 1830, and for 136 years thereafter it helped to keep ships safe along the portion of Chesapeake Bay that it protected.