Drum Point Lighthouse – Maryland

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Durm Point Lighthouse – Maryland

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Drum Point Lighthouse – Maryland

The Drum Point Lighthouse, located at the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons, Maryland, is a charming and historically significant beacon that offers a unique glimpse into the maritime heritage of the Chesapeake Bay. This screw-pile lighthouse, originally constructed in 1883, once stood at the mouth of the Patuxent River, marking the entrance to the river from the bay and ensuring the safe passage of vessels navigating these busy waters.

Screw-pile lighthouses, like Drum Point, are distinctive for their design, which involves driving screw piles into the seabed to create a stable foundation. This method was particularly suited to the soft, muddy bottoms of the Chesapeake Bay, allowing lighthouses to be built in shallow waters where traditional foundations would not be practical. The Drum Point Lighthouse was one of the many screw-pile lighthouses that dotted the bay, each playing a crucial role in guiding ships safely through its channels.

Design


The lighthouse is an octagonal structure, mounted on a framework of iron piles, with a hexagonal lantern room crowning the top. It originally housed a fourth-order Fresnel lens, which emitted a fixed white light visible for about 13 miles. The design and architecture of the Drum Point Lighthouse reflect the practicality and functionality required for maritime navigation in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Drum Point Lighthouse served faithfully until it was decommissioned in 1962, after which it fell into disrepair. Recognizing its historical value, the Calvert Marine Museum took steps to preserve and restore the lighthouse. In 1975, the lighthouse was carefully moved from its original location to the museum grounds, where it underwent extensive restoration. Today, it stands as one of the best-preserved examples of a screw-pile lighthouse in the United States.

Visiting Drum Point Lighthouse – Maryland

Visitors to the Calvert Marine Museum can explore the Drum Point Lighthouse and experience what life was like for the lighthouse keepers who maintained the light. The interior of the lighthouse has been meticulously restored and furnished to reflect the period when it was in operation, offering a fascinating look at the daily routines and challenges faced by the keepers and their families. From the compact living quarters to the functional kitchen and the beacon room with its replica Fresnel lens, the lighthouse provides a vivid portrayal of maritime life.

The lighthouse’s relocation to the museum has not diminished its charm or historical significance. Instead, it has allowed the Drum Point Lighthouse to become an educational centerpiece, accessible to a wider audience. The museum offers guided tours, educational programs, and special events centered around the lighthouse, enhancing public understanding and appreciation of the region’s maritime heritage.

In addition to its historical and educational value, the Drum Point Lighthouse is a picturesque and photogenic landmark. Its distinctive design and scenic setting make it a popular subject for photographers and a cherished symbol of the Chesapeake Bay’s nautical history.

Conclusion

In essence, the Drum Point Lighthouse is more than just a relic of the past; it is a living testament to the ingenuity and dedication of those who worked to keep the Chesapeake Bay’s waterways safe. Its preservation and continued use as an educational tool ensure that future generations can learn about and appreciate the rich maritime history of the region. Whether you are a history enthusiast, a maritime aficionado, or simply a curious visitor, the Drum Point Lighthouse offers a captivating journey into the past and a deeper understanding of the vital role lighthouses played in maritime navigation.

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