Choptank River Lighthouse

 This photograph is by Jill Jasuta

This photograph is by Jill Jasuta

 

This project is quite special. Randall was selected to be the architect for this historic project in Cambridge, Maryland. The project was completed in fall 2012.

Here is some information about the lighthouse from the Cambridge, Maryland website. See photos below.

The History of the Choptank River Lighthouse

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The Choptank River Lighthouse once stood between Castle Haven and Benoni Points on the Choptank River, near the mouth of the Tred Avon River. The lighthouse station was established in 1871 by the U.S. Lighthouse Service, a government agency that later became today's U.S. Coast Guard, the service which still manages America's navigational aids.

The lighthouse was the only manned lighthouse inside the Choptank River to guide ships to Cambridge, and farther up-river to Secretary and Denton. In the late 1880s and early 1900s, steamboats passed the lighthouse regularly, sailing from Baltimore and stopping at Long Wharf for produce, seafood and passengers. Many older residents of Cambridge remember the pleasant overnight trips to and from Baltimore past the Choptank River lighthouse.

SERVICE

The original lighthouse at the Choptank River Station was built in 1871 at Baltimore's Lazaretto Lighthouse Depot, moved on a barge to the site and loaded onto the iron skeleton legs which were screwed into the substrate of the Choptank River. An ice floe in 1918 demolished this first structure. Instead of building a new structure, the Lighthouse Service elected to move the spare Cherrystone lighthouse, then in storage at Cape Charles, Virginia, to the Choptank River Station. The Cherrystone lighthouse was put in place in 1921 at the Choptank River site, making it the only lighthouse in the Chesapeake that has served two states. The structure, pictured here, stood at the station until 1964, when the house was removed under the Coast Guard's modernization program. Today at the site there's a small flashing light to guide boaters.

REPLICA

The Choptank River lighthouse in the Cambridge marina is a replica of this last lighthouse, utilizing original plans made available by the National Archives. The hexagonal cottage-style house stands on pilings similar to its namesake screw-pile network of "legs" on a platform at the end of Pier A at the Cambridge City Marina. The footprint of the structure is 42 feet from one hex point to the other, and sits on a 60 feet by 60 feet platform with an overall height approximately 40 feet. The lighthouse is visible by water, greeting boating visitors to the marina. It can also be seen from the U.S. Route 50 Choptank River bridge and the nearby city.

VISIT

The Choptank River Lighthouse is located on the end of Pier A at Long Wharf Park (Water and High Streets) in Cambridge, on Maryland's beautiful Eastern Shore. The lighthouse is normally open to the public for free, self-guided tours daily from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., from May through October. 

During the off-season months, visitors can see the lighthouse by appointment by sending an email to ChoptankLighthouse@gmail.com or calling 410-463-2653. 

The lighthouse includes a small museum, with exhibits about the original lighthouse's history and the area's maritime heritage. It is located just a few blocks from historic downtown Cambridge, with award-winning restaurants, shops, galleries, and museums. 
• Find out more about Downtown Cambridge

The lighthouse is located in Dorchester County, known for its natural beauty, history, and great boating and outdoor recreation opportunities. 
• Find out more about Dorchester County.

 

Under Construction

Photos via the Choptank River Lighthouse Facebook Page

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The Original Choptank River Lighthouse

 Photo via the Choptank River Lighthouse  Facebook Page

Photo via the Choptank River Lighthouse Facebook Page


 Randall and his wife, Alison Drake, at the Choptank River Lighthouse dedication.

Randall and his wife, Alison Drake, at the Choptank River Lighthouse dedication.

 Photo by Eric Walker Sr. via the Choptank River Lighthouse  Facebook Page

Photo by Eric Walker Sr. via the Choptank River Lighthouse Facebook Page


 September 2017 Chesapeake Bay Magazine Feature

September 2017 Chesapeake Bay Magazine Feature

 Photograph by Jill Jasuta

Photograph by Jill Jasuta