I have visited Dorchester County, Maryland many times over the years. I've visited Blackwater National Wildlife refuge, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical park, and a pavilion area on Fishing Bay during a tropical storm. But I had never seen The Choptank River Lighthouse in Cambridge - until recently.
It was a drab and rainy day. We were driving around, exploring. We had visited Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge again but with the pouring rain, it was difficult to get photos of the birds. There were plenty of birds to see... being water birds, they didn't seem to mind the rain. We also drove around the small town of Cambridge, Maryland.
We ended up in Long Wharf Park. With the heavy rain, the birds outnumbered humans. And we had a perfect view of The Choptank River Lighthouse from the comfort of the Jeep.
The Choptank River Lighthouse, Cambridge, MD
This lighthouse is a replica of historic, river lighthouses of Maryland. Specifically, a replica of one of the Choptank River Lighthouses that were at Choptank River Station. Yes, "lighthouses" plural at that original site. The first lighthouse at Choptank River Station was built in 1871. After that structure was destroyed by an ice floe, a different lighthouse was moved to the site in 1921. Then in 1964, that lighthouse was removed and replaced with a modernized flashing light.
With visiting the current Choptank River Lighthouse, I learned that it is a screwpile style lighthouse. I have seen many photos of this style of Maryland river lighthouse but never thought about the architecture.
This structure also houses a small lighthouse museum. It is normally (pre-pandemic) open to the public, no charge but donations are welcome. The space (also during normal times) can be rented for events.
I definitely plan to visit again on a sunny day so I can sit and watch the boats sailing in and out of the marina.
Dorchester County, Maryland is a wonderful place to visit. It is a rural area teeming with wildlife, migratory birds, and recreational activities related to water. Every single time I visit I wonder about Harriet Tubman's life and marvel at her bravery walking though these marshes and forests.
Our Mary Beth is the Review This lighthouse contributor and photographer. If you love lighthouses, be sure to look for her lighthouse reviews and her photography store. I enjoy touring this wonderful lighthouse parks through her stories and photos.
If you are unable to travel to Maryland's eastern shore in person, and enjoy reading historical fiction I recommend Chesapeake by James Michener. You can see my book review here. The area and it's rich history makes my visits even more meaningful.
For more information about the history of the original Choptank River Lighthouse, it's replacement, and this replica in Cambridge, refer to Choose Cambridge: About the Lighthouse.
For more information about types of lighthouses, including the screwpile style and Alexander Mitchell refer to Chesapeake Chapter United States Lighthouse Society: Types of Lights.
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