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Cedar Point Lighthouse

Nov. 5, 2019
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Cedar Point Lighthouse, Chesapeake Bay, Solomons, Maryland

CEDAR POINT LIGHT

Lighthouse Name: Cedar Point Light
Location: Solomons, Maryland marks the southern side of the mouth of Patuxent River
Date Built: Built in 1896 to mark the river entrance
Type of Structure: cottage-style dwelling
Height: Tower and lantern were 50 feet above the ground; the light was 45 feet above mean high water.
Lens: Fourth order Fresnel lens
Characteristics: flash red at five second intervals visible for seven miles.
Foghorn: In foggy weather ear-numbing fog bell rang twice a minute. Bell & No. 3 Gamewell machine.
Appropriation: $25,000.00
Status: No longer standing

Historical Information:

  • In 1888, the board pointed to the need for the lighthouse: “The harbor at the mouth of Patuxent River is the best on the western side of Chesapeake Bay.  Vessels about to enter this harbor from the south pass close to Cedar Point, where the water is deep near the shore.  In thick weather sounding is no safeguard, as the change from deep to shoal water is abrupt.  The establishment of a light and fog-signal on CP would also be of much value to the general navigation of the bay, as most vessels pass near this point.”
  • In 1896 the lighthouse was completed and sat on 1.54 acres, it was a cottage-style dwelling 33’ by 27’ with the roof rising 43’ above ground.  It was built of brick and wood; 3 stories high with basement with a square tower attach to one corner; first story contained a summer kitchen, second floor 2 storerooms; there was also a brick oil house, a frame boathouse and a small outhouse.  The fog bell & apparatus were placed in the upper room of a wood structure 35 ft high and 12 feet by 16 ft.
  • The lighthouse was abandoned in the 1920’s by the Light House Board.  Originally built on a peninsula erosion resulted in the dwelling ending up on an island; the lighthouse was deactivated in 1928 and sold to the Arundel Corporation. They continued to dredge tons of sand from the area in the 1930’s
  • A replacement beacon was installed in the old fog bell tower owned by the Arundel Sand and Gravel Corporation after a storm destroyed the original one.
  • In the late 1950’s the foundation of the building was so damaged by the rising waters of the Chesapeake Bay that the day beacon was abandoned.  In 1956 the post light is also abandoned.  In 1957 the bell tower collapsed and in 1958 the land was acquired by the Navy.
  • In 1979 the lighthouse was declared eligible for the National Register of Historic places.
  • Dec 1981 the lighthouse cupola was removed from the dilapidated structure and moved ashore to the Naval Air Test and Evaluation Museum.  Demolition of the lighthouse was approved.
  • In 1983 the lighthouse was removed from the national Register of Historic Places listing of eligible, not yet listed.
  • 1996 the remains of the lighthouse were dismantled, inventoried, and the gabled roof end and bricks were delivered to the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons, Maryland, to be used in the building of a pavilion at the museum.
  • In 2003 the Navy Seabees volunteered to rebuild the base of the cupola. When the new museum construction is completed, the cupola will again be put on display for the public.

Keepers: G.M. Willis, Sr.

Researched and written  by Anne Puppa, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Light House Society.