|Maryland (St. Mary's County), Piney Point — Bay Lights|
|Protecting ships from treacherous waters has been a necessity since ancient times when bonfires and strategically placed cottage lanterns warned seamen of dangers in fog and darkness. Lighthouses of the Chesapeake and Potomac River waterways are variations of three basic styles: detached conical towers, dwellings with lantern-like cupolas built on shore line and screw-pile lighthouses secured to the floors of the waterways replacing some of the early lightships. The Piney Point Lighthouse is a . . . — Map (db m9011) HM|
|Maryland (St. Mary's County), Piney Point — British Landing Prevented — July 17, 1776|
|Capt. Rezin Beall (later Brig. Gen. in "Flying Camp") was wounded here in repulse of British efforts to cross to mainland from St. George's Island. Fighting continued until July 29, Lord Dunmore, commanding 72 marauding British vessels on Potomac River, was also wounded here. Offshore, five British ships were disabled. — Map (db m18720) HM|
|Maryland (St. Mary's County), Piney Point — Lighthouse Keeper's Quarters|
|Most free standing light houses were accompanied by "keeper's quarters," which housed the light keepers and their families. The Piney Point Lighthouse and keeper's quarters were built in 1836 by John Donahoo of Havre de Grace.
The original brick structure measured 30 ft. by 20 ft. and was built as a one-storey dwelling with a central fireplace and a ground level basement. There have been numerous renovations and preservation efforts over the years.
The house served as a residence for . . . — Map (db m8978) HM|
|Maryland (St. Mary's County), Piney Point — Map of Lower Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay|
|Piney Point Lighthouse, Museum and Historic Park, a Chesapeake Bay Gateway, is one of your entry points to enjoy and learn about the places and stories of the Chesapeake and its watershed.
The 64,000 square-mile watershed is a complete ecosystem. Home to over 15 million people, it has supported human occupation for 13,000 years. The Chesapeake's natural abundance has fed multitudes, fueled rich economies and nurtured diverse cultures. Explore this and other places in the Gateways Network to . . . — Map (db m9019) HM|
|Maryland (St. Mary's County), Piney Point — Natural Highways|
|The Chesapeake Bay and its many tributaries have served as natural highways since the beginning of civilization. With the gradual development of villages and settlements along the shorelines, the waterways became the primary means of transportation and commerce for this region of the country. Vessels ranging from simple dugout canoes to shallops, steamboats and international tankers have traversed these waterways for centuries.
Beginning in the 1800's, Piney Point became a steamboat . . . — Map (db m9014) HM|
|Maryland (St. Mary's County), Piney Point — Osprey — Pandion haliaetus|
|Visit Piney Point between March and October and you might see osprey at home on pilings used to moor oil barges. These graceful birds of prey return every year around St. Patricks Day from their winter homes in Brazil, Colombia or Venezuela.
The Chesapeake Bay estuary supports the largest breeding osprey population in the country. The lower reaches of the Potomac and other tidal waters are their main fishing grounds. Nicknamed the "Fish Hawk," these birds circle 50 to 100 feet above the . . . — Map (db m9016) HM|
|Maryland (St. Mary's County), Piney Point — Piney Point Lighthouse|
|On Christmas Eve 1835, the Federal Government purchased 2.5 acres of land from William and Charlotte Suter for $300. A year later the first lighthouse constructed entirely on the shoreline of the Potomac River went into service at Piney Point.
Initially Piney Point had a fixed white light of 10 lamps and 10 reflectors, visible for 11 miles. In June 1855 a fifth order Fresnel lens was added, changing the light color from white to yellow and increasing visibility for mariners. The lighthouse . . . — Map (db m9007) HM|
|Maryland (St. Mary's County), Piney Point — Piney Point Lighthouse — The Potomac Flotilla|
|In 1861, the U. S. created the Potomac Flotilla (gunboats and other armed vessels) to patrol the river and intercept Confederate blockade runners. Nevertheless, St. Mary's County residents frequently ferried supplies and men across to Virginia. A Unionist steamboat captain noted the difficulties the Federal navy faced:
"I was coming up the river on Wednesday last: a flag was raised on Piney Point Lighthouse and I went in. Mrs. Marshall, the keeper of the light, wished me to report that five . . . — Map (db m65046) HM|
|Maryland (St. Mary's County), Piney Point — Potomac River Military Testing|
|Almost from the beginning of the new nation, the United States established military facilities along the Potomac River - to test guns and munitions before placing them into service, to train troops and to defend the Nation's Capital.
Piney Point became the testing range for torpedoes manufactured in Alexandria, Virginia, during World War II. The Naval Torpedo Test Center and Range was commissioned following the war and the base is now the Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education, . . . — Map (db m8974) HM|