Piney Point in St. Mary's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Piney Point Lighthouse
A Mariner's Beacon
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 was automated with electricity in the 1950's.
Because fog frequently obscured the treacherous shoreline of Piney Point, a bell tower was added in 1880. Replaced by a reed horn in 1936, the bell tower was severely damaged by Hurricane Hazel in 1954 and was later dismantled.
Today, the lighthouse attracts thousands of visitors yearly from across the country and around the world.
Erected by Commissioners of St. Mary's County; St. Mary's County Museum Commission; Friends of St. Clement's Island and Piney Point Museums; Destination Southern Maryland; Southern Maryland
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Communications • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Lighthouses series list. A significant historical month for this entry is June 1855.
Location. 38° 8.154′ N, 76° 31.748′ W. Marker is in Piney Point, Maryland, in St. Mary's County. Marker is on Lighthouse Road (Maryland Route 498) south of Hotel Cove Lane, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 44720 Lighthouse Rd, Piney Point MD 20674, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Potomac River Military Testing (here, next to this marker); Bay Lights (here, next to this marker); Osprey (here, next to this marker); Map of Lower Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Piney Point Lighthouse (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Piney Point Lighthouse (here, next to this marker); The Lighthouse Keeper's Quarters (here, next to this marker); Lighthouses of the Chesapeake (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Piney Point.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. This marker has replaced the linked marker.
Credits. This page was last revised on October 5, 2022. It was originally submitted on October 5, 2022, by Sean C Bath of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 80 times since then and 20 times this year. Photo 1. submitted on March 2, 2022, by Sean C Bath of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A wide shot of the marker in context. • Can you help?