“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Annapolis in Anne Arundel County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Thomas Point

Part Of The Bay Heritage

Thomas Point Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, March 28, 1999
1. Thomas Point Marker
(Left side of the marker)
Much of the early history of Thomas Point still lies buried under sand and water at its ever-eroding shoreline. Evidence does exist, however, that Native Americans enjoyed the bounty of the Bay’s seafood sometime between 200 AD and 1500 AD. Large piles of oysters and other shellfish remains, known as middens, still mark the sites of those early harvests and feasts.

The first white man known to settle the area was English merchant Philip Thomas, who owned many acres along what as then the shore of Anne Arundel Bay. Among the land parcels he was granted between 1658 and 1668 was a 165-acre tract called “Fuller Point.” which later became Thomas Point. Thomas died in 1675 and was buried at the “Old Quaker Burial Ground” in Galesville, several miles from here in southern Anne Arundel County. His children later divided the estate.

Ownership of Thomas Point changed several times from then until 1824, when the U.S. government paid $529 for a 7-acre parcel on which to build a lighthouse. Eventually, private interests bought back what remained of the 7-acres in 1914.

In 1917, Mr. and Mrs. Charles F. Lee and Mr. and Mrs. Ridgley P. Melvin sold 72-acres-the present Thomas Point Park and community of Oakwood—to the Thomas Point Duck Club. The club’s original manor house

Thomas Point Marker-Left side close up image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, March 28, 1999
2. Thomas Point Marker-Left side close up
and various out-buildings still stand in Oakwood.

On the small farm that occupied Thomas Point at the time, the only crop known to have been grown was corn, which was probably raised to attract ducks. A small log cabin, which now serves as the park office and the park ranger’s residence, was the hunting lodge for the duck club. This building still stands at Thomas Point, and the names of some prominent members of the duck club can be found carved into the frame of the cabin’s 8-foot fireplace.

The duck club used the hunting lodge for 30 years, before it sold the property to Ferdinand C. and Jane Homer Lee in 1947.

Between 1960 and 1963, the Lees deeded their 44-acres to Anne Arundel County in four parcels at a price of $5.00 each with the stipulation that the property be used for recreation and conservation purpose. Thanks to their generosity, thousands of visitors each year have enjoyed the natural beauty of the park. And thousands more will see this part of the Chesapeake much the way Philip Thomas saw it over 300 years ago.

(Right side of the marker)
The Thomas Point Lighthouse: A Bay Landmark. One of the most familiar landmarks of the Chesapeake is the Thomas Point Lighthouse. The present lighthouse stands approximately one mile off the end of the point, where it has steered boaters clear of the treacherous Thomas Point shoal since 1874. This structure

Thomas Point Marker-Right side close up image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, March 28, 1999
3. Thomas Point Marker-Right side close up
is actually the third lighthouse to be built in the vicinity. The first began service in 1825 on land that eventually eroded away, at which time it was rebuilt in 1838. The current lighthouse is an unusual white hexagonal building complete with keeper’s quarters. The iron pilings which anchor the lighthouse are literally screwed into the bottom of the Chesapeake Bay.

The Thomas Point lantern generates 6,000 candlepower of white light that is visible for up to 12 miles; boaters can see the 1,300 candlepower red light from approximately 9 miles away. The lighthouse also is equipped with a foghorn that sounds regularly during periods of low visibility.

A keeper manned the lighthouse until the mid-1980 when the light was automated with a generator and batteries.
Location. 38° 54.453′ N, 76° 27.63′ W. Marker is in Annapolis, Maryland, in Anne Arundel County. Marker is on Thomas Point Road. Touch for map. The marker is located at the foot of Thomas Point Park. Marker is in this post office area: Annapolis MD 21403, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Our Abundant Chesapeake (a few steps from this marker); Twin Oaks (approx. 1.6 miles away); Welcome to Eastport (approx.

Thomas Point Lighthouse image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, March 28, 1999
4. Thomas Point Lighthouse
4.3 miles away); The Maritime Tradition Lives On (approx. 4.4 miles away); The Watermen of Back Creek (approx. 4.4 miles away); Eastport's Soul (approx. 4.4 miles away); The Old Farmhouse (approx. 4˝ miles away); a different marker also named Welcome to Eastport (approx. 4.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Annapolis.
Categories. Colonial EraWaterways & Vessels
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 30, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 196 times since then and 73 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 30, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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