Timeline: Choptank River Lighthouse

Choptank River Lighthouse (Replica) Timeline
(Located at the end of Pier A – Long Wharf Park – Water and High Streets, Cambridge, MD) (08/03/13)

1870 Lightship Choptank River – 41-ton wooden schooner stationed at site while
screwpile under construction.

1871 Hexagonal screwpile lighthouse built at Lazaretto Depot, Baltimore, MD , moved by barge and stationed near the mouth of the Tred Avon River at Benoni Point. Exhibits 6th order Fresnel lens.

1880 Ice piles crack several pilings. Lighthouse tilts. Minor damage occurs. Lens upgraded to 5th order.

1918 Ice floes climb 30 feet around lighthouse, knock structure off pilings and is demolished.

1921 Lighthouse Service moves spare Cherrystone Lighthouse (built in 1858) in storage at Cape Charles, VA) 100 miles up river to the Choptank River station. Only known lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay to have been replaced with an existing lighthouse from another location. Only lighthouse commissioned to serve two states. First keeper – Julian Austin.

1933 Lighthouse used as turn-around point for Tred Avon Yacht Club regatta.

1964 Harold Messick serves as last keeper. Lighthouse dismantled by U.S. Coast Guard.

August, 2011 Construction of replica lighthouse begins with screwpile installation.

2012 Replica of replacement lighthouse built by architect Randall Kipp based on
1858 structure. Architect Randall Kipp. Replica serves as City Dockmaster’s
Office (in season) with small museum.

Source: Choptank River Lighthouse website – www.choptankriverlighthouse.org. LighthouseDirectory – http://www.unc.edu/~rowlett/lighthouse/va.htm and “Forgotten Beacons” by Patrick Hornberger and Linda Turbyville.

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