Timeline: Turkey Point Lighthouse

(Located in Elk Neck State Park, Cecil County, MD – tallest focal plane of any MD lighthouse –- Home to four women keepers – Revised 04/01/18)

1833 Thirty-five foot masonry tower and wooden keepers’ quarters built by John Donahoo on 100-foot bluff overlooking the Elk and North East Rivers.
1856 Fourth-order Fresnel lens visible for 13 miles installed.
1880s Improvements made to the dwelling & outbuildings. Fog bell added.
1922 Clarence Walter Salter serves as Keeper.
1925 Fannie May (Mae) Salter (43 years old) named keeper by President Calvin Coolidge after death of husband.
1942 Tower electrified.
1947-48 Salter retires at age 65 after 22 years of service and light fully automated.
1972 Keepers’ house torn down. Original Fresnel lens later stolen. Light replaced by plastic lens. Wooden stairs removed and other measures taken to prevent vandalism.
1995 Turkey Point Light Station, Inc. (TPLS) established to restore light station to original condition.
2000 US Coast Guard decommissions light.
2002 Light reactivated and serves as private aid to navigation.
2006 Ownership of Turkey Point light tower transferred to MD Department of Natural Resources, Elk Neck State Park. TPLS signs renewable 30-year lease as Chief Operations Agent to maintain lighthouse and is raising funds to rebuild Keeper’s house.
2007 New wooden staircase made of white oak (MD State tree) as per original specifications replaces aluminum ladder.
2008 Flagpole erected.

Source: Bay Beacons by Linda Turbyville and Turkey Point Light Station, Inc.

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