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St. Mary's County Recreation & Parks Museum Division - Guided Tours
   
MUSEUMS
   
Gold ball icon St. Clement's Island - Potomac River Museum
Gold ball icon Piney Point Lighthouse Museum & Park
Gold ball icon U-1105 Black Panther Historic Shipwreck Preserve
Gold ball icon Drayden African
American Schoolhouse
Gold ball icon Little Red Schoolhouse

Gold ball icon Guided Tours &
Student Tours
Gold ball icon Water Taxi Tours
Gold ball icon Museum Stores
Gold ball icon Research Center
Gold ball icon Volunteer Programs
Gold ball icon Calendar of Events
Gold ball icon Join the Friends
Gold ball icon Finer Points Newsletter
Gold ball icon Photo Gallery
Gold ball icon Contact Us
Gold ball icon Links of Interest
Gold ball icon Museums Homepage
Gold ball icon Recreation & Parks Homepage

  

Member:  Chesapeake
Bay Gateways Network

  Accredited by the
  American Association
  of  Museums.


 
Southern MD Trails

 


  

The Piney Point Lighthouse Museum

The Piney Point Lighthouse Museum, flooded and closed by Hurricane Isabel in 2003, is now relocated on higher ground on the park's northern campus. This two-story structure currently houses the Lighthouse Lens Museum Store and offers restrooms and visitor information. The museum exhibits are being developed and installed in the museum building's first floor, a project that will continue into 2006.

HOURS OF OPERATION

The grounds of the Piney Point Lighthouse Museum and Park are open sunrise to sunset 7 days a week. 

The Museum and Lighthouse Lens Museum Store are open Friday through Monday, 12 noon to 5 p.m., May through October. Special opening in December for the holiday season. Please call for dates and times.

  • Pier and docking facilities are available. 

  • Picnic tables are available.

  • Guided tours for students and adults are available by pre-arrangement with the Education Curator.

  • Admission:  $3 adults, $1.50 Children 6 - 18, Free Children 5 and under.

  • The Piney Point Lighthouse Museum & Park are A.D.A. compliant.

For Directions Click Here

Piney Point Lighthouse Museum and Park
C
/0 St. Clement’s Island-Potomac River Museum,
38370 Point Breeze Road,
Colton
’s Point, Maryland 20626
301-769-2222  
 301-769-2225 FAX

Exhibits will focus on the construction and operation of the  lighthouse, the role of the United States Coast Guard, the attraction of the Piney Point area as a get away for the social elite, and the story of the Black Panther U-1105 German submarine sunk in the Potomac that now serves as Maryland's first historic shipwreck dive preserve.

Lighthouse Lens Museum Store

The museum store offers an array of Piney Point Lighthouse souvenirs, nautical gifts, books, jewelry, clothing, children's corner and more! The store is operated by the Friends of the St. Clement's Island and Piney Point Museums with proceeds returning to support museum programs, projects and exhibits. The Lighthouse Lens is your destination for unique quality gifts. And for the "one who has everything," consider a gift membership to The Friends! Museum members receive a 10% discount on store purchases.

The Potomac River Maritime Exhibit

  
Also located on the northern campus is the building that houses the collection of four historic wooden vessels on loan from the Paul Hall School of Maritime Training and Education. The collection is comprised of a 67-foot skipjack (Joy Parks), an 84-foot bugeye
(Dorothy A. Parsons), a log canoe, and Potomac River dory boat. The exhibit focuses on the life of the watermen who sustained a livelihood working the waters of the Potomac for crabs, fish and oysters.

Piney Point Lighthouse Grounds and Pier

Come by boat! The Piney Point Lighthouse Museum and Park is also accessible by boat, offering a sturdy handicap accessible pier with accompanying step down platform. The pier connects to the wooden boardwalk that surrounds the lighthouse grounds. The scenic riverside venue of the lighthouse offers guests not only an aesthetic panorama and serene escape but comfortable benches and picnic tables to accommodate an extended visit.


    Piney Point Lighthouse
“The Lighthouse of Presidents”
  

Built in 1836, the Piney Point Lighthouse and keeper’s quarters are located 14 miles up the Potomac River from the Chesapeake Bay.  This beacon stands preserved today as a witness to a bygone era of high society entertaining American Presidents such as James Monroe, Franklin Pierce, Theodore Roosevelt and other notables including Daniel Webster, Daniel C. Calhoun,  and later, the inimitable Kate Smith.

The lighthouse and keeper’s quarters were built by master lighthouse builder, John Donahoo for the contracted price of $5000.  The circular tower stands 35 feet tall from its base to the coping and the walls are 3 feet 10 inches thick at the base and 2 feet 3 inches at the parapet.  This lighthouse was the tenth of the 12 lighthouses built by Donahoo in his lifetime.

The Piney Point Lighthouse was a working beacon from 1836 until 1964 when it was decommissioned by the United States Coast Guard.  This lighthouse served river navigators through the Civil War years, the steamboat era, and both World Wars as witness to U.S. munitions testing.  In 1980 the vacated property was deeded to St. Mary’s County by the federal government.

Time and tide had taken its toll by the time preservation efforts of the Piney Point Lighthouse began in earnest in 1990 by the Museum Division of St. Mary’s County Department of Recreation and Parks.  The Lighthouse was restored and the outbuildings were renovated.  The Keeper’s Quarters are a private residence for security and grounds keeping purposes.  The recently restored tower steps allow visitors a bird's-eye view of the area at the Annual Piney Point Celebration in May. Additional tower openings will be announced when scheduled.

Lighthouse Keepers

  • 1835 William Henry Suter

  • 1837 Philip Clark

  • 1840 Henry C. Heard

  • 1844 Charlotte Suter

  • 1846 William B. Taylor

  • 1849 John N. Nuthall

  • 1850 Susan Nuthall

  • 1861 Robert Marshall

  • 1865 Henry Stainbrice

  • 1869 Noah Wilson

  • 1873 Elizabeth Wilson

  • 1877 Helen Tune

  • 1883 William Costin

  • 1912 George Costin

  • 1912 Loch Humphries

  • 1931 William Yeatman

  • 1933 William Goeshy


Directions:
 

Street SignFrom Baltimore/Washington, D.C.:
 
Take 495/95 to exit 7a (Route 5 south to Waldorf).  Follow Route 5 south through Leonardtown to Callaway.  Turn right on Route 249.  Drive 9 miles to Piney Point making a right onto Lighthouse Road to the end.

From Virginia: 

Take State Route 301 to 234 east to Leonardtown. Turn right on Route 5 South through Leonardtown to Callaway.  Turn right on Route 249.  Drive 9 miles to Piney Point making a right onto Lighthouse Road to the end.

Click Here for directions from MapQuest


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