The Cove Point Lighthouse was originally intended not for Cove Point at all, but for nearby Cedar Point. In 1825, Congress set aside money for a Cedar Point beacon near the entrance to the Patuxent River. Mariners had for years urged the construction of a lighthouse that would both guide ship traffic in the Chesapeake Bay and assist vessels into the Patuxent River.
The 38-foot tower possesses a beautiful winding staircase that ascends to the lantern. The treads of the staircase are triangular, with the outermost side of each step imbedded in the tower’s masonry and the innermost edge fitted to a central column. Accompanying the central column is a square wooden tube, which held the counterweights formerly used to rotate the lens.
The lighthouse was completely automated in 1986, when a fog detector, a lamp-changer and a computer connected to headquarters obsoleted the keeper’s position. In October of 2000, the station was officially transferred from the Coast Guard to Calvert County, and since then the Calvert Marine Museum has been in charge of providing public access. The station remains an active aid to navigation, and caretakers live in the single-story frame cottage that was built by the Coast Guard as enlisted quarters around 1950.
The Calvert Marine Museum Society hired a company to provide a marketing and use study on the property. The company's recommendation was to use the keeper's dwelling for weekly vacation rentals, and after the society raised $600,000, it had the house renovated and divided down the middle to serve as two rental units. Each side has three bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, a kitchen and a living room. Work started in June 2011 and was finished a year later.
Location: Located on Cove Point four miles north of the entrance to the Patuxent River on the western side of the Chesapeake Bay.
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