Piney Point Light House Museum

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44701 Lighthouse Road, Piney Point, MD, USA

Piney Point Light House Museum Reviews

Zagnut66 Zagnut66
110 reviews
Piney Point Lighthouse Jul 04, 2015
This place should be called Tiny Point for it is a little bitty lighthouse near the mouth of the Potomac River as it enters the Chesapeake Bay. Piney Point was built in 1836 and is the oldest still-standing light on the river. During World War I the navy used the lighthouse as a staging area to test torpedoes built at the Alexandria Torpedo Factory across the Potomac. In the 1930s it was taken over by the Coast Guard and remained in use until decommissioned in 1964, eventually turned over to St. Mary’s County around 1980.

Today it is open to the public as a small park and museum complex. It’s a short climb to the top and you have to squeeze through a hatch to reach the apex. The views are okay, but more interesting is the Fresnel lens used as the lamp that was made in the mid 1800s. There is a small pier and picnic area with tables and an old keeper’s house that was closed on my visit. A museum at the park entrance in a rather drab building traces the history of the lighthouse. Close by is a warehouse that contains several vintage fishing vessels that once traversed the waters. A docent leads you around and enthusiastically explains when and how they were used.

Piney Point is about a ninety minute drive from the Washington metro area through scenic Southern Maryland. There are some meandering back roads to reach it but they go past a beautiful private beach that was once a popular vacation spot for politicians escaping the capital. It costs $7 to enter and makes for a relaxing day trip. More adventurous souls can dive into the Potomac and explore the wreck of a secret German U-boat from World War II made with early stealth technology. After the war it was sent to Washington for study and then deliberately sunk at Piney Point. Sounds to me like something from the X-Files, but apparently divers go down all the time to poke around.
Piney Point Lighthouse
Torpedo from Alexandria
Drab looking museum
14 / 14 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
ys484 says:
Congrats on your featured review!
Posted on: Jul 05, 2015
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Congrats on the Feature !
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Posted on: Jul 05, 2015
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