Event · News · Preservation

Hooper Strait Marks 50 Years at Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

Hooper Strait MD 50th anniversary CBMM copy
The dedication of Hooper Strait Lighthouse at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum was led by Robert Burgesson May 20, 1967. Photo by William Edwin Booth. CBMM Collection.

Fifty years ago today, on May 20, 1967, the Hooper Strait Lighthouse opened to the public at its new home on the grounds of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) in St. Michaels, Maryland. The preceding November, it had been removed in two pieces from its original screwpile foundation, lifted onto a barge, and towed up the Chesapeake to St. Michaels. It was set on a new pipe foundation and restored after sitting unmanned for 12 years.

Hooper Strait 1972 move CBMM (1) copy
The Hooper Strait Lighthouse was moved to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in 1966, and dedicated on May 20, 1967. Photo by C.C. Harris. CBMM Collection.

Hooper Strait Lighthouse was automated in 1954 as part of the Coast Guard’s modernization program, and it was scheduled for demolition when the Museum’s founders stepped in, purchasing it from the demolition contractor at the last minute. It was the first lighthouse to be moved for preservation purposes.

Built in 1879, Hooper Strait was a classic low, screwpile lighthouse, a type once common on the Chesapeake Bay, where shoal waters and the soft bottom of the Bay made it necessary to locate navigational beacons away from the shore.
Hooper Strait Lighthouse, along with the Point Lookout bell tower and buyboat Winnie Estelle in 2017. Photo courtesy CBMM

Submitted by Bethany Ziegler and Pete Lesher, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, May 16, 2017

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U.S. Lighthouse Society News is produced by the U.S. Lighthouse Society to support lighthouse preservation, history, education and research. Please consider joining the U.S. Lighthouse Society if you are not already a member. If you have items of interest to the lighthouse community and its supporters, please email them to candace@uslhs.org.

2 thoughts on “Hooper Strait Marks 50 Years at Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

  1. I enjoy your messages on here and appreciate this feature. As the USLHS Historian i had hoped there would be more than a reporting of news with some added historical information for the members that I would think a Historian would want to provide. I am sure I can search the internet for this notice and for history but as a member benefit having it here would be so appreciated. Good job with these great notices thank you.

    1. Glad you are enjoying this feature and I appreciate your feedback. I encourage submissions from the lighthouse community and like to reproduce what they have provided and give them credit. I will note that you would like me to supplement these posts with more historical background.

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