Light Hearted

Light Hearted ep 39 – John Potvin, Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse, Maryland

Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse, U.S. Lighthouse Society photo.

Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse is probably the best-known lighthouse in Maryland, and it has many distinctions. It’s the last surviving screwpile lighthouse in Chesapeake Bay, and it’s one of the few lighthouses in the United States to be designated a National Historic Landmark. It’s weathered many storms but it’s now in need of help.

John Potvin, left, presents a check for $20,000 for the preservation of Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse to Henry Gonzalez of the U.S. Lighthouse Society (courtesy of John Potvin)

John Potvin is a member of the Chesapeake Chapter of the United States Lighthouse Society. He has been a volunteer at Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse for several years. As the preservation foreman, he is actively involved in the bidding and specification preparation for the rehabilitation of the lighthouse, as well as coordinating volunteer schedules and tasks.

John Potvin at work at Thomas Point Shoal (courtesy of John Potvin).

In this episode of Light Hearted, host Jeremy D’Entremont and co-host Michelle Jewell Shaw also look at the origins and history of screwpile lighthouses, which were developed by the Irish engineer Alexander Mitchell.

Maplin Sands Lighthouse in England, the first (1841) screwpile lighthouse in the world. (Flickr Commons, British Library)

Anyone interested in volunteering at Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse can email John Potvin at

GoFundMe page for Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse

U.S. Lighthouse Society site for Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse

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