The lighthouse at Piney Point in Maryland –14 miles from Chesapeake Bay up the Potomac River — was established in 1836, making it the oldest lighthouse on the river. The conical brick tower is 26 feet tall.
In 1980 the property was transferred to St. Mary’s County. The County licensed the St. Clement’s Island-Potomac River Museum to preserve the light station, and a museum was established. The museum’s exhibits focus on the construction and operation of the lighthouse, lighthouse keepers, the role of the Coast Guard, and other subjects related to the history of the site. April Havens is the site manager at the Piney Point Lighthouse Museum and Historic Park.
Split Rock Lighthouse is located on a 127-foot-high cliff on the northwest shore of Lake Superior. The lighthouse went into service on August 1, 1910. The Coast Guard declared the lighthouse obsolete and it was discontinued as an official navigational aid in 1969. Ownership was transferred to the State of Minnesota, and today the Minnesota Historical Society administers the site. The light station is the centerpiece of 2200-acre Split Rock Lighthouse State Park.
Lee Radzak became the lighthouse site manager in November 1982. After retiring in 2019, Lee began work on a new book — The View from Split Rock: A Lighthouse Keeper’s Life. The book, which is co-written by journalist and author Curt Brown, takes readers into the life of a modern-day lighthouse keeper at Split Rock. The book is organized by season and is illustrated with photos taken by Lee and other talented photographers.
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Jeremy D’Entremont is the author of more than 20 books and hundreds of articles on lighthouses and maritime history. He is the president and historian for the American Lighthouse Foundation and founder of Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, and he has lectured and narrated cruises throughout the Northeast and in other regions. He is also the producer and host of the U.S. Lighthouse Society podcast, “Light Hearted.” He can be emailed at Jeremy@uslhs.org