Summertime on the Chesapeake: St. Michael’s, Md.

The iconic lighthouse of the Chesapeake Bay was moved and preserved at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum at St. Michaels. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

The iconic lighthouse of the Chesapeake Bay was moved and preserved at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum at St. Michaels. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

A helping hand. From tender to cruiser in the harbor at St. Michael's, Md. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

A helping hand. From tender to cruiser in the harbor at St. Michael’s, Md. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

 

 

By Ken Rossignol
THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY
ST. MICHAEL’S, MARYLAND — Whether by sea (about two hours from the western shore and up the Eastern Bay to the Miles River), or by land, this destination is a great one-day trip from the Washington or Baltimore area. There are many great little inns and nearby motels for those who wish to make it a several day adventure as there several blocks of shops and stores as well. But the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum requires attention and time.

Its the real McCoy. There are old guys actually building a lobster dory to order for a fellow who stumbled across a set of plans on a trip to New England.

A well done waterfowl display is proof that not every collector gives their valuable decoys to the next generation but instead put it here. For those who have perhaps heard about a “market” gun but never seen one, your visit will be worthwhile.

This place is the Smithsonian of the Bay and a heck of lot more fun to visit than downtown Washington. The lighthouse is open for visitors. The lighthouse depicts life as it was for those who lived there when it was located at Hooper’s Strait. A “screwpile” type of light, it was built in 1879. Visitors can experience the life of a keeper and climb to the top. From fishing for food to enduring tremendous ice flows, life on the Bay for light keepers or watermen was a mix of pleasure and challenge.

This lobster boat in the New England style is being hand-built with love by dedicated volunteers at the museum. Boat restorations are undertaken as well, with boats donated each year included in an annual auction which raises money for the museum.  A visit here can be a highlight of your summer.  THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo.

This lobster boat in the New England style is being hand-built with love by dedicated volunteers at the museum. Boat restorations are undertaken as well, with boats donated each year included in an annual auction which raises money for the museum. A visit here can be a highlight of your summer. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo.

Visitors to the museum are able to ask questions of the craftsmen in the open boat sheds and see the work in progress.  THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo.

Visitors to the museum are able to ask questions of the craftsmen in the open boat sheds and see the work in progress. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo.

Classic & Antique Boat Show!  Fathers Day weekend, the museum will be packed with great old boats, June 13, 14 and 15.  This is the Isabel, currently being restored. It is a classic Matthews and was first offered new at the Washington boat show in 1926. The owners donated the classic yacht to the museum and later joked that the museum folks didn't know that they came with the boat.  The CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo.

Classic & Antique Boat Show! Fathers Day weekend, the museum will be packed with great old boats, June 13, 14 and 15. This is the Isabel, currently being restored. It is a classic Matthews and was first offered new at the Washington boat show in 1926. The owners donated the classic yacht to the museum and later joked that the museum folks didn’t know that they came with the boat. The CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo.

The Isabel in a photo taken in 2003 shows that wooden boats need lots of tender loving care and regular upkeep. The work underway now will return the yacht to this condition. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Its not all gawking at boats or nautical artifacts at St. Michael's as regularly scheduled boat tours on the Patriot leaves the dock for trips out on the river.  THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Its not all gawking at boats or nautical artifacts at St. Michael’s as regularly scheduled boat tours on the Patriot leaves the dock for trips out on the river. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Ducks are clearly on the menu. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Ducks are clearly on the menu. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Grabbing a table at the Crab Claw and sitting next to the window and enjoying the breeze while watching the harbor traffic passes the time quickly.  THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo
Grabbing a table at the Crab Claw and sitting next to the window and enjoying the breeze while watching the harbor traffic passes the time quickly. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Authentic construction using centuries-old methods is performed for the education of visitors and creation of new vessels.   THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Authentic construction using centuries-old methods is performed for the education of visitors and creation of new vessels. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

The Boat Shed - work goes on no matter how many visitors abound on the 18 acre waterfront campus of the museum. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

The Boat Shed – work goes on no matter how many visitors abound on the 18 acre waterfront campus of the museum. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

A trip to a place like you have never been before. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo.

A trip to a place like you have never been before. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo.

When the Coast Guard automated the Point Lookout Lighthouse and Bell Tower in 1960, the tower was whisked away to the Eastern Shore.  Its a wonder that St. Mary's didn't give up the lighthouse too! THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

When the Coast Guard automated the Point Lookout Lighthouse and Bell Tower in 1960, the tower was whisked away to the Eastern Shore. Its a wonder that St. Mary’s didn’t give up the lighthouse too! THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Point Lookout bell tower

The Point Lookout Light Bell Tower – the tower stood next to the Point Lookout Lighthouse at the confluence of the Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River. The lack of vision or smarts of county leaders of the day in St. Mary’s allowed this part of Bay history to be uprooted and spirited off to St. Michael’s where it now stands as part of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. The Point Lookout lighthouse remains unavailable for tourists to visit with very few exceptions, as St. Mary’s County continues to wonder what in the world might happen should the Patuxent River NAS be scaled back. The St. Mary’s leaders can travel to St. Michael’s to view this part of their county’s history. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

  • Join our boat club! Full-service marina.

 

 

Share