I can recall when I was growing up, traveling south in Maryland to spend long weekends in Solomons Island. This was primarily a crabbing and fishing town in the southern part of the state, and has maintained a lot of its quaint character. We always stayed at a Naval recreation center when we visited, and we always stopped in to the Calvert Marine Museum for a day trip.
I actually don't really remember visiting the museum. What I remember is that there was a lighthouse outside of the museum, and I loved to climb the red steps inside of it and imagine what life would have been like if I had been born 100 years earlier and was the daughter of a lighthouse keeper. Sigh. Back then I thought it was romantic. Now I realize that I probably read too many historic novels.
The lighthouse at the Calvert Marine Museum is called Drum Point Lighthouse, and for those familiar with the Chesapeake Bay, used to be located at Drum Point. This is about a mile east of where it is currently located. The lighthouse once sat out from land, and was only accessible by boat (imagine that solitude!). Over time, through processes both natural and man-made, the lighthouse eventually sat on dry land and was of no use to boats navigating on the bay. They decided to move it to the museum rather than tear it down. Thank goodness.
When we were in Maryland recently, Nate and I decided to take the boys there. It has probably been 20 years since the last time I saw that lighthouse, but I got a little lump in my throat as we pulled into the parking lot.
We bought our tickets, and checked out the actual museum - it was nice but not really set up for kids. We walked outside and the boys ran towards the light. They climbed the steps up to the platform. I wanted to be nostalgic, but I was ... freaked out! All I could imagine was them taking a mis-step near the fencing and plunging down into the Bay. I wonder if my parents felt this same fear when I explored this same lighthouse so many years ago?!
Thankfully I calmed down a little bit and we climbed the ladder from the platform up into the actual house. Nate - with the agility of a ninja - maneuvered himself and Will through a 2 ft by 2 ft hatch into the house. It was impressive.
The boys enjoyed seeing all the historic stuff in the house - the telephone, the wood burning stove, and of course, the potty.
We enjoyed the view of the marina and the Bay from our perch high on the lighthouse. As we were descending the lighthouse steps (careful and cat-like, with kiddo hands securely held), the museum's boat was returning from its daily trip. Matt got a kick out of it watching it sail in and dock. Next time we will plan to go on the boat trip while there!
On the way out, I read on a sign that the museum actually also owns another lighthouse a few miles down the road. I had never heard of it before - Cove Point Lighthouse. Not only is it still functioning, but you can actually rent it on VRBO! I might just have to figure out a way to make that happen... hello nostalgia!