Saint Clements Island Travel Guide

  • Saint Clements Island
    by littlesam1
  • Sign about the lighthouse
    Sign about the lighthouse
    by grandmaR
  • 1934 Cross commemorating the first Landing
    1934 Cross commemorating the first...
    by grandmaR

Saint Clements Island Things to Do

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    St. Clement's Island Museum in Colton's...

    by grandmaR Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    This is a museum about Maryland History on the mainland in Colton's Point. We took our Virginia friends to this museum in 2002. They were surprised at the differnt interpretation of the history in Maryland from what they had been taught in Virginia.

    The Ark and The Dove departed from the Isle of Wight in England on the feast day of St. Clement, the patron saint of mariners and crossed the Atlantic Ocean. The museum has a copy of Father Andrew White's written account of the voyage and landing on St. Clement's Island.

    The Potomac Room has a model of the Blackistone Lighthouse which has been rebuilt on St. Clement's Island by volunteers along with exhibits on the industries of hunting, crabbing, fishing and oystering.

    In order to get to St. Clement's Island, it is necessary to get the water taxi tickets at the museum.

    Model of Blackistone Light in the museum Photo of the lighthouse in the museum Museum from the parking lot Story of the lighthouse Heron statue with Maryland flag
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    • Sailing and Boating
    • Museum Visits

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    The Big White Cross

    by grandmaR Updated Aug 19, 2008

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    In 1934, to celebrate Maryland’s 300th birthday, Governor Albert Ritchie, dedicated a 40- foot commemorative cross recognizing this site as the first location where there was religious toleration practiced in America. The water taxi used to come to a pier near this cross. Today the water taxi comes to the pier next to the rebuilt lighthouse, but the cross is still there.

    You can get to the island on your own boat or by water taxi.

    Cross from the top of the lighthouse Cross from in front of the lighthouse Cross and lighthouse from the water taxi St. Clement's Island from the water taxi Island from the museum
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    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel
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  • Saint Clements Island Hotels

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Saint Clements Island Transportation

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    Water Taxi

    by grandmaR Written Jul 27, 2008

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    The water taxi runs on the weekends from about 12:45 to 3, weather permitting. It costs $5.00 each for the round trip.

    Taxi going back for another load Granddaughter on the pier Granddaughter in the water taxi Water taxi sign on island Water taxi sign on mainland
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Saint Clements Island Warnings and Dangers

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    Low Water and Obstructions

    by grandmaR Updated Sep 1, 2008

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    The sign says "Danger Obstruction". Photo 5 has a satellite view of one of the obstructed areas of the island coastline.

    There are two docks at the island. A satellite view of the island with the two docks is in photo 4. One of them is more protected than the other one and can be used in windier weather. It is also closer to the lighthouse.

    The other one sticks out into the Potomac, and is on the side away from the lighthouse. It has deeper water and so bigger boats (and sailboats) can get into the pier. Photos 2 and 3 are of this dock.

    Dock from Colton's Point Dock from the water taxi Satellite view of the island Obstruction breakwater closeup
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    • Beaches
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    • Cruise

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Saint Clements Island Sports & Outdoors

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    Beaching Boating Island

    by grandmaR Updated Nov 22, 2015

    St Clements Island can only be reached by boat, but a lot of local residents come out on their own boats to picnic on the beach and swim. You need a fairly shallow draft of boat as the water around the island isn't that deep although there is a pier which extends out to deeper water. The website address and phone number are of the museum, but the museum has restricted hours.

    Equipment: There is a water taxi, but, you really need to come on your own boat. You need to bring all your supplies (food, water, towels) as there are no facilities on the island.

    Looking out the dock Beaches from the top of the lighthouse Dock from the lighthouse Dock from the water Island from the water taxi
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Saint Clements Island General

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    Visit the lighthouse

    by grandmaR Updated Nov 22, 2015

    Favorite thing: On August 14, 1848, Congress appropriated $3,500 for building a lighthouse on Blackistone Island. John Donahoo, who was known for his quality work and reasonable rates, was contracted to build the lighthouse and would eventually build over a dozen beacons on the shores of Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Most of Donahoo’s lighthouses took the form of a conical tower, but Blackistone Lighthouse consisted of a two-and-a-half-story residence with a short tower protruding through the center of its pitched roof.

    Isaac Wood was hired as the lighthouse’s first keeper and was initially responsible for minding the eleven oil lamps, set in fourteen-inch reflectors, that were used to produce a fixed white light at a focal plane of forty-six feet above the river.

    During the Civil War, Confederate forces planned to destroy the lighthouse to keep it from aiding Union forces. When Keeper Jerome McWilliams learned of the plan, he pleaded with the Confederates to spare the structure as his wife was close to childbirth and moving her off the island would endanger both her life and that of the unborn child. The Confederate officer had compassion on the couple and instead of tearing down the lighthouse opted to confiscate the supply of oil and destroy the lantern and lens. This incident occurred in May 1864, and a new lantern was installed later that year.
    .
    The winter of 1917 – 1918 caused unprecedented erosion on St. Clements Island, forcing the Lighthouse Service to place 400 tons of riprap stone on the island to restore the existing shore protection that had been displaced by ice and storms.

    Blackistone Lighthouse was decommissioned in 1932, and twenty-four years later a shell from the nearby Naval Proving Ground reportedly exploded near the abandoned lighthouse and set it afire. The Navy later razed the walls of the structure

    Through the efforts of the St. Clement's Hundred, a local community organization created for the preservation of St. Clement's Island, a replica of the Blackistone Lighthouse was constructed and completed in June of 2008. The replica is located on the southern end of the island and stands on higher ground and overlooks the ruins of the original lighthouse. This magnificent 2-story structure was built using the original blueprints of the 1851 lighthouse..Water taxi service to the island is available on Saturdays and Sundays from the St. Clement's Island Museum on the mainland. Once you get to the island, you can visit the lighthouse

    Lighthouse from the water taxi Potomac side of the lighthouse and oil house Looking down from the light onto the foundations Side closest to shore with downspouts Standing in front looking up
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    Lighthouse Reconstruction

    by grandmaR Updated Sep 1, 2008

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    Favorite thing: Until recently, the only view I could have of the lighthouse was this model in the St. Clement's Island Museum on Colton's Point.

    That or photos of the old lighthouse like the one in photo 2

    However as photos 3-5 of a newspaper article lay out in detail, the lighthouse has been reconstructed on the island by volunteers. So we can now walk around and into the lighthouse instead of just trying to imagine it from a model.

    Model of the lighthouse Old photo First part of the article Second part of the article Third part of the article
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  • Don't Forget Insurance

    If your current health insurance doesn't cover you while your abroad, you should consider getting international travel insurance just in case something should go wrong.

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