Turkey Point Lighthouse Thanksgiving

blogturkey Where American turkeys see their Thanksgiving Light?

Where Light-keepers kept turkeys in the coop,
And the Beacon Bird fell asleep on the stoop,

Dreaming of being well fed,
The Keeper’s wife removed his head,

His wife was not bluffing,
As she crammed in the stuffing,

She cooked the Beacon Bird to a tender heat,
For her family to gobble up their Thanksgiving meat!

~ Thanksgiving Poem by Debbie Dolphin ~

May you have a happy and tasteful Thanksgiving!

Turkey Point was most likely named for the migration of Turkey Buzzards (aka Turkey Vultures) flying over Turkey Point. Later, Lighthouse Keeper families at Turkey Point Light Station tended a vegetable garden and raised livestock including chickens and turkeys.

In 1833, a 35-feet high conical brick Tower was built on 100-foot high bluff at the southern point of Elk Neck, Maryland, the head of the Chesapeake Bay and the junction of the North East River and Elk River.Turkey Point Lighthouse was First Lit on August 10, 1833 exhibiting a Fixed White Light illuminated by 11 Lewis Lamps and 15-inch reflectors 129-feet above sea level to a visible range of 8 nautical miles guiding mariners from the Bay entering Elk River heading for the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.

A 32-inch wide Red Sector of the Lantern Room marked the shallow sandbars of the Susquehanna Flats during low tide. In 1855, the Tower was refitted with a Fourth-order Fresnel lens. The Lighthouse was automated and changed to a Flashing White Light in 1947.

After automation, the neglected unmanned Light Station was vandalized and the Fresnel Lens was stolen. The Coast Guard demolished the Keeper’s house in 1971 and deactivated the Lighthouse by removing the solar-powered 250mm lens in April 2000.

In 2001, the Lighthouse was leased to the non-profit group, Turkey Point Light Station Inc., who restored the Lighthouse as an Active Private Aid to Navigation on November 30, 2002 exhibiting a Flashing White Light every 6-seconds.

In 2004, Turkey Point Lighthouse became available under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000 and ownership of the Lighthouse was transferred to the State of Maryland in 2006.

Turkey Point Light Station Inc. signed a 30 year lease to manage and maintain the Lighthouse. The Lighthouse is open every weekend and on holidays from 11 am to 4 pm.Turkey Point Lighthouse was nicknamed the “Ladies Lamp” because women served as Lighthouse Keepers for 89 years of 115 manned years! Fannie May Salter was the most famous Light-keeper and she served 22 years after the death of her husband. Fannie May was the last American woman Lighthouse Keeper.

blue_starMap Location:
For Map Directions, please visit the Google Map of Turkey Point Lighthouse.

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About Debbie Dolphin

Lighthouse author and photographer living in New England

Posted on November 21, 2007, in Holidays and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Thank you, Linda and All Seeing Eye ~
    sometimes, Debbie Dolphin is a Poet and doesn’t know it!

    Hopefully, our nation was thankful for the sacrifices of these ladies!

    Fannie May and the other Lighthouse Ladies were remarkable women tending a Lighthouse and their families well before women’s rights became ongoing national issue since the 20th century!

    Fannie May assisted her husband keeping the Light Bright for 23 years at different Lighthouses including the 3 years from 1922 to 1925 at Turkey Point Lighthouse. In 1925, Fannie May was 42 years old when the Civil Service told her she could not succeed her husband because of her age.

    Fannie May appealed the decision with her Senator who informed the President. As a result, President Calvin Coolidge overruled the Civil Service and appointed Fannie May as the Lighthouse Keeper of Turkey Point Light! She retired at 64 when the Lighthouse was automated and moved to another house which was within her Sight of her Light!

  2. Love the poem and a big cheer for those ladies who kept the lighthouse lamp lit for all those years!!

  3. Love the poem, Debbie Dolphin.

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