History in pictures

It is said a picture is "worth a thousand words". These pictures of the Turkey Point Light Station are in cronilogical order. Would like to thank Paula Krum, Rita Coleman and Tad Barteau for their contribution to this effort. This history in pictures would not have been possible without them!


Georgania and Mary Brumfield

The lady on the left is Georgiana S. Brumfield who was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John M. Crouch the lighthouse keepers from 1865 to 1873. Upon their passing Georgina became the lighthouse keeper. She was at the Light Station from the age of 16 till she retired at the age of 70, a total of 54 years. Georgiana S. Brumfield was the light station Keeper for 24 years. Not to bad for the mother of six (6) childern, all raised at the lighthouse. Georgiana was the Lighthouse Keeper from 1895 to 1919, her husband was a local fisherman. The person to the right of Georgina is her daughter Mary. Nice picture of the front of the Keepers house.


Picture of Turkey Point

End of Elk Neck penninsula around 1890 as the second story on the Keepers house was added in 1889.


Turkey Point Lighthouse with man and girl 1890

Turkey Point Light Station around 1890, photo of Dr. Jordan and daughter. Georgina fostered Jenette J. Jordan, the daughter of her cousin Dr Jordan, when his wife passed away. 


Turkey Point Lighthouse and house
U.S. Coast Guard photo of the Turkey Point Light Station, dated 1923. Note tree right in front of house porch and Black Walnut tree next to lighthouse.

Postcard Picture

Postcard picture of the Turkey Point Light Station in 1925.


Turkey Point Lighthouse postcard

U.S. Coast Guard photo of Turkey Point Light Station before 1925 as the white fence was recorded as being removed in 1925.


Turkey Point Lighthouse

Turkey Point Light Station after fence was removed but before Black Walnut tree was removed.



Turkey Point Lighthouse 1928Turkey Point Light Station in 1928.


Turkey Point Lighthouse with Fannie Salter

Fannie Mae Salter and son Charles feeding turkeys around 1930 to 1932. Frances “Fannie” Mae Hudgins Salter was the last and probably the most well-known of the female lightkeepers. Not only was she the last of the Turkey Point Light Station female lightkeepers, she was also the last female lightkeeper in the United States.


Fog bell house

Fog bell station and light station taken around 1930 to 1932. The fog bell station had a 1,200 pound bronze bell rung by a Gamewell Fire Alarm Machine that had to be rewound by hand every three hours. The fog bell station was prefabricated at the Lazaretto Lighthouse Depot, Baltimore Horbor, and erected at Turkey Point in April 1888.


Fannie Salter at bell

Fannie Mae Salter at Fog Bell Station looking over the bay to salute a passing ship. The fog bell had to be rung manually to saluted passing ships and when needed in order to guarantee safe passage for ships heading into the Elk River under low visibility. Mrs. Fannie Salter was once forced to manually sound the fog bell during a mechanical failure as a steamer was heading into the Elk River in foggy conditions. She rang the bell every fifteen seconds for nearly an hour until the steamer made safe passage into the Chesapeake and Delaware canal. During her absence from the dwelling while tolling the bell, she missed her son-in-law James Crouch’s call announcing that her daughter Jesse Olga had given birth to her granddaughter, Melba.


Fog bell house side

Fog bell tower sometime between 1930 and 1942.


Fannie Salter filling lamp

Fannie Mae Salter filling lamp with kerosene. Fannie and her husband, Clarence Winfield Salter, Jr, moved to Turkey Point in 1922 so that he could assume his duties as the new keeper. They had 2 daughters Jesse (1905) & Mabel (1906) and a son Charles (1920). Three years later in February 1925, Clarence died from complications following surgery to have his appendix removed. Like previous female keepers, Fannie applied for the position, assuming she would be the natural selection to succeed her husband. However, the Civil Service denied Fannie’s request, sighting that at the age of 47, she was too old for the position. Fannie appealed the decision, taking her grievance to her senator Mr. O. E. Weller, who in turn took it to then-President Calvin Coolidge. President Coolidge overturned the Civil Service’s decision and granted Fannie the official position as lightkeeper, a distinction that no other female lightkeeper can lay claim to.


Turkey Point Lighthouse

Fannie Mae Salter and daughter with dog. No idea what Fannie is doing as the garden is to the right behind the fence to keep the deer out.

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Steps up to TPLS

Turkey Point Lighthouse and Fog Bell Station above steps leading to the bay. There were 137 steps and the floating doc was removed during the winter months. The shoot to the left of the stairs was used to winch supplies up the bluff.


Light Station to include carraige house

Turkey Point Light Station that includes a nice view of the carriage house.


Back of keepers house

Back of Keeper house before the 1933 remodeling. Fannie May Salter near house and Mabel Salter Best on tricycle.


Back of house

Fannie Mae Salter's grand daughter Melba who is on the right and a friend around 1935-1939.


Front of tower

Not sure who the two people are or when the photo was taken.


Steps and shoot

Fannie Mae Salter's daughter Olga and grand daughter Melba on the steps going down the bluff.  Note the slide to the left, that was used to lift supplies up to the top of the 100 foot bluff.  


Garden and house

Garden and front of house after 1933 as the Black Walnut tree and white fence are gone.


Turkey Point Lighthouse

Turkey Point Light Station in the time period between 1933 and 1940. The Black Walnut tree and white picket fence are missing. The Black Walnut tree was taken down in 1933 as it was blocking sailors view of the red glass panes that marked the shallows in the Susquehanna mud flats west of the lighthouse.


Changing lamp

Changing the lantern in the lens. Picture taken from outside the lantern room. Red colored glass on the left side of the lanter room showed boats where the shallow water in the Susquehanna flats is.


Turkey Point Lighthouse

Turkey Point Light Station with view of garden in front of house where the cement garden posts still stand.


Turkey Point Lighthouse

Close up of Turkey Point Light Station.

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Open oil house

Fannie Mae Salter and dog at the oil house adjacent to the lighthouse.


Looking up steps

View of steps and lift ramp. There is some debate about who the two people are on the steps.


Aug1940 Flag Pole base

A flag pole was installed in 1940 and from that point on the station flew the American flag.


1940 FLag cement

Fannie Mae Salter signed the wet cement on August 19, 1940.


Turkey Point Lighthouse

Sheep and cow grazing adjacent to Turkey Point Light Station.


Side of house and tower

Rare side view of the lighthouse and keeper home.


Fannie Mae Salter overlooking a ship in the Chesapeake Bay.


TPLS Photo

Not sure when the photo was taken as the Black Walnut nor Pine tree are present to the left side of the lighthouse.


Fog Bell two story Building

Fog bell station in 1942 was changed to include a second floor so the Goast Guard team temporarily working at the Turkey Point Light Station during World War II could watch the Elk River and the bay. The soldiers were at the lighthouse to protect it due to its importance to control water traffic so the ships would not have to travel the dangerous route along the Atlantic ocean during the war.


Fannie Salter making log entry while sitting in front of radio.


Fannie poliching lens

Fannie Mae Salter cleaning lens in 1945. Electric light was only 100 watts.

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TPLS with fence

Fence around the station was installed around 1954 after the lighthouse was automated and was subject to vandalism.


TPLS 1950s

The amount of growth on the fence indicates the photo was taken in the late 1950's.


TPLS before house torn down

Photo was taken late in the 1960s as the pine tree adjacent to the tower is missing and the paint on the house is faded.


Mable Bartow at Fog Bell

Mrs. Mable Bartow at the Fog Bell. Photo was taken in 1962. Photo courtesy of The Mariners Museum.


Metal Stairs

The original Fresnel lens was stolen in 1972 but was recovered. Resulting in the wood stairs in the lighthouse being removed and metal ladders that were lockable were installed. The Fresnel lens was replaced by an acrylic lens. To prevent further vandalism a steel door was installed and the lower window in the tower was sealed off.


New Steel Door

New steel door on lighhouse tower.


Metal laders installed in 1972

Another view of the metal ladders installed in 1972.


Looking down stairs

Looking down down ladder from inside lantern room.


Lighthouse in March 1979

Turkey Point Lighthouse around the mid to late 1970's as the keepers house was taken down in 1972 and the solar panel was installed in 1979.

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Lighthouse in May 1979

Turkey Point Lighthouse in May 1979 as the date was annotated on the photo. In addition the paint is fresh but there is no solar panel yet.


Lighthouse in July 1979

Turkey Point Lighthouse around July 1979 as the tower looks like it has just been painted and the new solar panel is installed.


Lighthouse in 1990s

Turkey Point Lighthouse in early 1990's as the fence is present around the house.


Clearing woods

Trees and brush had grown around the lighthouse partially blocking the visibility of the red sector in the lantern room that designated the shallow Susquehanna Flats. Coast Guard and Maryland Department of Natural Resources personnel used a bulldozer, chain saws, and clippers to clear an eight acre area around the lighthouse.


TPLS Lighthouse

The photo is dated 1990. The US Coast Guard installed several lightning protection systems, each time someone stole the cables and rod for the copper. For over 40 years now the lighthouse has not had protection from lightning strikes.


Please come back to see if new photos have been added. New photos will be added as they are discovered.

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To view the pictures from 1991 to today, for the Turkey Point Light Station select: TPLS Recent History In Pictures

Our season, this year, will begin May 1st and run thru the end of October. The Lighthouse is open to climbers on weekends from 10AM to 2PM (weather permitting). The gift shop is open from 10AM to 2PM. There is no charge to view the Chesapeake Bay from our lantern room. The staircase in the lighthouse is open to climbers who can reach the metal handrail. Donations are gratefully accepted.

Please note that our hours of operation are dependent upon weather conditions and the availability of volunteers