The Choptank River Lighthouse

The Choptank River Lighthouse stands on the waterfront in Cambridge, the seat of Dorchester County on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Built in the “screwpile” style characteristic of the Chesapeake Bay, it is a faithful replica of an earlier beacon that guided sailing vessels up and down the Choptank River.

Open for visitation 9am-6pm daily between May 1 and October 31, the Lighthouse offers visitors commanding views of historic Cambridge and the Choptank River. Inside is a small museum celebrating the rich maritime heritage of Dorchester County and the Eastern Shore.

Erected in 2012, the Lighthouse now serves as an icon for Cambridge and a symbol of its revitalization.  Read more about the Choptank River Lighthouse.
Jill Jasuta Photography Lighthouse at Moonrise
Light Night 2017 Collage

"Light Night!" is Sat., Aug. 24

The 2019 edition of our annual Light Night party promises to be the best one yet. There will be food, dancing, auctions, door prizes, and lots more fun, all within sight of the Lighthouse at the Cambridge Yacht Club. Tickets will go on sale in the early summertime. In the meantime, you can sign on to help plan the party by sending an email to

Visitors from Virginia 2017

Visit the Lighthouse

The Lighthouse is open daily, 9am-6pm, from May 1 through October 31. Volunteer“keepers” staff the small museum inside on Friday afternoons and all day Saturday and Sunday. Visitors on other days are welcome to take self-guided tours. There is no admission, but donations are greatly appreciated. 

Here are more details about visiting the Lighthouse, including scheduling access by elevator and making appointments for offseason visits.

The 2019 Raffle: Lighthouse Party for 20

Tickets are now available for the chance to win an unforgettable celebration of the upcoming Independence Day holiday. The winner of the annual Choptank River Lighthouse raffle will enjoy a catered picnic for 20 guests at the lighthouse on the waterfront in Cambridge on the night of the city’s 4th of July Fireworks show. 

Located at Long Wharf, the Lighthouse is just upriver from Great Marsh Park, where the fireworks are launched.

Tickets are available at the Dorchester Chamber of Commerce; The Dorchester County Visitors Center; the Choptank River Lighthouse (Fri.-Sun.); and through the mail. More details here.

Choptank River Lighthouse license plate

Get Lighthouse License Plates

Show your pride in the Choptank River Lighthouse by buying a specialized license plate! Half of the $50 license plate fee is a donation that supports the work of the nonprofit Cambridge Lighthouse Foundation. For details and forms, contact 410-463-2653 or email the Choptank Lighthouse.

2018 Season Giveaway Goes to Pennsylvania Couple

The photo of our Lighthouse you see below is the work of a prominent local photographer, Jill Jasuta. It was recently shipped off to Shirley and Joe Maulfair of Palmyra, Pennsylvania in a spectacular 16-inch x 24-inch canvas-wrap format. The Maulfairs were the winners of a random drawing from among all of our 2018 visitors who submitted selfies taken at the Lighthouse. Congrats, Joe and Shirley!

2018 Visitor Giveaway with Watermark JIll Jasuta Photography

A Special Exhibit: Views of the Underground Railroad 

A special temporary exhibit is currently located upstairs at the Choptank River Lighthouse. While the original Lighthouse was not standing  on the waterfront in Cambridge during the middle years of the 1800s, the views that the Lighthouse offers to visitors today nonetheless give a commanding introduction to the stories of Dorchester County native Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad.

You can find more information about that exhibit here.

Underground Railroad Exhibit Photo
Jill Jasuta Photography LIghthouse in Daytime

Rent the Lighthouse for      a Picture-Perfect Event

Looking for a distinctive and beautiful spot for an upcoming event? The lighthouse is available for special event rentals! What a great space for an event with beautiful water views all around. The lighthouse can accommodate 30 people. For details, call 410-228-4031 or email

Volunteer at the Lighthouse

Our volunteer “Lighthouse Keepers” serve as ambassadors for our community, welcoming visitors to the Lighthouse and helping them make the most of their time in Cambridge and Dorchester County. Our keepers to put in one half-day shift a month during visitation season. To learn more, call 410-463-2653 or email the Cambridge Lighthouse Foundation.

You can also help with other activities, including party planning, marketing, and more!

Lighthouse Volunteer JoAnne Baker

Support the Cambridge Lighthouse Foundation

The Choptank River Lighthouse is owned by the City of Cambridge and serves as an office for the city dockmaster. The visitor experience is managed by a community nonprofit, the Cambridge Lighthouse Foundation, and its volunteers. There is a donation box inside the Lighthouse if you'd like to support this work. Proceeds from sales of gifts and keepsakes available in the small museum inside the Lighthouse go the the Foundation as well.

You can learn more about the Foundation (including how to make a donation by mail) here.
Jill Jasuta Photography Spiral Stair at Lighthouse

About the Photography

Many of the beautiful photos that you see here are by one of our volunteers, Jill Jasuta Photography. You can see more of her photos of Dorchester County and the Eastern Shore on her Facebook page. You will also find a selection of matted prints of Jill's Lighthouse photos for sale in the small museum inside the Lighthouse.

"The Jewel of the Choptank"

Shown below, "The Jewel of the Choptank" is an oil painting by Cambridge artist George Wright. George was among the tireless group of civic-minded volunteers who got our replica Lighthouse built. A print of this painting is hanging at the Lighthouse. There are also notecards made from the print available for sale in the small museum inside the Lighthouse when our volunteer Lighthouse keepers are on duty.
Prints of "The Jewel of the Choptank" are also available at: Downtown Frame of Mine, 319 High Street, Cambridge, 410-228-7977
The original hangs at:
Dorchester County Visitor Center, 2 Rose Hill Place, Cambridge
George Wright in the Choptank River Lighthouse
CRL George Wright Painting Jewel of the Choptank