The Choptank River is the largest river in the Delmarva river (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia) and the original lighthouse was built in 1871 in Oxford, Maryland. Destroyed in 1918 due to ice buildup on the river, a replacement lighthouse was moved from Virginia to Cape Charles River in 1921.
The Choptank River Lighthouse is named after the Choptank Indian tribe, who historically lived in the area. In 1616, the land where Cambridge now exists was established as an Indian reservation until 1822 when the state of Maryland sold off the land for development. Choptank means “a stream that separates”. Well, the Choptank river is one big stream.
The lighthouse now seen today along the water in Cambridge is a newly built lighthouse. Created by funds raised by Lighthouse Friends, construction began in August 2011 and was dedicated on September 22, 2012. During the summer months, tours are available for visitors.
By the Great Choptank River
by J.F. Gelletly
Oh, river! Vast, throbbing river,
Thy course, to and fro, day and night,
Is the pulse that respondeth ever
To the heart of the Infinite.
And I sit by the margin thinking –
As the evening shadows fold,
And the gorgeous sun is sinking
In the unspeakable tints of gold –
That as in the ancient story,
From the patriarch’s pillar of stone,
I can see the great pathway to glory,
And the angels that pass thereon;
And I can hear in the waters rushing
The token that God is nigh,
‘Tis the hem of His garment brushing
In resistless grandeur by.
And my heart calleth out in its fullest –
“Surely this is the place of His feet;”
And I supplicate here in the stillness
Where the sand and the waters meet.