Eastern Home & Travel May/June 2017 - Page 26

CURIOSITIES The site of these historical events has since 1962 been a 62-acre Maryland state park. Located about one-half mile offshore from Colton’s Point in St. Mary’s County, the island is still only accessible by boat or by seasonal water taxi on weekends. Whatever type of vessel you use, your voyage to the island today is certain to be shorter and less treacherous than that of the Ark and the Dove four centuries ago. While lacking modern amenities (facilities are all of the port-o-john variety), there is much for visitors to enjoy on the island. Dedicated by Maryland Gov. Albert Ritchie on Maryland’s 300th birthday in 1934, it is one of the most prominent landmarks on St. Clement’s: a white 40-foot stone cross that commemorates that first Roman Catholic Mass. Nearby is a reconstruction of the Blackistone Lighthouse, built in 2008. The original structure was a functioning lighthouse for nautical traffic along the Potomac River between 1851 and its decommissioning in 1932. It remained standing until arsonists burned the vacant structure down in 1956. A preservation society known at the St. C