New Choptank Lighthouse fog bell for Opening Day

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Dorchester Banner/Jill Jasuta photo

The Choptank River Lighthouse will be unveiling this fog bell and striker during the Opening Day event from 5-6 p.m. at the lighthouse tonight, May 1.

In low visibility, when mariners couldn’t see the light from the lighthouse, the sound of the fog bell helped them avoid hazards. The lighthouse keeper would turn the crank, and that would move the striker to hit the bell.

After refurbishing the fog bell assembly, restoration expert Michael Kreindler (pictured) came to Cambridge from Maine last week to install it. On permanent loan from the U.S. Coast Guard, the Gamewell fog bell was the style likely used at the lighthouse from the late 1800s through 1940.

The public is invited to join in the unveiling of the fog bell, in addition to a Fresnel lens and a newly-constructed launch boat, on May 1. Starting May 2 through Oct. 31, the lighthouse will be open daily from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. for free, self-guided tours.

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