What happened across the Bay at Kent Island to give Bloody Point and the Bloody Point Lighthouse that chilling name?
Nobody knows — for certain.
“Many of the names of locations have been lost over time due to the fact that ownership changes hands,” explains Maya Davis of the Maryland State Archives. “Often time new owners change the name of the property.”
Nonetheless, there are stories. Christopher Haley, research director for the History of Slavery in Maryland for the Maryland State Archives, outlines the top contenders.
Story 1: In the early days of the colonies, the land that would become known as Kent Island was inadvertently given to two people who represented two colonies — one from Maryland and the other from Virginia. The mistake, unnoticed until one had established a town, led to a bloody scrimmage.
Story 2: Native Americans were massacred at the point. Supposedly, the Native Americans were invited to an interview with the colonists who killed them without warning.
Story 3: A pirate convicted of stealing a small boat and killing the three crewmembers was executed and his body hung at Bloody Point to warn others against such crimes.
Story 4: The point was a place where slave ships threw ailing captives overboard. This heinous practice has been documented in other places, so it could have occurred in the Bay.
All the stories are bloody, but what’s the truth?
Chesapeake Curiosities investigates regional oddities and landmarks to increase understanding of our unique local culture and history. Has a sight stymied you? Does an oddity bewilder? Your curiosity may be featured in an upcoming column. Send your questions to [email protected]