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Over the past 400 years, distinctive types of boats were developed for seafood harvesting and shipping on the Bay.
Native Americans made the first dugout canoe from a hollowed-out log. The earliest English boat builders, called "boatwrights", s…
Methods of harvesting oysters and crabs on the Chesapeake Bay have changed very little over the years.
The internal combustion engine, invented at the end of the 19th century, eventually displaced sails on workboats. The addition of hydraulic p…
Little HES is a classic example of a Chesapeake Bay "deadrise", built for fishing and crabbing in the summer and oystering in the winter. The term "deadrise" refers to the underwater shape of a hull. Little HES has a sharp vee-entry at the bow, a …
In memory of those
who served in the
defense of our country
Dedicated May 30 1951
[Plaque embedded in the ground at flagpole:]
June 27, 1987
This flag pole is dedicate…
Captain John Smith and the Jamestown Expedition wrote:
Oysters "lay on the ground as thick as stones."
Chesapeake traveler Francis Louis Michel wrote:
"The abundance of oysters is incredible."
Baltimore became th…
"We wasted our inheritance by improvidence and mismanagement and blind confidence."
William K. Brooks, The Oyster, 1891
Vital to Commerce
For over 100 years, oysters were one of the Chesapeake Bay's most valuable commercial fisheries. Many mi…
"State sets new record for oyster restoration; 750,000,000 spat placed in rivers that feed the Bay."
The Capital, 2009
Vital to Nature
The native Eastern or American oyster (Crassostrea virginica) is a keystone species in the Chesapeake Bay. …
In the 20th century, overharvesting, disease, pollution and the dramatic growth of the Bay region's human population led to the decline in commercial fishing for oysters, crabs and other seafood species. As a result, the number of wooden boats wor…
At the turn of the 20th century, eight or more oyster houses surrounded Annapolis City Dock and harbor. Oysters were shucked, packed and shipped all around the country by steamboat and railroad. The market for "Chesapeake white gold" was so lucrat…
Robert Fulton launched the first commercially viable steamboat on the Hudson River in 1807, although a Marylander named James Rumsey demonstrated a working steamboat on the Potomac River as early as 1784. Steamboats started running on the Chesapea…