Cambridge in Dorchester County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Choptank River Bridge
The Choptank River Bridge
Prior to the Governor Emerson C. Harrington Bridge which was built over the Great Choptank River in 1935 (the Chesapeake Bay Bridge at Kent Island did not open until 1947) ferries were used to cross the river. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was on board his presidential yacht Sequoia, when it became the first vessel to pass through the draw. The President delivered a congratulatory speech at Long Wharf in Cambridge, which is now the site of the Yacht Harbor. A memorial to Franklin D. Roosevelt and the faux smoke stack (it was actually an elevator shaft) from his later Presidential yacht, U.S.S. Potomac, is located there. Parts of this bridge still span the Choptank and serve as a fishing pier. The new bridge was completed in 1986.
The Choptank is home to some of the finest oyster grounds in the Chesapeake Bay where sailing skipjacks and hand-tongers still dredge for oysters. In fact, oystering became so profitable that laws were passed restricting dredging of oysters in Dorchester waters to only citizens of Dorchester County. The Oyster Navy was armed to guard the oyster
By the turn of the 20th century, Cambridge ranked 3rd in the United States for the quantity and value of its oyster exports. There were times an individual could cross Cambridge Harbor on the hundreds of skipjacks that were so tightly docked there. Seafood packing houses peppered the landscape along the Choptank and throughout the county and was the county's major employer until the early 1950s.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Bridges & Viaducts • Industry & Commerce • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #32 Franklin D. Roosevelt series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1935.
Location. 38° 34.293′ N, 76° 3.816′ W. Marker is in Cambridge, Maryland, in Dorchester County. Marker is at the intersection of Rose Hill Place and Radiance Drive, on the right when traveling north on Rose Hill Place. Marker at the Dorchester County Visitor Center in Sailwinds Park, which can be seen when entering Cambridge from the Choptank River bridge (US 50). Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2 Rose Hill Place, Cambridge MD 21613, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Choptank River's Natural History (here, next to this marker); The Dorchester WatermanA Landscape and Lifestyle Defined by Water (a few steps from this marker); Living off the Land (a few steps from this marker); Exploring Dorchester's Fragile Beauty (within shouting distance of this marker); Cambridge (within shouting distance of this marker); Maryland's Eastern Shore (within shouting distance of this marker); Discover: Dorchester (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cambridge.
Also see . . . Bill Burton Fishing Pier State Park. Visit Maryland website entry (Submitted on June 15, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Credits. This page was last revised on February 20, 2022. It was originally submitted on June 15, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 3,392 times since then and 59 times this year. Last updated on October 19, 2008, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on June 15, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 3. submitted on December 4, 2007, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland. 4. submitted on June 15, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.