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Cambridge in Dorchester County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Choptank River Bridge

Oyster Wars...

 
 
Choptank River Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 14, 2008
1. Choptank River Bridge Marker
Inscription. 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.

Oyster Wars...
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 beds from poaching by residents of nearby Somerset County, Baltimore City, Philadelphia, and New Jersey. Conflicts resulted in at least one death.

By the turn of the 20th century, Cambridge ranked
Choptank River Overlook image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 14, 2008
2. Choptank River Overlook
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.
 
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. Touch for map. Marker at the Dorchester County Visitor Center in Sailwinds Park, which can be seen when entering Cambridge from the Choptank River bridge (US 50). Marker is at or near this postal address: 2 Rose Hill Place, Cambridge MD 21613, United States of America.
 
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); A 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); Maryland's Eastern Shore (within
Stack from the U.S.S. Potomac image. Click for full size.
By F. Robby
3. Stack from the U.S.S. Potomac
This stack housed the elevator that "meant so much to his comfort". The 1936 Emmerson C. Harrington Bridge that Roosevelt was visiting can barely be seen behind the newer and taller 1987 Frederick C. Malkus, Jr. Bridge.
shouting distance of this marker); Cambridge (within shouting distance of this marker); Discover: Dorchester (within shouting distance of this marker); Enjoy Our Park (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cambridge.
 
Also see . . .  Choptank River Fishing Peir. The old bridge is even lighted for night time fishing. (Submitted on June 15, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. Bridges & ViaductsIndustry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels
 
The Modern Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 14, 2008
4. The Modern Bridge
Completed in 1986, the Senator Frederick J. Malkus, Jr. Bridge replaced the original Choptank River Bridge. The old bridge stands on the upstream side (east), with its center draw bridge portion removed for navigation. The old bridge is now fitted as a fishing pier complete with facilities.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 15, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 3,043 times since then and 66 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.
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