Located in Cecil County, Maryland just off State Route 213 along the
historic Chesapeake & Delaware Canal. Easy driving distance from
Philadelphia, Wilmington, Baltimore and Washington D.C.
Population: 735 (1990 Census)
Size: 232 Acres, about 400 acres with C&D Canal included which divides the town into north and south sides.
Public Restrooms: Franklin Hall, 98 Bohemia Ave. - (side entrance - handicap accessible).
Library: Franklin Hall (side
entrance - handicap accessible).
Bethel AME 410-885-5923
Trinity United Methodist 410-885-5641
St. Basil Ukranian Catholic 410-885-5161
St. Rose of Lima, Catholic 410-885-5533
Good Shepherd Episcopal 410-885-5375
|Fine Dining:||Schaefer's New Canal House Restaurant
Bayard House Restaurant 410-885-5040
Chesapeake Inn Restaurant and Marina 410-885-2040
Yacht Club Restaurant 410-885-2267
|Casual Dining:||Bohemia Cafe
410-885-3066 breakfast and lunch
Tap Room 410-885-2344 seafood & crabs year 'round
Canal Creamery 410-885-3314 soup, sandwiches & ice cream
|Bed & Breakfast Inns:||Inn at the Canal
Blue Max 410-885-2781
Ship Watch Inn 410-885-5300
Schaefer's New Canal House 410-885-2200
|As early as the 17th century local settlers, including the famous Dutch surveyor and map maker Augustine Herrman, recognized the possibility of connecting the Chesapeake Bay with the Delaware River. In the mid 1760s, possible canal routes were surveyed along a conceptual route stretching across the Delmarva Peninsula from the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay to the Delaware River. Not until 1824, after an unsuccessful first start further to the north, did construction begin at the Chesapeake City location. At it's completion in October of 1829, two structures were reported to have been standing in the town (then known as Bohemia Village): a pre-revolutionary building known as Chick's Tavern House and a lock house for collecting tolls. The town subsequently grew in response to the needs of the canal operations and commerce. In 1839, the town changed it's name to Chesapeake City in anticipation of big things to come and incorporated in 1849 when the population reached 400.|
In 1927 the canal was made sea level and a new vertical lift bridge spanned the waterway linking the end of George Street to the North side of Chesapeake City. On July 28, 1942 a tanker, the "Franz Klasen" struck the lift bridge, completely destroying it (pictured at left).
The current suspension arch bridge (pictured below) was completed in 1949.
Pictured at left is a
photograph (circa 1910) of Harriott's Hotel (known today as The Bayard House). Compare this
view with the recent picture in color at right. Notice the buildings on the
right side in the old photo
do not exist in the new one. Both pictures were taken from the same vantage point. The old
buildings ( and several streets and many homes) were sacrificed to the widening of the canal.
The "new" span bridge can be seen in the second photo. The Bayard House is now
waterfront property, and patrons enjoy a wonderful view of the canal from both upstairs
and downstairs dining areas. The "Hole in the Wall" bar located on the lower
floor has not been changed from its original location. For more details on the
evolution of the canal the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers maintains a wonderful historical
account of the canal project as well as current developments on their web site The Chesapeake &Delaware Canal.
Many of the homes and storefronts in
Chesapeake City have been renovated. Pictured here is a view of George
Street which includes the Beiswanger-Henn House (Circa 1849), The Beiswanger Shop (Circa
1896), and the Banks Steele House (Circa 1854). This was taken about 1985 after a
fire partially destroyed the center shop and damaged the Beiswanger Henn
House. All three buildings were beautifully restored (new picture). Homes are still being restored today under the watchful eye of the
town's Historic Committee to preserve the historic charm of these old buildings.
Chesapeake City's historic area is on the National Historic Registry, as well as Maryland's Historic Registry. The town has many restored historic homes and shops and galleries, featuring hand-painted originals and prints, antiques, collectibles, clothing, gifts and crafts. Additional sights include the Canal Museum, art galleries, summer concerts, boat tours, and tours of the nearby horse country. There are also many fine restaurants and bed and breakfasts and transient and seasonal boat dockage availability.
Most of the facts for the brief history above and much more are wonderfully related along with photos and illustrations in a little book called "Brief History & Walking Tour of Historic Chesapeake City, Maryland" written by Jack L. Shagena. The book is available through stores in town.
Museums and Historical Tours
in Chesapeake City and Vicinity
The following information was gleaned from various local publications, pamphlets and notices. Where possible we have provided telephone numbers in case the posted hours may have changed.
C&D Canal Museum, Chesapeake City
Chesapeake City Historical District
Hersch Mini Museum, Chesapeake City
Horse Country Tour
St. Francis Xavier Shrine, Warwick
Mt. Harmon Plantation, Earleville
Historical Society Museum, Elkton
Elk Landing, Elkton
John F. DeWitt Military Museum, Elkton
Historic Driving Tour Vol. I
Gilpins Falls Bridge, North East
Upper Bay Museum, North East
Tory House, Charlestown
Charlestown Historic District
Rodgers Tavern, Perryville
Paw Paw Museum, Port Deposit
Port Deposit Historic District
Decoy Museum, Havre de Grace, MD
Concord Point Lighthouse, Havre de Grace, MD
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