THE JOURNEY

 

The centerpiece of this exhibit is the Chesapeake Beach Railway that ran from 1900 to 1935. The exhibit provides information about its construction, rolling stock, and stations. Also included are the steamboats that brought thousands of passengers to Chesapeake Beach. The advent of the automobile changed the mode of transportation for many people.

The Chesapeake Beach Railway was a standard-gauge railroad that ran approximately twenty-eight miles from Washington D.C. to Chesapeake Beach, Maryland. Though nicknamed “The Honeysuckle Route”, the actual experience of riding the train has been described as hot and dirty with cinders blowing in through the open windows. The return trip could also be smelly as people often carried home sacks of fish and crabs. The railway brought thousands of visitors to the resort, but it was not the only mode of transportation that defined Chesapeake Beach.

From 1900 to the early 1940s, steamboats played a major role in carrying excursionists from Baltimore. The three-hour trip down the bay was a pleasant experience, with dancing and entertainment. In later years, as automobiles became more popular, the resort adjusted to include them as well. The journey to Chesapeake Beach was a memorable one, no matter how you travelled.

Excerpt from an undated letter written to the Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum relating a childhood memory of visiting Chesapeake Beach.
Excerpt from an undated letter written to the Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum relating a childhood memory of visiting Chesapeake Beach.

 

CONSTRUCTION OF THE RAILROAD

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Speed and economy drove construction of the railway line.

Lyons Creek wood trestle, c.1910

ROLLING STOCK

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Key pieces of the rolling stock are highlighted.

Trainmen posing for a photograph with the engine and passenger cars, c.1910


THE STATIONS

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Four stations were the biggest and busiest on the CBR line.

Owings Railway Station, c.1915

STEAMBOATS

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Steamboat service to the resort was an important supplement to the railway.

Steamboat unloading from the long pier in Chesapeake Beach, MD, c.1920