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.