EXPLORE THE EXHIBITS

“The pleasures of the Business Men’s Association outing at Chesapeake Beach yesterday were all and more than the promoters had promised. The day was perfect and the salt air of the bay was exhilarating…There was no lack of diversion or amusement at the Beach…On the broad veranda of the casino, Haley’s full band was stationed and furnished music for the banquet, as well as before and after…President Otto Mears of the Chesapeake Beach Railway took delight in showing the beauties of the resort and supplying guides to pilot parties over the grounds.”

Association Spends a Day at Chesapeake Beach, The Evening Star, June 5, 1901

The museum presents an engaging environment in the original railway depot, built in 1898. Stand where it all began and enjoy the exhibits as they showcase the major themes of this fascinating story. Learn what the founders envisioned this new destination to be, in contrast to the reality of what it became. Visitors will follow the transformations throughout the years as Chesapeake Beach adapted to its new reality as well as the trials that historic events and developments placed in its path.

The exhibits feature artifacts and photographs from our collection, paired with anecdotes from our extensive archives and oral histories to tell this fascinating story. There is a space for rotating exhibits where we explore related topics in more depth, as well as an educational mini-theater.

The Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum will be fully renovated in 2021!

FOUNDERS & VISION

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Meet the men who constructed and financed the Chesapeake Beach Railway and resort in the late 1890s. Discover how railroad men from Colorado got involved with the Chesapeake Beach Railway. Learn about their grandiose plans and whether they lived up to these expectations.

Top left: Headline from "The Baltimore Sun" (Dec. 15, 1900, p.12); Top right: Otto Mears; Bottom left: David Halliday Moffat; Bottom right: Engine #5; Center: Chesapeake Beach Railway Station.

THE DESTINATION

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The railroad entrepreneurs who purchased Chesapeake Beach planned to turn it into a bayside resort. The Destination tells the story of the resort they created from its beginning in 1900, and how it evolved over time.

Images from early Chesapeake Beach, postcards and brochure, c.1900 -1920

THE JOURNEY

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Chesapeake Beach is a destination town and the founders always envisioned a direct train line to connect the resort to Washington. They also used the steamboat lines that plied the Chesapeake, and endeavored to make the journey memorable.

Postcard images from Chesapeake Beach, c.1910-1920 surrounding a current image of the CBRM museum

THE STORIES

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Read first person accounts of people who experienced Chesapeake Beach throughout the years. For example, Muriel Geoghegan remembers she and her siblings: “…we would watch the trains go by and wave because our house was only two houses from the station. And they would all wave…that was a big thrill when the train went by.” 

Top: Postcard of Passengers arriving at the Beach c.1910; Bottom left: Photograph of John Hartung fishing from Long Pier, c.1915; Bottom right: Steamer docking at end of Long Pier, c.1920
ROTATING EXHIBIT

“A CENTURY OF SWIMSUITS”

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A seasonal exhibit that highlights parts of our collection that cannot be permanently displayed, themed according to objects, people, or special events.

Left photo: Chesapeake Beach Railway brochure, c.1910; Right photo: Chesapeake Beach brochure, c.1929

EXPLORE THE COLLECTION

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The Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum houses a large collection of photographs, archival material and three-dimensional objects. The largest object is the museum building itself, which is the original railway station built in 1898.

Archival material from the CBRM collection