Now Reading
Uncover Cool History on the Eastern Shore

Uncover Cool History on the Eastern Shore

Actor in period clothing at festival

Maryland’s Eastern Shore is a slice of paradise nestled between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. From secluded beaches to paved biking trails to delicious ice cream shops, there’s no shortage of things to explore. While you’re out and about, take the opportunity to uncover cool history on the Eastern Shore! 

Buy tickets to the oldest amusement park in the US

Maryland’s Eastern Shore is home to the oldest family-owned amusement park in the United States!

old black and white photo of carousel
Photo Credit: Trimper Rides

Trimper Rides was founded in 1893 and is still spinning today. The park expanded over the century to include a haunted house, designed and built by a Ringling Brothers art director, a Ferris wheel, several rides, and shops.

dad and son on Trimper Rides
Photo Credit: Trimper Rides

Today, it is owned and operated by the fifth generation of Trimpers. Over a century has passed since its founding, but parts of the park remain the same. Visitors can still get spooked in the haunted house or enjoy the beauty and novelty of the antique rides and ticket booths (all in working condition) spread throughout the indoor portion of the park.

Attend a Colonial themed Tea-Party festival 

Chestertown, Maryland, takes great pride in having fanned the flames of revolutionary protest with a colonial “tea party” of its own. Inspired by their Boston compatriots six months prior, members of the Chestertown’s Sons of Liberty chapter allegedly boarded the British brigantine Geddes in May 1774 and dumped its tea cargo overboard into the Chester River. The rebels were rather brazen: Unlike the Boston rabble-rousers, they pulled their stunt in broad daylight and without donning the Native American disguises the Boston rabble-rousers used. 

Some historians question the authenticity of the 1774 tea party legend, but the doubters haven’t stopped townsfolk from commemorating the event with a three-day festival every Memorial Day weekend since 1977. Tall ships anchor at the waterfront dock, locals re-enact the tea toss, and downtown streets fill with food vendors, music, and puppet shows for the kids.

Walk Through a 19th-Century Furnace Town

The Nassawango Iron Furnace in Worcester County, on the lower Eastern Shore, was in operation around the same period as Lonaconing between 1830-1850. Founded by the Maryland Iron Company, this was the only furnace in Maryland to use the bog ore (read up on Wikipedia) found in the swamps near the Pocomoke Forest. A company town was home to 300 workers during this time. The ironworks represented another technological innovation, employing the hot blast technique of smelting iron shortly after it was developed by Scottish ironworkers in the late 1820s.

Furnace Town Living Heritage Village
Photo Credit: Furnace Town Living Heritage Village

In addition to the furnace, the 25-acre park includes a dozen buildings, including a blacksmith shop, print shop, Old Nazareth Church, and Mt. Zion Schoolhouse. The Worcester County Historical Society maintains a museum in the village in a Gothic revival church, school, and parish house. The furnace is open for visitors between April and October. If you’re reading this article during the off-season, you can whet your appetite by exploring their virtual village tour.

Feature Photo Credit: Chestertown Tea Party Festival

About the Author

Maryland Road Trips is a part of Postern Publishing.
© Copyright 2023 Postern Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

Scroll To Top