History Happy Hour Features Talk about Steamboats on the Chester River

The Chester River.

The Chester River.

Press Release — Historical Society of Kent County

Join us for History Happy Hour from 4 to 6 on Friday, May 1 at the Bordley History Center, 301 High Street, Chestertown.

The Chester River was one of the earliest rivers on the Eastern Shore to see steamboat service and it was a nearly-daily operation that continued for slightly more than 100 years. On the steamers, passengers traveled in comfort and could even enjoy a first-rate meal while steaming down the river.

Besides passengers, wheat, tomatoes, peaches and other agricultural products of the Eastern Shore filled the freight decks and on the return trip, the steamer would bring back to the Shore needed items from the city such as tools, agricultural implements, fabrics, clothes, and medicines. . In 1923, the steamers made their final voyages between the Chester River and Baltimore.

Jack Shaum is a veteran journalist who is now a reporter for The Bay Times and Record Observer in Queen Anne’s County. He began his journalism career at The News American in Baltimore and then became press aide to the late First District Representative William O. Mills. Following that was a nearly 30-year career as news anchor and reporter for news-talk radio station WBAL in Baltimore. He retired from that position in 2002 and moved to the Eastern Shore and lives just outside of Chestertown. He has been fascinated by Chesapeake Bay steamboats and other ships from a very early age, and is co-author of Majesty at Sea, a history of the four-funneled passenger liners of the early 20th Century. He is also co-editor and co-ghost writer of Night Boat on the Potomac: A History of the Norfolk and Washington Steamboat Company. He is also past editor-in-chief of the quarterly journal of the Steamship Historical Society of America.

Join us for History Happy Hour , 4 PM Friday, May 1 at the Bordley History Center, 301 High Street in Chestertown and learn more about our history.

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