Jeff Smallwood Photography
Chesapeake Bay Ferry Landing
Mar 20, 2012

Envision miles and miles of traffic in the 1930s-40s, waiting for hours to cross the Chesapeake Bay. Imagine the feeling of pulling up to this spot and watching with anticipation to glance the ferry on the horizon. It would provide safe passage across to Matapeake and the eastern shore of Maryland. The ferry would also allow you to cross the largest estuary in the United States in a little more than an hour and save you the 160 mile trip around the bay to the north.

When the Chesapeake Bay Bridge was completed in 1952 it marked the end of an era. The ferries that had shuttled people (and cars) across the bay since colonial times finally came to a standstill. The Claiborne-Annapolis Ferry Company was one of the most significant companies to run ferries in the early part of the 1900s. The ferries were taken over by the state of Maryland in 1941, and in 1943 the ferry landing was moved to this spot at Sandy Point.

I've been having a difficult time finding reliable history on this specific port in the photo. From a PBS special I watched last year I'd heard the ferries stopped almost immediately when the bridge opened, but that two brothers. maintained a ferry route in later years as a curiosity for the public. I've been unable to find references to that online.

This ferry port has been closed for a long time. I found a couple modern power boats used to manage operations around the bridge tied to a new dock on the far left of this structure. But other than that most of it seems to be slowly succumbing to the elements. Many boards have rotten through and are extremely weathered.

You can see the bridge that replaced this ferry straight out through the middle, disappearing into the fog.

This panoramic photo was constructed from 6 shots. Converted to B&W in Nik SilverEfex Pro. Full resolution pano is ~9000x3000 pixels (27 megapixels).

He's small in this image, but if you look at the top of the pilings on the left you'll see the blue heron I posted photos of earlier.

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