Dorchester County Historical Society Takes New Approach
The Dorchester County Historical Society is re-inventing itself with a new name (Heritage Museums and Gardens of Dorchester), overhauled museum shops, new events, expanded exhibits, and more. Read more.
Special Tubman and 2013 Mini-Grant recipients announced
The Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area Management Board announces the recipients of their 2013 mini-grants. This year the board also designated special funding to support programs relating to Harriet Tubman or the Underground Railroad. These locally sponsored events will be part of the 2013 Centennial Celebration of Harriet Tubman. Read more.
Blackwater Refuge featured on U.S. stamp
An image of Dorchester County's own Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge is featured on a U.S. Postal Service stamp issued in October 2012. The aerial image of the marsh is one of a series of 15 stamps called Earthscapes Forever. Ask for it at your local post office! Read the Washington Post story about this Chesapeake stamp.
Dorchester dedicates new Choptank River Lighthouse
The Choptank River Lighthouse, a full-size replica of a light that guided mariners along the Choptank River for generations, was officially dedicated September 22, 2012. The six-sided, screwpile lighthouse stands at the end of Pier A at the Cambridge Marina at Long Wharf Park in Cambridge, Maryland. Learn more.
2012 Heritage Award winners announced
The Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area Management Board presented its Annual Heritage Awards on May 17, 2012, at the Dorchester County Historical Society. This is the seventh year the awards have been given to honor people and organizations that help preserve and promote Dorchester County’s heritage. Read more.
Dorchester County spots are favorites in "best of" contests
Dorchester County has been pulling in a slew of awards in various "best of" contests by regional magazines in 2012. Browse the list of winners.
Hyatt Chesapeake completes $1 million renovation to Sago Spa & Salon
The vitality and rich ecosystems of Maryland’s extraordinary Eastern Shore region are the inspiration behind Sago Spa & Salon, a newly renovated spa opening in February 2012 at Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa & Marina. The 18,000 square-foot spa at the AAA Four Diamond resort received $1 million in comprehensive renovations, from architecture and aesthetics to new equipment and treatments. Read the story.
Texas travel section encourages travelers to break away from the usual
In this February 2012 travel feature, the American-Statesman, based in Austin, Texas, encourages readers to try a try to Dorchester County and the Eastern Shore of Maryland for spring break. Featured are mentions of the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay, Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, the Harriet Tubman Museum, local restaurants, and more. Read the story.
Tourism industry makes significant impact on Dorchester County
The tourism industry makes a significant economic impact on Dorchester County, accounting for more than one-fifth of the county’s employment and generating $132.7 million in sales in 2010. The figures were announced during the Jan. 18, 2012 Dorchester Tourism Town Hall meeting, a first-time event for those involved in tourism-related businesses and the general public. The meeting, at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort in Cambridge, drew more than 60 people, including representatives from the county’s lodging, museums, outfitters, historical sites, and more. Read the story.
Baltimore magazine explores the story of 'Anna and the Boys'
In "Anna and the Boys," the Baltimore magazine follows the story of Anna Ella Carroll, said to be a secret member of President Lincoln's cabinet, and how a group of Eastern Shore history buffs are sharing her almost-forgotten story. Ms. Carroll lived in Dorchester County. Read the story.
Tubman Visitor Center receives $8.5 million in funding
Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley announced in August 2011 that the state had secured $8.5 million in funding toward the Harriet Tubman Visitor Center and State Park to be built in Dorchester County. It's scheduled to be completed in 2013, the year that marks the 100th anniversary of Tubman's death. The 15,000 square foot visitor center will be built near Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, about 12 miles south of Cambridge. The state park is expected to draw an estimated 200,000 visitors annually and bring $20 million each year into the local economy. Read the Baltimore Sun story.
Winery opens its doors to the dogs
Layton's Chance Winery & Vineyard in Vienna started a new tradition in summer 2011 -- Dog Days at the Winery. On certain Sundays, the winery opened its doors to canines and their human companions with retriever demonstrations, question-and-answer sessions on dog training (with the folks from Maryland Shore Pet Resort), and family-friendly relaxation. Read the story in the Salisbury Daily Times.
Tubman interpretive sign unveiled at Hyatt
Visitors to Dorchester County have a new way to learn about Harriet Tubman, the Underground Railroad's most famous “conductor,” thanks to an interpretive sign unveiled June 2. The sign was installed outside overlooking the Choptank River at the 400-room Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa, and Marina in Cambridge. The sign describes the role of the Choptank River and other waterways—how they both helped and hindered—the escapes of slaves seeking freedom. Read the story.
2011 Heritage Area Award winners announced
Congratulations to all the winners in the annual Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Awards competition, celebrated May 25 at St. Stephen's Hall in East New Market. Steve DelSordo received the award for Individual Achievement. Friends of Anna Ella Carroll received the award for Organization Excellence. The West End Citizens received the award for Outstanding Program. Read the story.
2011 cycling, running, and endurance events
Dorchester County is home to one of the top triathlons in the world (according to Triathlete magazine), as well as a growing number of cycling and running events. See what events are happening in 2011.
Washington Examiner calls Cambridge 'quiet haven for
Washington Examiner writer Marie Gullard discovers a relaxing mid-winter escape in the story, "Cambridge, Md., is a quiet haven for winding down." "And who would blame the most stressed-out among us for darting out of town, seeking a day or two of blessed escape, toward any tranquil port in the storm?" she writes. "Cambridge, Md., a quaint and colorful maritime town hugging the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, should be calling your name right about now." The story highlights Cambridge House B&B, the Dorchester Center for the Arts, antique shopping, Bistro Poplar, and A Few of My Favorite Things. Read the story.
Marina Life magazine goes fishing in Dorchester County
In "A Bay for All Seasons," Jeff Merrill describes boating and fishing during a fall visit to Cambridge, Maryland in Marina Life magazine. He fishes along the Honga River, Tangier Sound, and the mid-Chesapeake Bay waters. He also discovers the area's maritime history with stops at the Richardson Maritime Museum and the Ruark Boatworks, and a meal at Jimmie and Sook's. Read the story.
Dorchester Tourism 2010 Year-End Report now available
Dorchester County Tourism has released its 2010 Year-End Report, which outlines its marketing and communication efforts, as well as the impact of tourism on the county. Download it here. A few highlights from the report:
Visitors to the Dorchester Tourism website (www.TourDorchester.org) increased 30 percent over 2009. The site draws an average of 600 visitors each day. Travel experts report that a growing number of people use the Internet to plan their trips.
Dorchester Tourism purchased advertising to promote Dorchester County as a destination in 2010 in both print and online media such as the Washington Post, Newsweek, Chesapeake Life, Southern Living, Coastal Living, and Maryland Life. The most successful campaign to date focused on enjoying local seafood and drove 18,206 people in a six-week period to click through to the Tourism website for more information. That click-through rate was 20 times the industry standard.
Dorchester Tourism continued and expanded its digital marketing, including an ongoing e-mail campaign to more than 3,500 people who have expressed interest in the county. The Facebook page that Tourism maintains saw its fans double in 2010 to more than 1,600. In addition, Dorchester County was part of the award-winning Host Our Coast program, in which media-savvy travelers spent a week exploring the area. Their reports about Dorchester County were conveyed through YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and the Host Our Coast blog.
Dorchester Tourism distributed nearly 50,000 brochures about the county by request and through various sites and attractions in 2010. The brochures highlight different aspects of the county, including bicycling, birding, boating, Harriet Tubman, museums and attractions, and Dorchester's towns.
Dorchester Tourism commissioned a new logo to help promote the county to potential out-of-town visitors. The logo was created by local graphic designer Greg VandeVisser of VandeVisser Design.
The Dorchester County Visitor Center, which is open every day except major holidays, welcomed more than 21,000 visitors in 2010.
'Cambridge offers 'off-season regroup': Boston Globe
The Boston Globe featured Cambridge, Maryland, in a story about great winter escapes. "The town of Cambridge, where time is measured by the tides and the migration patterns of snow geese from Canada and great blue herons, provides a much needed off-season regroup," writes Beth D'Addono. For "retail therapy," she mentions Joie de Vivre Gallery and A Few of My Favorite Things, both on Race Street. Read the story.
Dorchester Tourism rolls out new Visitor Guide
Dorchester County Tourism has published a new edition of the Visitor Guide that seeks to draw potential visitors to the Heart of the Chesapeake. This year, the Dorchester Tourism Office implemented some strategic, physical, and organizational changes to the 24-page guide designed to better serve visitors. Thirty-five thousand copies are being distributed by mail, in person, and at welcome centers around the state. The guide was designed and written by Cambridge resident Jill Jasuta and printed by Delmarva Printing in Salisbury. Order your Visitor Guide by dropping a note to info@TourDorchester.org, by calling 1.800.522.TOUR or by stopping by the Visitor Center at 2 Rose Hill Place in Cambridge (look for the huge sail near the Malkus Bridge on Route 50).
Huffington Post follows trail of Annie Oakley in Dorchester County
In her story, "On the Trail of Annie Oakley in Cambridge, Maryland," Huffington Post arts writer Susan Dormady Eisenberg writes about the legendary sharpshooter's time in Cambridge and the house where she lived (which still stands, although it's a private residence now)—her only surviving abode. Read the story.
Richardson Maritime Museum has ambitious plans for the future
In "Richardson Museum building Cambridge's future by capturing its past," the Bay Journal describes ambitious plans to reinvent the Richardson Maritime Museum and the Ruark Boatworks in Cambridge into the Richardson Maritime Heritage Center. "When it's finished, the museum will no longer be a static place to relive moments in maritime history. It will also be where Cambridge rewrites its future: a waterfront community that not only embraces condos and restaurants but also its rich working-waterfront heritage," writes Rona Kobell. "They include a marine railway that will be able to haul boats out of the water and allow workers to repair them, a boat-building school that will eventually employ more than a dozen skilled craftsmen and a public park along the water. All told, the project could employ close to 100 people in an area where jobs have been scarce." Eventually, she points out, the center hopes to work on the historic replica, Pride of Baltimore II (currently it has to leave the state for repairs.) Read the story.
AAA World magazine sees 'picturesque charm' of Cambridge
AAA World magazine, which goes out to 2 million homes in the Mid-Atlantic area, ran a story on visiting the Eastern Shore. Cambridge, the Hyatt, and Blackwater figured prominently. Here's an excerpt: "To best appreciate the many diverse sights and experiences the Eastern Shore offers, choose lodging near a central location such as the town of Cambridge, the county seat of Dorchester and one of the oldest towns in Maryalnd. Located on the banks of the Choptank, Cambridge—now in the midst of a revitalization—is home to a variety of attractions, shops, and lodgings. It also offers the conveniences of a big city while maintaining the picturesque charm of a small seaside town."
Chesapeake Film Festival expands to Cambridge
The Chesapeake Film Festival expands to Cambridge for its third annual event September 24-26. The film festival brings more than 30 award-winning films, documentaries, and animated features that the Eastern Shore would never see otherwise. In addition to Cambridge, films will also be screened in Easton, Oxford, and St. Michaels. In Cambridge, films will be shown at Gallery 447 in downtown Cambridge. "We are very excited to be bringing this film and others to the Cambridge community," said Artistic Director Doug Sadler in announcing the addition. "This expansion is a natural extension of our mission to bring the best in film to the Chesapeake community. We have a great partner in Gallery 447 and to have the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake as our lead sponsor, in addition to all the community support we're receiving, is incredible." Film out more about the film festival and watch trailers of all the films at the Chesapeake Film Festival website. Buy tickets online or at the Dorchester County Visitors Center, 2 Rose Hill Place in Cambridge.
Author John Barth joins in unveiling of historic marker in his honor
Hundreds of people joined Cambridge native author John Barth in June to unveil a historic marker in his honor. The marker, as well as a brochure with a walking tour of spots in Cambridge related to Barth's life, were developed by the Dorchester County Friends of Library. The marker is located on library grounds at 303 Gay Street in Cambridge. Winner of the National Book Award (for The Sot-Weed Factor) and F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Outstanding Achievement in American Fiction, Barth was born and raised in Cambridge. His novel, The Floating Opera, is based in Cambridge. The Barth sign is the first in Dorchester County to honor a literary figure. "Cambridge, the rivershore, and the great down county salt marshes were my life's coordinates from birth through high school through college and my first efforts as a writer of fiction, and they remain as touchstones of my imagination," he told the crowd. Read more about Barth's life here on a page created by the Dorchester County Public Library.
Dorchester County makes 'Best of the Bay' in boating magazine
We've got some local winners in Chesapeake Bay magazine's Best of the Bay 2010. The Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina won in the Best Resort Marinas category and brought in votes for Cambridge as one of the Best Towns for Families. Cambridge also made the list for Best Towns for Inexpensive Docking. Choptank River won for Best Cruising Rivers. Check out all the winners.
Dorchester County welcomes its first-ever winery, Layton's Chance
A family that has farmed Dorchester County lands for generations is opening the county's first-ever winery, Layton's Chance Vineyard & Winery. Located in the midst of 1,800 acres of farmland near historic Vienna, the winery is open daily from 11am to 5pm. Read about how the winery came to be in this Daily Times story.
Heritage Area Award winners announced
The Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area has announced the winners of the 2010 heritage awards. William J. Jarmon, Jr. won for individual achievement. Wesley Chapel Church Congregation won for organizational excellence. The Town of East new Market, Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, and Urban Dialogues all won for outstanding project with the "place work[s]hop East New Market" (pictured here). And Claudia and Tricia Colaprete won youth of the year. Congratulations to all the winners!
Dorchester's ChesapeakeMan triathlon named one of world's 10 best; endurance events grow in the county
ChesapeakeMan, the 140.6-mile triathlon that happens here in Dorchester County, was; named one of the 10 best triathlons in the world by Triathlete magazine! Only three other U.S. triathlons were named; the rest are in other countries. This year's ChesapeakeMan is scheduled for September 25. Dorchester also is host to the annual EagleMan Ironman 70.3 triathlon in June, as well as a growing number of other cycling and running rides and events. Click here for more, including a list of upcoming endurance events.
The wonders of the National Outdoor Show featured in What's Up magazine
In the February 2010 issue, What's Up Eastern Shore magazine explores the "pageantry of competitive muskrat skinning" at Dorchester County's National Outdoor Show. This one-of-a-kind event, this year Feb. 26-27, features everything from beauty pageants to muskrat skinning contests to muskrat stew. It was featured in a PBS documentary, Muskrat Lovely. A true slice of traditional rural Dorchester culture.
Click here to read the story.
'Finding a Way to Freedom' tour featured in
Philadelphia Daily News
A story in the Feb. 10, 2010 Philadelphia Daily News takes readers on the "Finding a Way to Freedom" driving tour through Dorchester and Caroline Counties, which explores stories of the Underground Railroad and its most famous "conductor" Harriet Tubman. (You can pick up this driving tour brochure at the Dorchester County Visitor Center.) The writer mentions some of the sites on the tour, including the Dorchester County Courthouse, the Tubman museum in Cambridge, Stewart's Canal, and Bucktown Village Store. The writer, P.J. Thomas, is also editor and publisher of Pathfinders Travel Magazine for People of Color. Click here to read the full story.
Cambridge restaurant, mayor, watermen, more on national TV
Tom Brokaw's hourlong documentary on Route 50, which premiered on USA Network Jan. 18, opens with a segment on Cambridge. "Tom Brokaw Presents: American Character Along Highway 50" features local watermen, crab-pickers, the mayor, and downtown entrepreneur Amanda Bramble, who opened Jimmie & Sook's Raw Bar and Grill in January 2009. Click here for more.
Photo of Blackwater Refuge snags "Best in Show" in photo contest
Eastern Shore photographer Donald Stukey captured Best in Show honors with a magnificent photo of sunrise Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland Life magazine's photo contest. Just goes to show how photogenic Dorchester County is! Click here to see other prize-winning photos.
Exploring the lives of Nanticoke Indians, the Nanticoke River, and the town of Vienna
"Natives on the Nanticoke," a four-page feature in the January/February 2010 issue of Maryland Life, shares fascinating stories about the Nause-Waiwash Indians who still live in near Vienna, as well as the river that shares their name. The article is not available online, but you can see it at the Dorchester County Visitor Center.
Tourism director among 'People to Watch'
Amanda Fenstermaker, director of Dorchester County Tourism, was one of the "People to Watch" in the January 2010 issue of What's Up Eastern Shore magazine. The magazine selected nine people under 40 around the Eastern Shore who are making a difference. Also named "People to Watch" were Dorchester County residents Jermaine Anderson, a community activist who is co-chair of the Cambridge Lives! revitalization program, and Ian Campbell, the chef at Bistro Poplar in downtown Cambridge. Click here for more.
Dorchester featured in Baltimore Sun travel story on driving tour of Maryland's byways
A stunning photo of the Tubman Hiking Trail at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge got prominent coverage on the front page of the travel section in the November 6, 2009 Baltimore Sun. The accompanying story explores the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway in Dorchester and Caroline Counties, as well as other byways in Maryland.
Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway Named
On October 16, 2009, the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway in Dorchester and Caroline Counties received the prestigious All American Road designation by the U.S. Department of Transportation's America's Byways© program. Click here to read the full story.
Watch a New Video About Dorchester County
A new audio-visual exhibit is now up and running at the Dorchester County Visitor Center. The first of three videos captures the beauty and unspoiled nature of Dorchester's landscapes, the appeal of its cultural traditions, and opportunities for recreation adn heritage tourism. It includes commentaries by those who know and love the area. Watch it on a high-definition wide-screen TV at the Visitor Center, or watch it here: http://www.vimeo.com/6010106
Tom Brokaw Presents American Character Along Highway 50.
Click on the link below to watch a video featuring local business owner Amanda Bramble, as Tom Brokaw presents American Character along Highway 50.
Governor O'Malley Announces Approval of Harriet Tubman
Governor Martin O'Malley announced Board of Public Works approval of the design contract for the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park, including a visitor center, memorial garden and trails that will interpret and preserve the legacy of this freedom fighter in Dorchester County. Click here to read the full story.
Tubman Legacy Getting New Attention
Federal, state and regional efforts are being proposed to honor Harriet Tubman, the famed Dorchester County native who escaped slavery, then led others north to freedom along the Underground Railroad. WYPR's Donna Marie Owens reports. Click here to read the full story.