Oh dear reader, by now you’ve read lines like those so many times here, I’ll be lucky if you’re still reading this.
Fear not, though, for this time, we’re bypassing my beloved Old Town Alexandria, and instead, are headed to Chestertown, a waterfront town on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and a 90-minute drive from Washington.
In its heyday, only Annapolis was a busier port in Maryland. Chestertown, population 5,000 and the seat of Queen Anne’s County, is less prominent now, but citizens here took much pride when the National Trust for Historic Preservation named their fair city as one of America's Dozen Distinctive Destinations.
Serendipity planted the seed for this visit we made yesterday. A couple of months ago, while searching for information on DC, I came across the U.S Census site, which noted the first population center was Chestertown. We put off the trip but with yesterday’s gorgeous weather, we gave it a green light.
It’s so very tempting to call Chestertown, “Old Town Alexandria Light.” In addition to the above similarities, both have a grid-shaped historic district that slopes down to a waterfront and marina. Chestertown’s Historic District is much smaller, however, so by spending two hours or so like we did, you feel like you didn’t leave a lot beyond.
Here are the highlights of our visit. A couple of places such as the Geddes-Piper Museum were closed and the Sultana, their schooner, was out for a ride.
Historic Home on Water Street. Mid-Georgian built in 1769, home to Maryland Governor Robert Wright between 1806 and 1809. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Corner of High and Cross
Needless to say, this series of markers pleased me very much. The large granite stone for the Confederate and Union dead is very moving. Some of the deceased soldiers came from families who had to mourn on both sides of the monument. Black soldiers were excluded, so the Parker White American Legion erected the granite obelisk in 1999.
Fun just to stroll along High Street and take in the historic homes and the front porches.
The town’s only waterside restaurant. A bit pricey but excellent service and the waterside dining was fabulous.
Outside the Visitors Center is a statue of "Swish" Nicholson, the slugger who played for the Cubs and Phillies. Native of the town and retired there.
Article by Adam Goodheart.