Re-bridging the Choptank
History / November 30, 2022

The Emerson E. Harrington Bridge, now the old fishing pier next to our site, marked an economic boom for Cambridge in the 1930s, becoming the first constant direct link northward to Annapolis and Baltimore. It extended across two miles of the Choptank River, and until the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, it prominently held the title of the “Longest Bridge in Maryland.”

The bridge’s construction lasted between 1933-1935 and was funded by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal agency, The Public Works Administration. This massive feat of engineering provided employment to over 200 men from Dorchester and the surrounding counties during the Great Depression.

Workers are seen constructing one of the concrete piers that supported the bridge’s steel truss. (Photo courtesy of ‘Cambridge past and Present: A Pictorial History’)

Aboard his presidential yacht, the President made an appearance during the bridge’s dedication ceremony on October 26, 1935. A large crowd of residents and out-of-towners gathered in cars, boats, and on foot to celebrate the inauguration of the bridge.

On Left: Governor Harry W. Nice delivers his dedication ceremony address to a large crowd. On Right: President Franklin D Roosevelt aboard the Sequoia at the dedication ceremony for the opening of the Choptank river Bridge. (Photos courtesy of ‘Cambridge past and Present: A Pictorial History’)

In 1987 the original Choptank River Bridge was replaced by the Frederick C. Malkus, Jr. Bridge. To this day, that bridge is used by thousands of travelers making their way through the Eastern Shore, and it’s soon to be one of the major thruways that lead to Cambridge Harbor.

Related Posts

Dorchester’s American Hero
November 18, 2022

Near and around Cambridge Harbor there are various destinations focused on preserving and honoring the legacy of Harriet Tubman. Born into the chains of slavery in Dorchester County in 1822, made her escape north in 1849. Over a dozen times Tubman risked her life to lead enslaved friends and family to freedom as a conductor of the Underground Railroad.

An Amenity to the Community
September 20, 2022

With much rejoice from the Cambridge Community, the Cambridge-Maryland Hospital first opened its doors on November 17, 1904. It sat on the shores of the Choptank River adjacent to the Rose Hill community, where our site sits today.

A Revitalized Harbor and the Rise of Cambridge’s Industry
June 18, 2022

Cambridge’s industry grew rapidly following the Civil War. A charter was granted to the Cambridge Harbor Internal Navigation and Wharf Company to cover the costs, around $7,500, to move the riverbed with mud machines.