Lost Chester River Steamboats-- From 1821 to 1923, passenger and freight steamers operated between Baltimore and points on the Chester River with passengers and freight. It was one of the very first scheduled steamboat lines on the Bay. These vessels made landings at small country wharves and town wharves where the arrival of the steamboat brought crowds of onlookers. This route touched at towns like Rock Hall, Centreville, Chestertown, and Crumpton, as well as farm wharves all the way to the head of navigation on the river. The steamers were a virtual economic lifeline for the rural Eastern Shore in the days before highways and the Bay Bridge. It was a very colorful period in local history.
Jack Shaum is a retired print and broadcast journalist who spent nearly 50 years in the business in Baltimore and on the Eastern Shore. He was a news anchor/reporter for WBAL Radio in Baltimore for more than 27 years and was later a reporter for The Record Observer, Bay Times and Star Democrat. From 2002 to 2011 he was also editor-in-chief of the quarterly journal of the Steamship Historical Society of America.
He is the author of Lost Chester River Steamboats, a history of a century of steamboat operations on the Chester River; co-author ofMajesty at Sea, a history of early 20th Century passenger liners; and co-ghost writer and co-editor of Night Boat on the Potomac, a history of the Norfolk and Washington Steamboat Company.