contentsSouthern Anne Arundel MD Chamberads

Community Introduction and History

During Colonial times residents came to this location to attend church. An itinerant preacher visited about once a month, conducted services, performed marriages, and other pastoral duties. When a post office was established, it was called Churchtown, and later became Churchton.

The Community of Davidsonville, founded in 1845, was named for Thomas Davidson, son of James Davidson, who served in the Revolutionary War. His restored home is still visible at the intersection of Routes 214 and 424. It was a small village consisting of eight homes, two churches and a post office. Thomas Davidson was the first Postmaster and the founder of the Davidsonville Methodist Church.

The earliest mention of the area in the Maryland Hall of Records was 1659, when Englishman Richard Gott marked off 600 acres and called it Rams Gott Swamp. Cecil H. Marshall notes in his handwritten history of Deale that watermen traveled from the Eastern Shore to a huge, natural oyster bar called Bay Shore Bar in the 1850s. During that era, about ten families settled on Parker’s Island; however, it began washing away. With their land disappearing, some of these families moved a short distance to the Deale area. Deale’s first post office was opened in 1908, about 16 years after the original Cedar Grove Church was built with lumber hauled by ox-cart from Churchton.

Edgewater was originally known as London Towne a once-thriving seaport village covering about 100 acres on the southern shore of the South River. It was the site of the last ferry crossing connecting Williamsburg, Virginia and Annapolis. A National Historical Landmark, London Towne Publik House is the last surviving structure of the 40-50 dwellings that once stood on the grounds of this seaport. Approximately half of these dwellings lie under the grounds of London Town House & Gardens. This colonial tobacco port once rivaled Williamsburg in size and very nearly became Maryland’s capital. Today, Archaeologists are actively engaged in the search for artifacts of that era.

The Fairhaven Summer Resort, in an article published in The Sun Newspaper dated August 7, 1866, was described as one of the most delightful resorts within the reach of Baltimore for persons who belong to the “Can’t Get Away Club”. Excursion parties would spend the day at the resort traveling from Baltimore by steamboat and disembarking on a 300 foot pier built in front of the hotel property. Automobiles were virtually unknown in this area around that time.

Galesville, a quaint village nestled on the bank of the West River, was founded in the year 1652 when the King of England gave a 660-acre land grant to the Brown and Clark families. In 1672 wealthy planters, George Gale and Samuel Galloway, encouraged their Quaker friends to settled in the area, as evidenced by a historical marker and carefully maintained graveyard. Cedar Park was built in 1657 and Tulip Hill in 1659. Many of our prominent Revolutionary War forefathers had ties with the area and George Washington visited Tulip Hill in 1771. The villages name was changed from Browntown to West River Landing to Galloway. Since 1924 it has been known as Galesville, a unique village in the middle of our country’s early history. The town draws many to our area for boating activities, good food, and peaceful surroundings year round.

West River
An area between Galesville and Harwood retained the West River name. The historical character of farmlands and horse farms is evident today. A newly constructed mansion displays a historical marker declaring that the site was once visited by William Penn and Lord Baltimore with his Council. Numerous churches, including Christ Episcopal Church, a gothic structure build in 1867, are located in this area.

Rose Haven
Originally named Lions Pond, this area was occupied by the Piscataway Indian tribe and arrowheads can still be found on the beaches in what is now Rose Haven.

Shady Side
The Shady Side Peninsula has had a long and varied history. Surrounded by the Chesapeake Bay, the Peninsula was called “the Great Swamp”, a portion of which was “Sedgefield,” after the native sedge grass growing in its marshy areas. With the opening of a post office in 1888, the area was renamed Shady Side. During the steamboat era of the Chesapeake Bay visitors traveled to the peninsula for summer vacations. Summer “boarding houses” flourished. . Permanent residents at this time were watermen who made their living by fishing, crabbing, and oystering in season.

A high area of land, called “the Ridge”, runs through the middle of Harwood and was used by the Indians as a road or path through the woods. By traveling across the ridges and not going down into the valleys, the natives covered long distances quicker. When settlers arrived in the mid 1600s, they also utilized these paths, sections of which are still in use today and known as Solomons Island Road.

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