About Cambridge
About Cambridge

                 Cambridge, Maryland 21613

    Cambridge is the County Seat of Dorchester County on Maryland's Eastern Shore.  It is situated on the southern bank of the Choptank River, a major Chesapeake Bay tributary.  The 2000 census listed the population as 10,911, a loss of about 2,000 from the 1940's -50's. 

     Beginning with its founding in 1684, Cambridge was a busy seafood and agricultural center.  It supported a large fishing, oystering and crabbing fleet which kept numerous seafood packing houses supplied.  A major vegetable cannery, Phillips Packing Company was a major employer.  The city was fictionally featured in author James Mitchener's 1978 book Chesapeake.

     By the 1960's, overfishing and pollution decimated the seafood industry.  Big agribusiness made family farms obsolete and effected the closure of Phillips.  Outside civil rights demonstrators came in and subjected the city to an acrimonious and violent civil rights riot that drew national attention and established resentments that still linger.

     Ironically, Cambridge's most famous historical personage is Harriett Tubman, a major participant in the "underground railway", the system that facilitated runaway slaves attempting to reach northern "free states" in antebellum times.

     Since the 1960's, the city has been attempting revitalization.  The process has been abetted by Washington, DC "beltway" denizens who "discovered" Ocean City and the Eastern Shore.  Cambridge is 55 miles from Washington, DC and on the major highway to Ocean City.

     Currently Cambridge has become a resort and getaway destination and is attempting to be an art center.  The main street now features art galleries, boutique shops and restaurants.



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