Eastport's distinctive history, character and identity grew from maritime roots. The marinas that now serve pleasure boaters were once filled with wooden workboats. So crowded was the shoreline, it was said that an enterprising cat could flit from boat to boat and skirt the entire peninsula without getting its feet wet.Once a separate town, Eastport was annexed to Annapolis in 1951. Nevertheless, it retains a distinct local flavor and spirit. We invite you to explore Eastport's rich, diverse history through the 14 stops on this self-guided tour.Text with lower-left photo: The popular yellow flags with the motto "We like it this way" flew first in 1998. To offset the potential loss to businesses from a temporary bridge closure, the community created the mock "Maritime Republic of Eastport" and declared independence from Annapolis.
The McNasby Oyster Company
The McNasby Oyster Company moved here from Annapolis City Dock in 1919. This is the last of many oyster-packing houses in Annapolis. Here, watermen sold their harvest. The oysters were shucked, sorted, cleaned, packed into cans and shipped to restaurants as far away as Canada.
After William "Mac" MacNasby died in the early 1970s, others tried unsuccessfully to revive the oyster business. Later, the oyster and crab populations declined and business efforts ceased. The building is now the home of the Annapolis Maritime Museum.
Text with upper left photo: The McNasby building was flooded by Hurrican Isabel's 8-foot tidal surge in 2003.
Text with lower left photo: "Mac" McNasby (in hat) and Lyle Smith skimmed and cleaned shucked oysters before packing them in cans.
Text with main photo: Shuckers in the 1920s were mainly African-American. They worked all day standing in individual stalls to protect their feet from the oyster shells that piled up around them.
The Barge House
This narrow, 12-foot by 49-foot house is unique by any architectural standard. Winson Gott built it between 1916 and 1919 for the McNasby Oyster Company. It was designed to float on a barge in the summer and then be hauled onshore during the oyster season to serve as housing for the oyster shuckers. After the hurricane of 1933, the house was secured on its permanent foundation. No trace of the original barge remains.
The Barge House is listed as a State Historic Building. In 1991, it became the first home of the Annapolis Maritime Museum, and now serves as the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse Interpretive Center.
Text with upper left photo: A crew of volunteers helped restore the Barge House. Mayer Ellen O. Moyer (center) officially reopened the Barge House in October, 2005.
Text with main photo: The Barge House was heavily flooded by Hurricane Isabel in 2003. This traditional Chesapeake Bay workboat in the foreground was damaged as well. Can you find it now?