Murals of Chesapeake Country

All too frequently, folks drive right through Cambridge without recognizing its rich history and everything Cambridge and Dorchester County have to offer as a day trip destination it their own right. I’ve blogged about the region before

The murals highlight Dorchester County’s culture and history and were inspired by James Michener’s famous novel, Chesapeake. Created by Michael Rosato, a nationally known muralist who lives in Dorchester County, the five murals were funded by the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority and the Federal Highway Administration.

Goose on a Caboose Mural

An unused train caboose owned by Powell Real Estate serves as the canvas for a richly textured depiction of Canada geese seeming to break out of the caboose, with a view of the marsh behind them. Canada geese are a frequent sight in Dorchester County, especially during spring and fall migration.

Getting there: 200 Trenton St, Cambridge, MD 21613

Big Bird Mural

J.M. Clayton’s Seafood is the oldest continuously operating crab factory in the world, so a mural on the side of the building just had to include a crab. But what will catch your eye first is a stunning great blue heron about to enjoy his own private feast.

Getting there: Best view of the mural is from the drawbridge over Cambridge Creek (near Maryland Avenue and Academy Street). Close up: 108 Commerce St., Cambridge, MD and walk around the back of the J.M. Clayton’s building.

Reflections on Pine Street Mural

The mural highlights Cambridge’s rich African-American history, culture and heritage, particularly in the community around Pine Street, which is one of the oldest African-American communities in the country that dates back to the mid-1800s.

At the center of the mural is Harriet Tubman, as a symbol of courage, hard work, perseverance, and loyalty to her family and community. To Tubman’s left and right are leaders, including Gloria Richardson Dandridge, a key figure in the civil rights movement in Cambridge in the 1960s, and small business owners and everyday people whose contributions may not be as well known but resonate to this day—a bricklayer, a barber, a baker, a farmer, a high school athlete, and more. Other figures in the mural represent a Tuskegee airman; Dr. J. Edwin Fassett; Nurse Maxine Magee, one of the first African-American public health nurses in the country; and Ella Fitzgerald, one of many popular African-American musicians who performed on Pine Street.

Getting there: Near the corner of Maryland Avenue and Route 50 in Cambridge, MD 21613

Ode to Watermen Mural

This mural honoring local watermen graces the outside of the Dorchester County Visitor Center facing the Choptank River. The 33-foot by 11-foot mural, which shows three watermen harvesting oysters, is visible from the Malkus Bridge for people driving into Cambridge.

Getting there: Dorchester County Visitor Center, 2 Rose Hill Place, Cambridge, MD 21613

East New Market Murals

Photo courtesy of the Dorchester Tourism

Photo courtesy of the Dorchester Tourism

Historic East New Market is home to two murals across the street from each other at the small town’s main intersection. One is on the Mason building; the other is on the municipal building. Both murals capture a sense of the business and commerce of the area. One shows trading between Native Americans and settlers; the other shows a train, a nod to the important role railroading played in this area.

Getting there: Main Street (Route 16) and Railroad Avenue (Route 14), East New Market, MD 21631

Native American Life Mural

Courtesy of the Dorchester Tourism

The mural offers a timeline of local history, beginning with Native American culture and continuing through the time of colonial settlers. Located along the banks of the Nanticoke River in Vienna, a town established more than 300 years ago on the banks of the Nanticoke River.

Getting there: Murphy Community Hall, 104 Race St., Vienna, MD 21869

Jimmy & Sooks Raw Bar and Grill

While you’re in Cambridge, if you get a chance, pop into Jimmie & Sooks for one of the restaurant’s delicious crab dishes. All along the main wall in the dining room is an interesting water scene mural.

Jimmie & Sook’s Raw Bar and Grill in downtown Cambridge commissioned the mural from folk artist Danny Doughty, when he lived in Cambridge, to fill the entire wall of its main dining room with a vibrant celebration of the water, boats, sea creatures, and more. With a name like that, the restaurant would have to specialize in crab. Try the Mango and Avocado Crab Salad, the Crab Fries, the Crab Mac and Cheese, or the classic Crab Cakes.

Hours: Sunday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Friday, Saturday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; bar open later
Getting there: 527 Poplar St, Cambridge, MD 21613

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3 Replies to “Murals of Chesapeake Country”

  1. What a great collection of beautiful murals!

  2. Thank you for doing this, I love the murals, and much appreciate the advertising! Adding a small map might be useful?

  3. What a great suggestion! Done!

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