Calvert County, on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, is one of the smallest counties in the state. Peninsular in shape, the county is bounded to the north by Anne Arundel County, the east by the Chesapeake bay, the south and southwest by the Patuxent River and St. Mary's County, and the west by Prince George's County. Calvert County, one of the original counties of the province, was established by an Order in Council of 1654 and was known as Patuxent County until 1658. Its name is derived from the Proprietary.
Although it is the smallest county, Calvert County has 165 miles of shoreline. Thus, the county's history and economic development have been shaped by its close proximity to the Chesapeake Bay and Patuxent River. The county is home to the Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant, which provides electricity for part of the state, and the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, where experts study the marine life of the Bay area and its problems, such as water pollution.
Calvert County was the home of Joseph Kent, governor of Maryland from 1826 to 1829, Mason Locke Weems, the first biographer of George Washington, and two American first ladies, Louisa Johnson Adams, wife of President John Quincy Adams, and Margaret Mackall Smith Taylor, wife of President Zachary Taylor. The county was also the birthplace of Thomas Johnson, first governor of Maryland, and Roger Brooke Taney, attorney general of Maryland and the United States and chief justice of the U. S. Supreme Court.
Some of the oldest houses in the state stand in Calvert County. Graham House, Huntingfields, Islington, and Rousby Hall are but a few of the historic houses found in the county.
On the Chesapeake Beach boardwalk, concession stands offered extravagant prizes, such as this booth, offering a chance to win silk stockings.
Calvert County is a peninsula that was isolated for many years because it lacked a bridge across the Patuxent River to connect it with its neighbors. Drum Point Lighthouse signaled the mouth of the river where it joins with the Chesapeake Bay.
Chesapeake Beach opened as a bay side resort in 1900 with visitors arriving both by railroad and steamboat. The mile long boardwalk was lined with refreshment stands and concessions, and the Amusement park featured a roller coaster that extended out over the water.
Prince Frederick, now the quiet seat of government for Calvert County, was twice the scene of great excitement -- the British attacked in 1814, and the town was totally destroyed by fire in 1882. Things had calmed down considerably when this scene was photographed c. 1910.
Solomons Island is at the southern end of Calvert County. It has long been a popular sport fishing community. The Harbor on the Patuxent River is two miles wide and 150 feet deep.