"Port Tobacco - Amazing historic village!" Port Tobacco by Ewingjr98

Port Tobacco Travel Guide: 13 reviews and 54 photos

Port Tobacco was once the second largest town in all of Maryland. It had 60-70 homes, three hotels, and numerous other businesses such as a blacksmith shop.

Later, the river filled with silt and became impassable, then the railroad was routed around this historic village. The county seat moved to La Plata and the town began to die.

Today just a few relics remain from this once-bustling town such as the Chimney House and the Catslip House. The courthouse was rebuilt and is now a museum, and archeological digs continue around town to discover the remainder some of the lost history.

The Maryland Historic Trust has a good summary of the town's history and significance.

Lafayette Baker, the spymaster who killed John Wilkes Booth following the assassination of President Lincoln, said this about Port Tobacco in his memoirs: “If any place in the world is utterly given over to depravity, it is Port Tobacco. Life there reminds me, in connection with the slimy river and the adjacent swamps, of the great reptile period of the world, when iguanodons and pterodactyls, and plesiosauri ate each other.”

This area and its individual sites can be difficult to find, so I created a Google Map showing the exact location of each of the sites I discussed in my tips. Click here to view the map and get directions to any of the sites!

  • Intro Updated Nov 22, 2012
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Reviews (13)

Comments (10)

  • Usctwin's Profile Photo
    Jun 2, 2014 at 8:45 AM

    Hey cool map idea, going to show to our tech team!

    • Ewingjr98's Profile Photo
      Jun 2, 2014 at 3:18 PM

      Thanks! A mapping tool is a huge need for VT. My example here is not an elegant solution, but might give some ideas. My favorite thing about Yelp is the ability to pull up tips in my vicinity using my device's GPS or to search within a map area; VT could use a similar tool. ~JR

  • glabah's Profile Photo
    Jan 13, 2014 at 8:49 PM

    Lots of nice work to create that custom map. I wish they were tied in a bit better so that this would happen automatically rather than the effort you had to put in to your page.

  • starship's Profile Photo
    Sep 4, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    Excellent page! Love all the history you've been able to see and share with us here on VT!!

  • irish2smiles's Profile Photo
    Mar 4, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    Enjoyed my time here. Always learning something new. Google maps is a wonderful tool. Thanks for your new approach & tips on such wonderful places.

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Jan 14, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    Interesting page on quite a historic area!

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Aug 18, 2010 at 10:22 AM

    You have good innovations I must say... Long live VT! ><><><

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Oct 30, 2009 at 1:40 PM

    These are real surreal beauty for the area. Well presented and documented for the history. The map concept you have is good references

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
    Oct 28, 2009 at 5:40 AM

    Interesting page. We had a dig here in RI at Spring Green Farm..home of the Browns of Ivy League Brown Univ.-fascinating. Your "chimney hse" surprises me. We didn't have "end" chmnys til almost 1800. Links to maps... WOW! Lots of work!

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jul 17, 2009 at 8:56 AM

    Fascinating tips on this (nearly) ghost town. I never knew (or had forgotten) that there was a President of the United States of America under the Articles of Confederation before the adoption of the US Constitution & the presidency of George Washington.

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Jul 1, 2009 at 10:01 PM

    Beautiful tips and some wonderful information. Thanks for stopping by so many of my pages. Much appreciated. I use the google maps a lot myself. It helps to narrow down the right location. Thanks!


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