"Crab Capitol" Crisfield by grandmaR

Crisfield Travel Guide: 48 reviews and 179 photos

Crisfield is a tiny village of less than 2800 people on the Delmarva peninsula.
Latitude: 37.983N
Longitude: -75.854W

Crisfield calls itself the crab capitol. It is the town that is the fartherest south in Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay before you get to Virginia. Because of the diminishing seafood catches in the Chesapeake, Crisfield has been somewhat of a ghost town, and it is in the process of reinventing itself.

The town was originally called Somer's Cove after one of two settlers in the area. They started out as farmers, but soon became watermen. The harbor and marina are still called Somers Cove.

Then a businessman named Crisfield got the railroad extended as far as Somer's Cove so that their product could be shipped quickly. Billions of oyster shells were used in the foundations for local roads, buildings and railroads. That's because of the low lying marshy land. Some places in Louisiana use oyster shells in a similar fashion.

Some stories go that the town was renamed in honor of Crisfield to appease him when he fell through a rotten pier.

Community festivals include:
ยท National Hard Crab Derby & Fair - Aug. 29-31, 2003 (including crab races) (Event dates often change. Check ahead.)

Nearby parks and recreation: (pictured)
* Pocomoke Sound Wildlife Management Area
* Janes Island State Park
* Cedar Island Wildlife Management Area


Another claim to fame that Crisfield has is that it was the home of the Ward Brothers who made fantastically realistic decoys. Their workshop can be visited from the J. Millard Tawes Historical Museum. J. Millard Tawes was governor of Maryland. He also has a Coast Guard boat named for him. The Tawes family was and is very prominent in Crisfield.

Another Crisfield son who is buried here is Curley Byrd, famous or infamous President of the University of Maryland from the mid 30s to to 50s. Another well-known resident was Wesley Nelson, founder of Del Monte.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Plenty of seafood, and easy to get around
  • Cons:Touristy
  • In a nutshell:Seafood and Schlock
  • Last visit to Crisfield: Jul 2003
  • Intro Updated Oct 5, 2015
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Reviews (51)

Comments (7)

  • Jan 11, 2010 at 3:01 PM

    "No ambience or decor." ???? Seriously? Gordon's is authentic and real. Real people - watermen, primarily - eating real food - try scrapple sandwich - having real conversation. Sorry it lacked the appeal of Applebee's or Chili's.

  • Oct 23, 2008 at 10:38 AM

    Charlie Adams started selling the local newspaper, The Crisfield Times, as a young boy and continued for over 60 years until his recent retirement. Every Wednesday, residents looked for Charlie on this corner to pick up the news of the week.

  • mvtouring's Profile Photo
    Mar 8, 2007 at 9:26 PM

    Get your point, not a shoppers paradise this little place. ;-)

  • Oct 23, 2006 at 1:48 AM

    Some places on your page have since closed. You should back to town, a lot has changed in the last few years.

  • littlesam1's Profile Photo
    Mar 17, 2004 at 6:17 AM

    Great page on Crisfield. I never realized that Governor Tawes was from Crisfield. Always good to learn something new every day.

  • b1bob's Profile Photo
    Aug 4, 2003 at 8:38 AM

    Nice commentary on a sleepy waterside town.

  • Jul 7, 2003 at 6:02 AM

    Excellant presentation..beautiful phtographs..nice tips and useful information..Highly useful to a traveller..


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