"Watermen and their Wives" Tangier Island by grandmaR

Tangier Island Travel Guide: 94 reviews and 253 photos

Red sign out front says "This crab shanty supplies Fresh Seafood to the Fisherman's Corner Restaurant".


Tangier Island was visited in 1608 by Captain John Smith, who gave it the name. A part of the island was patented by Ambrose White in 1670. It was settled in 1686 by John Crockett and his son's families.

In 1814, it was the headquarters of a British Fleet ravaging the Chesapeake Bay. From here the fleet sail to attack Fort McHenry. The Rev. Joshua Thomas in a prayer correctly predicted the failure of the expedition (which was true and resulted in the words to the Star Spangled Banner being written).

Local Customs

Tangier Island has mostly been isolated from the mainland for many years and the men have made their living from the water. Now, most of their business is crabbing, particularly soft crabs.

There is a mail boat that comes each day from Crisfield, and there are now tourists that come on ferries from Crisfield, Reedville and Onancock in the summer and hunters that come in the fall and winter. In the summer people come on their own boats, and some come in their own planes. The island women do a considerable business housing and feeding the tourists.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Quiet Vacation
  • Cons:Limited Opportunities
  • In a nutshell:Fishing Crabbing and Tourists
  • Last visit to Tangier Island: Aug 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (57)

Comments (6)

  • Oct 10, 2006 at 12:50 PM

    The orange cat's name is Otis in front of the Blue Crab Restaurant that no longer exists.

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Aug 19, 2006 at 8:37 AM

    What a great place to visit. I love these types of vacation spots to travel too. Great tips and photographs, thanks for sharing!

  • calcaf38's Profile Photo
    Aug 1, 2005 at 9:24 AM

    Hi Grandma: You sure found the cutest cats on Tangier Island. When we were there last summer, we saw a lot of borderline scary cats, matted, possibly mutated. Loved your page!

  • janiac's Profile Photo
    Mar 21, 2005 at 7:41 PM

    This is a day trip for me I hope to do someday soon. Thanks for your great page

  • lichinga's Profile Photo
    Oct 10, 2004 at 7:45 AM

    Very interesting description of how crabs get ready (poor them!)

  • mrclay2000's Profile Photo
    Oct 10, 2004 at 7:19 AM

    Interesting page with its assocations and recollections of Baltimore, New Orleans and the British of 1812. Lots of typing left to do though. Neat pictures.


“"..an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered." G.K. Chesterton”

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