For over 15 years, the Bayside History Museum in North Beach has been upholding its mission to guide its visitors to understand how the Chesapeake Bay shaped the culture of coastal communities in Maryland. Having relocated the museum to a new building on 4th Street a few years ago, it’s Founder and President, Grace Mary Brady, a member of the North Beach Historic Preservation Commission, has been regularly curating fascinating exhibits to educate citizens on the history of the Bay and its communities.
For those who come to the Twin Beaches to experience and learn about aquatic life in the Bay, the museum offers several paleontology and archaeology displays, including a prehistoric dolphin skull on loan from the Calvert Marine Museum. Horseshoe crab shells, sharks’ teeth, and beach glass in a kaleidoscope of different colors fill the museum’s introductory exhibits.
When asked which part of the museum guests enjoyed most, Grace motioned to the adjoining room, which boasts an impressive re-creation of the Merry-Go-Round which used to be part of the Chesapeake Beach Amusement Park which ran from 1946-1972. Intricately painted carousel horses accompany a tiger carved by Nick Flagg, comprising 86 separate pieces of wood. Guests appreciate the detailed text displays and a movie containing historic footage of the Amusement Park back in its glory days.
Antique juke boxes, functioning slot machines, and various displays of restaurant memorabilia on the lower floor used to belong to long-gone local hangouts like Uncle Billie’s and Stinnett’s. Guests who visit the Beaches for the resort atmosphere would enjoy checking out these classic pieces.
The second floor holds perhaps the most unexpected exhibit in the museum: Camp Roosevelt, which was the first permanent Boy Scout camp in America. Dozens of patches, uniforms, photographs, and text displays tell the story of this historic camp, which operated from 1914 to 1967. Adjacent to this display are five large storyboards, depicting how the history of the War of 1812 intersects with that of the Chesapeake Bay. Around the corner, visitors will discover the newest addition to the museum—a display detailing the story of John Smith and the role of the Chesapeake Bay.
Whether you visit North Beach because you enjoy nature and collecting fossils, or you are fascinated by small town history, or the laidback resort town energy appeals to you, something is bound to captivate your interest at the Bayside History Museum.
Please enjoy the photo gallery below.
Emma Danielson / Calvert Beacon Intern