On March 7, 1896, all rights for a railway and the development of Chesapeake Beach were approved and granted by the State of Maryland. Both North Beach and Chesapeake Beach were developed as resort towns due to the railway.
For those who might not know the history of the Chesapeake Beach Railway, a little background is shared. The Chesapeake Beach Railway (CBR) was an American railroad of Southern Maryland and Washington, DC built in the 19th century. The CBR ran 27.629 miles from Washington, D.C. on tracks formerly owned by the Southern Maryland Railroad and then on its own single track through Maryland farm country to a resort at Chesapeake Beach. It was built by Otto Mears, a Colorado railroad builder, who planned a shoreline resort with railroad service from Washington and Baltimore. It served Washington and Chesapeake Beach for almost 35 years, but the Great Depression and the rise of the automobile marked the end of the CBR. The last train left the station on April 15, 1935.
The Maryland Historical Trust and the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority awarded two grants to Calvert County Government for the purpose of partial stabilization and restoration of the Delores, the only known remaining original parlor car from the Chesapeake Beach Railway. The Delores is part of Chesapeake Beach’s heritage and history, commemorating the official grand opening of the Chesapeake Beach Railway and resort on June 9, 1900.
The Friends of the Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum was established on June 12, 1997 and are celebrating their 20th anniversary. The Calvert Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) recognized two of the founding members, Bernard Loveless and Mildred Finlon. Their devotion established the Chesapeake railway Museum and the restoration of the Delores as an enduring legacy to Chesapeake Beach and Calvert County.
The BOCC joined the community in conveying sincere gratitude for the Delores’ historical impact and her continued presence as a resource for everyone to visit and enjoy. They formally dedicated the Delores as The Loveless and Finlon Education Center.
Please visit the Railway Museum and see the Delores. For more information, please visit http://www.cbrm.org/.
Margit Miller / Calvert Beacon