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About Crisfield

The City of Crisfield, incorporated in 1872, is the southernmost city in the state of Maryland and has a long history.

Crisfield is located on the Chesapeake Bay, off Tangier Sound, near the mouth of the Annemessex River, and the bordered to the south by the Pocomoke River. It was founded in 1666 by Benjamin Summers, and originally known as Annemessex with the cove bordering Benjamin Summers' land was known as Somers Cove. Gradually the name of the village was changed to Somers Cove. This came about because boat captains and crews consistently referred to the area by the small cove which afforded them protection from the weather in the Chesapeake and was a fine docking place.

In 1854, a Coast and Geodetic survey of the Chesapeake Bay discovered a large number of oyster beds in Tangier Sound adjacent to Somers Cove. John W. Crisfield recognized the importance of this natural resource and pushed the Eastern Shore Railroad from Salisbury to Crisfield. With the advent of the railroad the products of the Chesapeake Bay could move from the Eastern Shore to the lucrative markets of the northeast. In recognition of his contributions to the city, the town fathers changed the name of the city from Somers Cove to Crisfield.

For many years, Crisfield was the leading oyster producing city in the entire United States. The export of this tasty Chesapeake bivalve produced an economic boom in the area and Crisfield rose in prominence throughout the region. By 1904 the City of Crisfield was the second largest city in the State of Maryland (first being Baltimore) and one of the finest seaports in the country. It quickly became known as the "Seafood Capital of the World." The seafood industry, combined with the ability to export seafood and agricultural produce via the railroad drew residents from as far away as New England and the Midwest.

Today, Crisfield resembles the small fishing village it started out as in many ways. The watermen still ply these waters in search of the bounty of the bay.

Home to the Crisfield/Somerset County Airport
and the Somers Cove Marina.

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