The Annapolis Maritime Museum & Park offers virtual exhibits through the generous support of the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County.

Working Women in Local Maritime Industries

Eastport, a neighborhood of Annapolis, was a working-class village and best known as home for local watermen of the Chesapeake Bay. For hundreds of years, these watermen tonged for oysters, crabbed, and made their living from the waters of the Chesapeake. Small, local businesses thrived on the bounty of resources the Bay provided and helped to build the Eastport community that we know today. These small businesses employed a diverse workforce, a reflection of the community.

McNasby’s Oyster Company: An Eastport Landmark

Founded in 1886 by William McNasby Sr., the McNasby Oyster Company began as a single storefront on Compromise Street. The business continued to grow until it became necessary to expand to a packing plant on 723 Second Street in the community of Eastport, the same historic structure where the Annapolis Maritime Museum stands today. The McNasby Oyster Co. left a lasting impression upon Eastport, and a legacy that the Annapolis Maritime Museum continues to uphold in telling the stories of the local watermen. View the bibliography for “McNasby’s Oyster Company: An Eastport Landmark”.

Dynamically Different: The Owens Yacht Company

Discover how the Owens Yacht Company, one of the first family owned and operated boat building companies in Annapolis, grew into an empire and then eventually disappeared. Learn about the family’s story, as well as the story of some of their most valuable employees while admiring the craftsmanship of the boats that they built. View the bibliography for “Dynamically Different: The Owens Yacht Company”.

Arnie Gay: The Father of Annapolis’ Modern Sailing Industry

Discover how Arnie Gay, a hardworking dedicated sailor, transformed the Annapolis waterfront into the Sailing Capital of America. Follow Arnie’s story from sailing into Annapolis harbor aboard Delilah through his work with the Annapolis Yacht Club and the many changes Gay inspired in our modern waterfront.

Crab Pots, Eel Spears, and Fish Nets: Seasonal Changes in Watermen’s Work

Discover how watermen’s work reflects the biological seasonality of the various species native to the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. Many commercial fishermen in Annapolis and the traditional watermen’s neighborhood of Eastport found additional work at local boatyards, at nearby farms, or in other lines of work with odd jobs. View the bibliography for “Crab Pots, Eel Spears, and Fish Nets: Seasonal Changes in Watermen’s Work”.