Sitting on the banks of the West River and overlooking the Chesapeake Bay is the 19th century home and land of Captain Salem Avery. Originally from Long Island, NY, Captain Avery was an established waterman that moved to Maryland in search of the bounty of the Chesapeake Bay. Once here, he met his bride, Lucretia Weedon Andrews. In 1857 they were married and would go on to have nine children together, though two died in infancy. In 1860, in order to utilize the abundant resources of the land and water, they moved into the waterfront home in Shady Side that we know today as the Captain Avery Museum.
In the 1920s a group of Jewish Masons from Washington, D.C. purchased the property. This tight-knit group of families had experienced discrimination that denied their access to public beaches and private clubs. Owning this piece of waterfront property gave them the opportunity to enjoy life on the Chesapeake for several years. Additions were made to the Avery home which provided a meeting room, a kitchen, and places to sleep. The group referred to themselves as the Fishing Club and eventually evolved into a country club called “Our Place”.
The home and property remained in the hands of these families until the 1980’s when it was purchased by the newly formed Shady Side Rural Heritage Society, whose mission was to preserve the history and culture of South Anne Arundel County, MD.
Over the years, a variety of organizations, sponsorships, grants, and donations have helped restore, preserve and grow this space. In 2010, the organization changed its name and is now known as the Captain Avery Museum. It continues to fulfill the aspirations of its founders to provide a variety of educational programming, community and private events, exhibits, resources, and of course, stewardship programs aimed at preserving and improving life on the Chesapeake Bay.
One of the premier community events coming up on Sunday, October 20th, 2019 is the 22nd Annual Oyster Festival. This yearly event was voted Best Community Event of 2018 by readers of the Bay Weekly. Featured at the festival are oysters, of course, served all ways including raw, fried, in a basket or on a roll! There will also be a variety of other food and drink vendors.
Live music will feature the Eastport Oyster Boys, Hat Trix and blues musicians Bob and Eddie. This family-friendly event will include free crafts for kids, oyster education and a host of other activities. Rounding out the festivities is a $5,000 Raffle. Tickets for the raffle will be available before and during the event. You do NOT need to be at the event to win, but you will need to attend if want to have a great afternoon!
The 22nd Annual Oyster Festival takes place Sunday, October 20th, 2019 from 12:30pm-5:00pm.
1418 E. West Shady Side Rd. in Shady Side, Maryland.
Tickets will be available the day of the event, $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12.
More information can be found at CaptainAveryMuseum.org.