A view of Oxford, MD from above

Oxford is a quiet town on the shores of the Tred Avon River and Town Creek that has worn many hats since it was founded in the late 1600’s.  Steeped in a rich industrial maritime history, Oxford is now a quaint village as well as tourist and boaters destination that caters to those who want to slow things down and enjoy the serenity of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. With several boatyards dotted throughout town, including Hinckley, Oxford holds onto some of the maritime industrialization from which it began.

Historic homes line the streets and a lone country store and post office offer a place for locals and visitors alike to gossip and catch up on “local happenings.”  There are several waterfront restaurants to visit by boat and historic Inns and B&B’s where visitors can stay to enjoy this charming little town.

History of Oxford

Oxford is one of the oldest towns in Maryland, the year 1683 marks its official founding, first named by the Maryland General Assembly as a seaport and was laid out as a town. In 1694, Oxford and a new town called Anne Arundel (now Annapolis) were selected the only ports of entry for the entire Maryland province. Until the American Revolution, Oxford enjoyed prominence as an international shipping center surrounded by wealthy tobacco plantations. The American Revolution marked the end of Oxford’s glory. Gone were the British ships with their variety of imported goods, and tobacco was replaced by wheat as a cash crop. Businesses went bankrupt, cattle grazed in the streets, and the population dwindled.

After the Civil War, Oxford emerged from its “long slumber”to nearly 100 years of a new prosperity signaled by completion of the railroad in 1871 and improved methods of canning and packing which opened national markets for oysters from the Chesapeake’s bountiful beds. Business was booming, houses were going up everywhere, and tourists and boaters were arriving in droves. But it was not to last. In the early part of the 20th century, the oyster beds played out, the packing houses closed, other businesses went bankrupt, and the railway and steamships eventually disappeared. Oxford became a sleepy little town inhabited mainly by watermen who still worked the waters of the Tred Avon River.

Relax and watch the Friday night races in Oxford.

Living in Oxford

Living in Oxford is much like living in a storybook! The charming, tree-lined village has a population of less than 1,000 people. It is the oldest town in Talbot county, making it the best place to find a historic home. There are a few restaurants, a small grocery store and an ice cream shop that will forever change your relationship with the cool dessert. Apart from these few businesses, Oxford is built for privacy.

Although just a 12 minute drive to Easton, there are plenty of things to do around town. There are a few shipyards for people who love boating, a small beach called “the Strand” by locals, a small farmers market, quality restaurants for the discriminating palate, an active yacht club boasting regular boat races and regattas, a gorgeous waterside park perfect for picnics and sunny afternoons and the Oxford-Bellvue Ferry to carry you across the Tred Avon River. Believed to be the nation’s oldest privately operated car ferry service, the ride is just 7-10 minutes making a jaunt to St. Michaels and the Bay Hundred Region quick and easy by car, foot or bicycle.  Oxford has built a reputation for being a low key, quiet town with that does not want to share its secrets with the rest of the world.  This is a great place to raise a family, retire or own a weekend retreat!


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