I am proud to live on the Delmarva Peninsula in Chestertown, a small town on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. I also publish a Web site dedicated to the region, ShoreToBeFun.com. Beginning with this post on each 1st Saturday I will be posting something about the region.
The Delmarva Peninsula occupies portions of three states. It’s named is formed from letters from Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.
The peninsula has a land area of nearly 6,000 square miles. There are 2000 miles of coastline for the Chesapeake Bay, 381 miles for the Delaware Bay and 150 miles coastline on the Atlantic Ocean. The highest elevation is 400 feet with most of the peninsula being at 35 feet above sea level.
Nine of Maryland’s 23 counties are located on the Delmarva Peninsula. These being the counties of Kent, Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Caroline, Dorchester, Wicomico, Somerset, Worcester and a portion of Cecil County. The Virginia counties of Accomack and Northampton and the Delaware Counties of Kent, Sussex and a portion of New Castle County makes up the rest.
For the first 150 years of the English settlement the peninsula colonial borders were questioned. Maryland felt that the entire peninsula north of the Potomac parallel should be part of the Maryland Colony. The borders between Maryland and Delaware were finally established by the Surveyors Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon in 1767.
The term Delmarva appears to have been first used in a commercial application. It’s documented that there was a Delmarva Heat, Light, and Refrigerating Corp. of Chincoteague, Virginia in existence in 1913. Calling the region Delmarva didn’t seem to happen until after the turn of the 20th century and perhaps as late as the 1920’s.
A major part of the Delmarva Peninsula’s economy is through agriculture, aquaculture, sports hunting and fishing, and tourism.