Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture


            In 1934, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt made an unexpected visit to the Eastern Shore. Roosevelt traveled from Washington aboard the USS Sequoia, landed in Crisfield, and proceeded to tour various architectural wonders. These structures included the colonial homes of Makepeace and Beverly (of Worcester), as well as All Hallows Episcopal Church in Snow Hill.

            Little did the citizens of the Eastern Shore know that the President would return during his second term. Impressed by the historic architecture, rich religious tradition, and amiable locals, Roosevelt decided to make a visit four years later.

            On September 4, 1938, Roosevelt left the White House at 10:30 am and traveled fifty miles south to Morgantown, Maryland for an inspection of a Potomac River bridge site at Laidlow’s Ferry (later known as Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge). After arriving in Morgantown, Roosevelt stopped in a field nearby the bridge site to speak in front of the gathering crowd and to affirm that the bridge “is one of the things that has got to be done as fast as we can possibly do it.” After discussing the architectural plans with State highway engineers and Maryland Governor Harry W. Nice, Roosevelt boarded the USS Potomac and began the overnight journey across the Chesapeake to Crisfield, Maryland.


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Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture
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