Tylerton, MD, population 55, is a secluded little hamlet located on Smith Island in the Chesapeake Bay. The town, which is reachable by a 40-minute ferry ride from Crisfield, MD, is steeped in crabbing tradition. The island provides beautiful vistas contrasted with eroding shorelines peppered with dilapidated crab shanties and boat moorings. Tylerton is a place where it’s spectacular sunrise is equaled by the sunset.
Home to the Smith Island Bakery – famous for the Smith Island layer cake – tourism and crabbing are the island’s primary industry.
For generations island families have made their living off the bounty provided by the local waters. In recent decades, though, many of the island’s younger residents have left to pursue opportunities on the mainland, leaving the island way of life to their elders, which has dwindled the number of locals who crab for a living to a little more than a handful.