From the Vault: 175th Anniversary of the Old Bay Line

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On March 18, 1840, a bill passed the House incorporating the Baltimore Steam Packet Company, nicknamed the Old Bay Line. The steamboat line provided services on the Chesapeake Bay, primarily between Baltimore and Norfolk, Va. When it closed in 1962 after 122 years of existence, it was the last surviving overnight steamship passenger service in the United States.

Other cities serviced by the line were Washington, D.C., Old Point Comfort, and Richmond, Va. One of the Old Bay Line’s steamers, the former President Warfield, later became famous as the Exodus ship of book and movie fame, when Jewish refugees from war-torn Europe sailed aboard her in 1947 in an unsuccessful attempt to emigrate to Palestine.