St. Michaels: The Town that Fooled the British

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Photos and text by Algerina Perna

Among the many towns on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, St. Michaels occupies a unique place in history. Legend says that during the War of 1812, the blackout of St. Michaels and the raising of lanterns in the trees outside the town caused the British to overshoot the town. A St. Michaels sign displayed along Route 33 greets visitors with the proclamation, “The Town that Fooled the British.”

The town was named in 1677 for The Christ Episcopal Church of St. Michael Archangel parish. It’s economy has shifted over the years from a trading post for tobacco farmers and trappers, to shipbuilding and seafood processing, to tourism.

The hamlet of about 1,050 residents has much to offer visitors. The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum provides interactive displays about the history, environment and people of the Chesapeake Bay. Picturesque views can be seen from the top of the Hooper Strait Lighthouse.

After sampling beverages at the local winery, brewery or distillery, tourists can enjoy the region’s signature fare of crabs and oysters at restaurants overlooking St. Michaels’ coastline. Whether from land or boat, St. Michaels provides a place to relax, unwind and savor both the man-made and natural beauty of this Eastern Shore gem.