About Historic Taylors Island Maryland
Taylors Island was one of the first settlements in Dorchester County. John and Thomas Taylor took ownership of about 400 acres on the island in 1662 and called it Taylor's Folly. From the Taylors, that the island derived its name.
This island lies in the western part of Dorchester County. It is bordered on the north by the Little Choptank River, on the east Slaughter Creek, Punch Island Creek on the south, and on the west by the Chesapeake Bay. At one time, Taylors Island was connected on the north to James Island, and on the south to Hoopers Island, by way of Meekins Neck. But severe erosion by the Chesapeake Bay from the west has now eliminated most of James Island and all traces of the road to Hoopers Island. This constant erosion by the bay has reduced the size of Taylors Island by a significant amount since it was first settled. There is good evidence that the Bay has taken from the west side of the island, about 1500 acres in the most recent 100 years due to erosion. It is connected to mainland by a bridge which leads over Slaughter Creek. It is located off of Rte. 16 W about 17 miles from Cambridge, Maryland.
During its early history, Taylors Island was an important center for farming, ship building, and seafood. Over the years, ship building on the island ceased, farming became less important, and only a few still make their living on the water today. However, the beauty of the island has attracted many campers and retirees, as well as those who chose to live there and commute to other areas to work.
Connection with the mainland was originally by ferry, until about 1852 when the residents requested the Maryland Legislature to build a bridge. A wooden bridge was constructed in about 1856. Connection with the mainland remained via a wooden bridge until a new concrete bridge waswas dedicated in 1999. This bridge is still in use today.
Taylors Island still has several well-preserved historical points of interest. Missing are all but one of the four original schools that were replaced by the "new" school in the early 1900's. Also missing are the Harrington fish packing plant that was located on the original bridge to the island, and the Harrington tomato packing plant that was on the south side of the road across from the Taylors Island store.