Captain Avery Museum

Captain Avery Museum

Like a number of other fishermen from the northeastern states, Captain Salem Avery was drawn to the Chesapeake Bay in the mid-19th century by reports of the abundant fisheries. The Long Island fisherman built what is now known as the Captain Salem Avery House around 1860 on the banks of the West River in Shady Side, Maryland. The building was purchased by the Shady Side Rural Heritage Society in 1989 and has been restored to its 1860 appearance for use as a waterman's museum.

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Museum open Sundays 1 PM to 4 PM, April through November or by appointment. Library open on Mondays 12 PM to 3 PM. Grounds open dusk to dawn.

(Note: Many places fill to capacity on busy, nice weather days, especially holiday weekends. Please call ahead or visit the official website to get the most up-to-date information before visiting.)




The Museum includes a collection of boats and watermen's equipment, a diorama depicting the peninsula during the 1860's, and exhibits on the history of watermen, as well as trade and transportation, on the Chesapeake. Take a docent led tour to learn more about the rich history of the Chesapeake and Anne Arundel County.

Access the Museum by boat, skiff, kayak or canoe. There is a mooring available for boats and skiffs with a shallow draft. There is also a low dock for canoes, kayaks or dinghy.

The Shady Side Rural Heritage Society maintains a series of cultural, natural, historical, and recreational programs. Please call the Society for more information on these events.


Museum, boat shed and boats, and outdoor exhibits.


The museum is handicapped accessible.


Leashed dogs welcome.

Main image: Captain Avery Museum
Captain John Smith Trail