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About us

The Steamboat Era Museum opened its doors in 2004. It tells the story of the steamboats and how they altered the lives of those living along or near the Chesapeake Bay.

The steamboats provided an economic lifeline. The cities of Norfolk and, more predominately, Baltimore acted as gateways to the world beyond. The cities provided the markets, the towns provided the goods, and the steamboats provided a means to both.

The era is brought to life with exhibits, models, artifacts, audiovisuals and photos. Here you can step back into time; a romantic time full of adventure, splendor and prosperity.

The Steamboat Era Museum operates a museum shop where books, decor, clothing, gifts and other items related to the museum, the steamboat era and the history of the Chesapeake Bay and its natural environs can be purchased. Purchases can be made onsite or through our online shop.