32. Denton Steamboat Wharf

Once Thriving Port

During the 1850s, steamboats loaded with freight and passengers made weekly departures from Denton to Baltimore. Enslaved African-Americans worked in shipyards here on the Choptank River. When Underground Railroad conductor Hugh Hazlett was arrested for assisting enslaved people to flee, he boarded a steamboat here in 1858 on his way to trial in Cambridge, downriver, where he faced possible mob violence.

The Choptank River played a role in the history of slavery as much as any plantation field. At this point it was still wide and deep enough to serve as a barrier to escape for freedom seekers. Imagine the challenges they faced in trying to ford or cross waterways or hide away on vessels. Denton boasted not only an active port, but also a ferry crossing, and the Eastern Shore’s first moveable bridge structure spanned the Choptank here in 1811.

The Denton Steamboat Wharf also houses the Caroline County Office of Tourism.

For more information, visit www.tourcaroline.com or call 410-479-0655.



10219 River Landing Road
Denton, MD 21629

GPS Coordinates: 38.888378,-75.839597

Practical info
  • Tourism office
  • Maps
  • Exhibits
  • Picnic area on deck overlooking river
  • Canoe/kayak launch
  • Adkins Arboretum

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