Remembering Dorchester, Dec. 3, 2019

Submitted to Dorchester Banner
Aerial view of Slaughter Creek, which separates Taylors Island from the mainland.

The following is an excerpt from an online post by “Taylors Island Maryland.”

Survey of Slaughter Creek dated 1880 to consider dredging:

General survey or examination of Slaughter Creek was directed in the River and Harbor Act of 1870. The necessary field work was done by Assistant John L. Seager and party in October of 1879. The map has since been prepared in the office under his supervision.

Slaughter Creek is a small branch of the Little Choptank River emptying into the latter on the south side at about five miles from its mouth. Its course and that of its continuation, Little Slaughter, are nearly parallel to the shore of the bay, from which they are separated by Taylor’s Island. This is low, like all the country in that section.

The island is for a great part under cultivation most of the products being shipped from Ferry Point which is the head of steamboat navigation on the creek. There is a bridge at this point across Slaughter Creek connecting Taylor’s Island with the main.

The bridge is of wood on piles and is 1,118 feet long. There is a draw in it with a clear width of 26 feet. A steamer makes three trips weekly during the spring, summer and autumn between Baltimore, Slaughter Creek and four or five landings on the Little Choptank.

There is a shipyard just inside the mouth of the creek doing an apparently good business. A three-masted schooner of about 500 tons was being built there in the summer of 1879.

Seven vessels are owned on the creek with an aggregate tonnage of 400. About 50,000 bushels of grain are shipped annually.

The settlement at Ferry Point consists of about one dozen families, two stores and a post office. Some fruit and ship timber are shipped thence.

Besides its mouth into the Little Choptank River, Slaughter Creek is connected with the bay by another opening farther south through what is called Punch’s Island Creek. This creek forms the southern limit of Taylor’s Island.

The estimate submitted contemplates dredging a channel 100 feet wide at such points as may be necessary below the bridge to give a depth of seven feet at mean low water. To do so will require the removal of 29,000 cubic yards of material at a cost of $7,250.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant Wm. P. Craighill, Major of Engineers and Brig Gen. H.G. Wright, Chief of Engineers USA.