The South River runs West, the West River runs South

This trip brought me to the village of Galesville, one of two village on the West River about 10 miles south of Annapolis. There are a couple small rivers below Annapolis, MD the South River, which runs west from the bay and south of that the West River, which runs mainly south off the bay. Got that straight? South is west and West is south. I’m focusing my travels to small towns and villages, mainly in the mid-Atlantic states, looking for really small, tiny towns in out-of-the-way places.

All along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay one can find small villages on the rivers and creeks. One that I saw many times in my younger days is Galesville. My father’s passion was sailing so after a day’s cruise, when my brother and sisters were not busy on the boat we’d row ashore and explore. If it was a Sunday morning we’d row ashore and walk about half a mile to attend Mass said by a priest that rode “the circuit” from one village to the next. Not many Marylanders know about Galesville. Most of them that do approach this small town on the West River by boat.

Arriving from the Chesapeake this is the first view of Galesville

Here’s a bit of history I found when searching for a Geocache. yes I found the cache on this trip.

Nestled between Tenthouse and Lerch Creeks on the north and south, and Route 468 and the West River on the west and east, Galesville has always held a special place for those who have visited here. Galesville is a village which encompasses not only residential but commercial, recreational and industrial areas. Some of the businesses are still run by descendents of the founders — Hartge Yacht Yard, Hardesty Funeral Home, Smith Brothers Pile Driving, and Purner Well Drilling. Watermen and farmers have long populated the small village of Galesville and we welcome you to our home on the West River.

I didn’t know how to get to it by road for most of my life, I’d sailed into it with my parents on their Kings Cruiser. and here My dad’s boat had “US 45” on the mainsail. We would anchor in the West River then row the dinghy ashore to a fantastic restaurant, well anytime we went ashore to eat it seemed better than the food cooked over a 2-burner Primus stove on the boat. Today that restaurant is the Pirates Cove Restaurant. I’ll admit that I haven’t eaten there since the late ’50s.

Today I mainly go to Galesville launch my kayak for a paddle up the West River or across to Shady Side. Or I bicycle to Galesville with the Annapolis Bicycle Club. Most of those rides had one destination, a General Store for fresh Cranberry Muffins right out of the oven, but that store has closed, now it’s a Real Estate office. It was the only source of groceries for miles. I remember the charm of the Potbelly stove with the Barber Chair in the back where people would gather to eat, and the lever operated Coke machine. I wish I had some photos of it, but alas the easy to use digital camera hadn’t been popularized yet.

What follows is a few photos from a Photo Walk on a recent trip to Galesville.

Boats waiting high and dry for next season

Stuff in the boatyard, these are the stands that boats will rest on while ashore

“I wish I was out there”

Waiting for the crews to row out to sailboats moored in the harbor.

Old buildings now used by yacht brokerages.

Pier used by visitors and fisherman.

A nautical themed sculpture in the town park.


The garden in the Galsville Heritage Center

A few old buildings

A shady land on one of the stately mansions (does this one really need a capton)

The Quaker Cemetery at the east end of Galaville.

Where will I end up next time, I’m not sure yet. I normally keep my camera handy, or I’ll take note of an interesting place and head back soon. I have some ideas, if you have a favorite place you think would look good here, let me know in a comment.

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