This is inspired by Preston Bryant's fond memories of taking the steamboat from Baltimore to Seaside Park with his family in the 1930s.
Every summer my family takes the steamboat to Seaside Park in Chesapeake Beach. It’s the best part of the summer vacation. My dad likes to be early to claim his favorite spot on the second deck near the stern. Dad and Mom, sister and me, my Aunt Jenny and her daughter Virginia Lee, and other aunts, uncles and cousins are all going. Everyone brings a picnic basket, so there’s lots of food. My favorite is deviled eggs and red plums and my mom’s chocolate cake. During the trip I like to watch the engine from the upper room where you can see everything and smell the steam and hot oil.
When the steamboat docks at Seaside Park, we ride a little train to the beach. The pier is about a half a mile long because it’s too shallow for the boat closer to shore. After spending all day fishing and swimming and riding the rides, the steamer blows the whistle when it’s time to go. Lots of people catch crabs off the pier. There’s a fellow at the end who steams them so folks can eat crabs on the way back up the bay. Leaving the park behind, I’m already looking forward to next year.