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Julia Simons

Julia Simons

Data Specialist, Maryland Food System Map Project

Center for a Livable Future

Oyster Town: 1800 to Now

Gibbs Packing Co. Cannery, 1883, in Cannery Row (Baltimore)

Marylanders rejoice! Oyster harvesting season begins on October 1, and the upcoming months will have numerous restaurants featuring fresh, local oysters on their menus. Whether you like oyster stew, Oysters Rockefeller, fried oysters, or plain old oysters on the half shell, make sure to enjoy the bounty of the upcoming season.

Maryland has had a long, rich history of harvesting its Chesapeake Bay oysters, with Baltimore at the center of oyster processing in the Chesapeake Bay region. In fact, the word “Chesapeake” comes from the Algonquin word “Chesipiook,” which translates to “Great Shellfish Bay.” There’s a wealth of information about Baltimore’s oyster processing history, along with other food industries like brewing, sugar, meat processing, and coffee, at the Center’s recently developed Baltimore Food History Map. Read More >