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Cape Charles sits on the Chesapeake Bay near the southern tip of the Eastern Shore. The Town was established in 1884 when the New York, Philadelphia and Norfolk Railroad extended its line south through the Delmarva peninsula. Cape Charles was built as the railroad's southern terminus from which steamships carried passengers and freight across the Bay to Norfolk. Incorporated in 1886, the town later became the headquarters for the Norfolk Division of the Pennsylvania Railroad.
With most of its structures built between 1885 and 1920, Cape Charles has one of the largest concentrations of late-Victorian and turn-of-the-century buildings on the East Coast. In 1991, the Cape Charles Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, Cape Charles retains its railroad heritage as headquarters for the Eastern Shore Railroad, one of the largest shortline railroads in the United States and the only with a rail-barge ferry link to Norfolk across Bay. Visitors come to Cape Charles to experience its history and architecture, Chesapeake Bay beach, and growing number of Bed and Breakfasts.