Smith Island Center is a small museum in the tiny community of Ewell on one of only three Chesapeake Bay islands still occupied by working watermen and their families. At Island residents' busiest time--the crabbing season--the Center provides a spot for increasing numbers of visitors to learn about the Island, its history, economic and social life. The center includes permanent exhibits and a 20 minute film on: the history of the Island, working on the water, the interaction of people and the Chesapeake Bay, the role of women in Island life and the distinctive speech patterns which have developed on the Island.
Ferries depart for Smith Island from Crisfield, Maryland and Point Lookout in Southern Maryland. The cruise boats provide always provide round-trip service from the mainland from late spring through early fall. The three passenger ferries operate year-round, and make at least one daily round-trip from Smith Island to Crisfield. A second afternoon boat from the Island to Crisfield is usually available during warm weather months.
The Center is open daily May through October from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM.
(Note: Many places fill to capacity on busy, nice weather days, especially holiday weekends. Please call ahead or visit the official website to get the most up-to-date information before visiting.)
The Center charges a small fee for the museum.
(Note: Fees are subject to change at anytime and might not be up to date. Please call ahead or visit the official website to get the most up-to-date fee information before visiting.)
The center has exhibits and features a 20 minute film: Land and Water, People and Time. A marsh boardwalk is adjacent to the center.
There are other Chesapeake Bay Gateways located near each of the points from which passenger ferries depart for Smith Island, including: Janes Island State Park in Crisfield, Point Lookout State Park on the western shore, and the Reedville Fishermen's Museum in Reedville, Virginia. Visit one of these sites to experience more of the Chesapeake Bay.
The 3000 square foot center building includes a small museum, special exhibits, gift shop, tourist information, restrooms, and a shaded porch.
The center is handicapped-accessible; the accessible entrance is from a boardwalk which traverses the adjacent marsh.