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Mount Vernon by Moonlight / remarqued (Paul McGehee)
Mount Vernon by Moonlight / remarqued (Paul McGehee)
Old Chesapeake Beach (Paul McGehee)

"Old Chesapeake Beach" by Paul McGehee depicts the famous Maryland beach of yesteryear as it appeared in 1917. In the late 1800s, plans were made by developers to create a magnificent beach resort on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. In 1894 official charter was given to incorporate the town of Chesapeake Beach, located in southern Maryland less than 30 miles from the Nation's Capital. A railroad mogul named Otto Mears put the town on the map with the creation of the Chesapeake Beach Railroad Company, which had tracks connecting the resort to Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. From the early 1900s until the mid-1930s, Chesapeake Beach was one of the most popular resort destinations for the mid-Atlantic region. A series of connected piers were constructed upon which a Boardwalk was built where multitudes of visitors enjoyed all manner of attractions and amusements overtop of the lapping waters of the Chesapeake. An opulent hotel named the Belvedere was constructed for resort lodging. At the steamboat pier, excursion steamers such as the beautiful side-wheeler "Dreamland" brought in thousands of eager beachgoers from Baltimore. Shooting galleries, a casino, a carousel, theatres, a bandstand and an elaborate "Scenic Railway" ride drew crowds of people. There was even a boardwalk attraction which involved performing bears. And back then people dressed for the beach! It was common to see folks promenading the boards; men dressed in their suits and ties, and the ladies in long dresses carrying colorful parasols. Those who wished to bathe in the surf could visit one of several bathhouses to rent a full-length wool bathing suit! The main amusement attraction to all who visited was a huge roller coaster named "The Great Derby" which was situated overtop of the water within the complex of piers just off of the sandy beach. The wooden coaster ran from the teens until the late 1920s and at the time was one of the largest and fastest on the east coast. Eventually, competition from other beaches (along with the economic ravages of the Great Depression and a major storm or two) took its toll on Chesapeake Beach as it entered a period of decline over the next 40 years. The coaster and the boardwalk piers soon became a fond memory to those who knew the beach in its heyday, and the last of the arcade attractions finally closed down in 1972. In recent years, however, a new resort named The Chesapeake Beach Resort and Spa has been built and is again bringing thousands of vacationers to this beautiful bayside spot. Locals say that sometimes on a moonlit summer's night...when the breeze blows just can still hear the clatter of the old roller coaster and the ghostly whistle of Otto Mears' train! "Old Chesapeake Beach" is faithfully reproduced from Paul's original color pencil drawing as an archival quality print issued in a strictly limited edition of only 2,000 pieces each hand-signed by the artist. Image size 10 1/2" x 19 1/2".

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