Street Address
401 High Street
Cambridge, MD 21613
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 1198
Cambridge, MD 21613
Saturday10 AM - 4 PM
Sunday, Wednesday1 PM - 4 PM
Or by appointment.
Free. Donations welcome.
Museum Type(s)
Gift Shop
Gladys Taylor, Executive Assistant
phone: 410-221-1871


Based in historic Cambridge, the Museum is in the heart of Chesapeake country and captures the unique combination of wood, water and craftsmen that came together here to make the area one of the major centers of wooden shipbuilding on the Bay. Vessels built along these shores changed the course of the nation's military and economic history.

The Museum houses an exquisite collection of Chesapeake Bay ship models, along with artifacts and memorabilia from generations of local boatbuilders and watermen, including James B. "Mr. Jim" Richardson, noted local shipwright who served as James Michener's gateway to the past when researching his famous historical novel, "Chesapeake."

Not content to be simply a repository for the heritage, our goal is "Putting History on the Water" by also building and restoring traditional Chesapeake Bay wooden vessels and keeping the art and skills of that heritage alive.

Designed by local architect Jay Corvan, the RMHC will be a cultural gem for the City of Cambridge, attracting tourists, scholars and craftsmen.

Our Ruark Boatworks facility, on four acres of prime waterfront property on Cambridge Creek is currently active with volunteers restoring wooden boats and conducting educational programs with children to teach them basic boatbuilding skills and traditions. Groups of kids have exciting hands-on experiences of building their own small boats from framing to painting.

This site is also the center of our future plans. The Ruart Boatworks will be expanded to create a Wooden Boat Center of Excellence, and a significant new facility - the Richardson Maritime Heritage Center - will be built to create new museum space, community rooms and classrooms, and a research and education center.

The Richardson Maritime Museum keeps alive the wooden boatbuilding traditions and heritage of Maryland's Eastern Shore.


Create a Maritime Complex dedicated to preserving and promoting the boat building heritage of Dorchester County and the Chesapeake Bay area of Maryland, including its influence on U. S. maritime history through research, preservation and exhibition of artifacts and archives, and the promotion of the wooden boat building industry and related skills. The Maritime Complex shall include, but not be limited to, the Richardson Maritime Museum, the Ruark Boatworks and the Brannock Education and Research Center.


Founded in 1992, the Richardson Maritime Museum was created by a group of individuals with a vision of honoring the local boatbuilders who contributed so greatly to the area's maritime economy and history.

With limited staff, the programs and operations still depend on the dedicated efforts of our volunteers, from boatwrights to docents.

Artifacts Collections

  • Chesapeake Bay ship models
  • Eastern Shore waterman artifacts

Educational Programs

Multi-day boatbuilding programs are available at the Ruart Boatworks for groups of children (age 12 and older, unless special programs are arranged.)


Board of Trustees


Quarterly newsletter.

  • Aft of the Bowsprit


Wheelchair Accessible


Gift Shop