Starting with one of the oldest railroad lines in the
United States, the Delmarva Peninsula holds a unique place in the
history of railroading in the country. Prior to the advent of the "iron
horse," the area had seen little growth in population and was struggling
to get goods to market, as well as supplies brought into the area. The
three states that make up the area--all of Delaware and the eastern
shores of Maryland and Virginia--were known to have some of the best
fields and orchards, a bountiful seafood harvest, and some of the
richest woodlands in America.
The area flourished with the introduction of the railroad. While
passenger service was certainly a part of the railroad's plans, make no
mistake, it was these riches that made the area swell with people while
small towns became flush with income. Some of the most profitable
divisions of the railroad industry were based on the Delmarva Peninsula.