Mallows Bay

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A shipwreck at Mallows Bay, February 2011

Mallows Bay is a small bay on the Maryland side of the Potomac River in Charles County, Maryland, and located at 38°28′21.4″N 77°16′6.9″W / 38.472611°N 77.268583°W / 38.472611; -77.268583 (Mallows Bay, Potomac River, Maryland)Coordinates: 38°28′21.4″N 77°16′6.9″W / 38.472611°N 77.268583°W / 38.472611; -77.268583 (Mallows Bay, Potomac River, Maryland).[1] The bay is the location of what is regarded as the "largest shipwreck fleet in the Western Hemisphere"[2][3] and is described as a "ship graveyard."[4]

Charles County operates Mallows Bay Park (1440 Wilson Landing Road in Nanjemoy, Maryland). This small park contains the graves of more than 230 ships sunk in the river. Almost ninety were poorly constructed steamships built during World War I; in 1925 they were burned and scuttled in the bay. Bethlehem Steel then built a salvage basin during World War II to recover metal from the abandoned ships. The ships form a reef that hosts an array of wildlife. A 0.8-mile trail loops around Mallows Bay Park and the salvage basin.[5]

In 2010, a boat ramp and pier for recreational use was constructed to provide access to the Potomac River at Mallows Bay. It is popular to canoe or kayak among the ship ruins.[6][7]

The bay was listed as an archaeological and historic district on the National Register of Historic Places in 2015.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mallows Bay". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved December 18, 2010. 
  2. ^ Shomette, Donald G. (Winter 2001). "The Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay". The Maryland Natural Resource. Retrieved December 19, 2010. 
  3. ^ Shomette, Donald G. (Winter 1999). "The Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay". Invention & Technology Magazine 14 (3). Retrieved December 19, 2010. 
  4. ^ United States Coast Pilot 3 (43rd ed.). Washington, D.C.: National Ocean Service. 2010. p. 313. Retrieved May 5, 2010. 
  5. ^ Peck, Garrett (2012). The Potomac River: A History and Guide. Charleston, SC: The History Press. p. 145. ISBN 978-1609496005. 
  6. ^ "New Boat Ramp in Mallows Bay". Southern Maryland Living. May 12, 2010. Retrieved December 22, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Mallows Bay" (PDF). Maryland Department of Natural Resources. July 19, 2010. Retrieved December 22, 2010. 

Further reading[edit]

Shomette, Donald. Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay and Other Tales of the Lost Chesapeake. Centreville, Maryland: Tidewater Publishers, 1996. ISBN 0870334808. OCLC 35103126.

External links[edit]