When James Braddock came to town, he was an agent for a Liverpool firm of merchants. In 1778, he began developing the town and purchased land grant properties sold at auction. The area he developed began at St. Michaels Harbor (originally known as Church Creek) westward to Talbot Street (once Market Street) and included the inlet known as Church Cove.
St. Michaels named for the Archangel St. Michael, has been an active port since the town was developed. The shipbuilding industry has played a major role in its economy with specialization in seagoing vessels and bay craft. The log canoes built in the 1800s, served as workboats and later evolved in the sport of log canoe racing. As many as 2500 people arrived by steamboats and un-boarded at the Navy Point Wharf in the late 1800s and early 1990s.
Oyster and crab packing houses and tomatoes canneries fed the economy in the first part of the 20th century. Today, tourism is the town's economic engine. Visitors enjoy arrival by vessels from all the world as well as by land. The world-renown Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is solely dedicated to portraying the history of the Chesapeake Bay and its people.
It's newest permanent exhibit, "Oystering on the Chesapeake", exemplifies the significance of Maryland's treasure - the skipjack and the art of dredging the waters of the Chesapeake Bay.
The architectural significance is reminiscent of the Victorian era but there are houses on the walking tour which date back to the 18th and early 19th century. Victorian houses serve as unique boutiques and specialty shops as well as restaurants and accommodations. Exploring the town of St. Michaels will reveal the historic tale of how it became known as the "Town that Fooled the British".