Historic Black-Owned Elktonia Beach in Maryland to Become Waterfront Park

Elktonia Beach seen from a boat on the water. (Courtesy Jodi Couser).

A beach that was once a haven for Black music and celebrations will now be a place for anyone to come and learn about Black history along the Chesapeake Bay.

That five-acre piece of waterfront land on the Bay, Elktonia Beach, will turn into a park with access to the water.

“It’s a dream come true,” said Vince Leggett, the founder and president of Blacks of the Chesapeake.

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The land, he said, was purchased for around $7 million.

The City of Annapolis, Blacks of the Chesapeake, Chesapeake Conservancy and the state of Maryland entered into an agreement with the Conservation Fund to acquire the property through a patchwork of funding, including federal, state and city Program Open Space funds.

On Thursday, with the support of U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, the fiscal year 2022 spending bill also included $2 million in congressionally directed spending to the City of Annapolis, to support a state and local partnership effort to establish and develop a city park.

In 1902, Frederick Carr and his wife purchased 180 acres along the Bay, where he farmed and built a cabin. The couple had a grocery store in Annapolis.

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SOURCE: WTOP, Valerie Bonk

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