On June 30, 1952, the first Chesapeake Bay Bridge opened, connecting Sandy Point on the Western Shore to Kent Island and points east. That was also the last day of operation for the Kent -Island-Sandy Point ferries, including the Gov. Herbert R. O’Conor pictured here.

The first 2-lane bridge was so successful in easing the flow of traffic that it rapidly proved inadequate. A second span, opened in 1973, was built to guarantee smooth travel across the Bay for years to come. The new, broader access roads were built right over unspoiled marshland, and the new interchanges brought “easy-on -easy-off” access for booming industry and housing. 

If you’ve traveled over the bridge recently, you have likely had plenty of time to study this view, with Sandy Point State Park to the North and the remnants of the old ferry slips to the South. 

The early, ca 1947-50 photograph shows the ferry Gov. Herbert R. O’Conor docked at the Sandy Point end of its run. If you look to the left of the bridges in the newer picture, you can still see some of the ferry terminal structure, along with Old Ferry Slip Road leading to the water alongside Route 50.

Modern photo courtesy of Hunter N. Harris, Aerial Aloft Photography.

Vintage photo c. 1947-50 by H. Robins Hollyday. Talbot County Historical Society collections.