Here at the Combsberry Inn, we are fortunate enough to be located just a few minutes from the beautiful, quaint, and notably historic town of Oxford, MD. While it’s easy to spend your entire time at the Inn without ever leaving our premises, we encourage guests to visit the nearby towns, including St. Michaels, Easton, Cambridge, and of course, Oxford. With it’s quaint, quiet charm, scenic water views, and deep history, Oxford exudes American history and small town appeal.
What many people don’t know is that Oxford is actually one of the oldest towns in America! The town’s official founding is marked in 1683, but the town’s true origins can be traced back 20 years prior, when William Stephens JR. set aside a 30-acre plot of land and called it Oxford. Thus, our tiny town was born. Our very own Inn actually carries a similar historical timeline, with the history dating back to 1649 when Josias Cooper was awarded a grant of 100 acres called “Combsbury”, for transporting he and a woman to Maryland.
Oxford made its mark when it was selected as one of only two towns in Maryland to serve as a port of entry. Incidentally, the other town was an emerging town called Anne Arundel, which would later become Annapolis. With its rich maritime ties and bustling port of access, Oxford enjoyed a long stretch of prosperity, which lasted until the end of the American Revolution. It was at this time that the town suffered its first major setback. After the British ships left, imported goods and trade sharply declined, resulting in the shuttering of many local businesses. As business dwindled, so did the population. Nonetheless, the town endured, with many families choosing to stay and make a home of the waterfront town.
Oxford experienced a second economic boom at the culmination of the Civil War. The combination of the completion of the railroad in 1871 and the advantageous port access for steamships allowed the town to thrive once more. Access to oyster beds was also a contributing factor. Packaging house sprang up quickly, allowing for the canning and packaging of oysters. Unfortunately, it was only a matter of time before the oyster beds dried up. The packaging houses closed soon after, followed by local businesses. The economic boom of Oxford had ended yet again.
Today, Oxford is a tiny town with a population of roughly 1000 people. While the town never grew into a bustling city, residents and visitors would argue that it was a hidden blessing rather than a curse. Today, the town enjoys a successful economy that rests heavily on tourism. Visitors love visiting Oxford for its quiet, peaceful streets, the breathtaking scenery, and the quaint, small town life. Seen as the perfect place to take a break from the busting metropolitan areas such as D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia, Oxford is the ideal place to escape for a weekend, week, or entire summer season. Deeply rooted in its maritime history, water activities are abundant. There’s something for everyone in Oxford, come visit us at the Combsberry Inn and discover for yourself! We’re located just a short ride up the Choptank River from Oxford with an even shorter drive into town. Stay at our historic 1730 English Manor Home and explore all that nearby Oxford has to offer.