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A little bit about Bay Ridge. It was settled almost 350 years ago by Thomas Tolly, who gave his name to the point where the Severn River meets the Chesapeake Bay. For the next two centuries, the land was farmed by several owners, although it was not the principal residence of any of them. Benjamin Ogle, one of the owners, was governor of Maryland in the late 1700s. During his tenure, the Tolly Point farm became known as Ogleton, a name now extended to the lake, nearly replacing its nickname "Cat Hole."
Bay Ridge was developed in 1879 as a summer resort, with a large Victorian hotel at Tolly Point. First served by steamboats from Baltimore and Annapolis, the resort soon proved popular enough to warrant its own railroad. The Bay Ridge and Annapolis Railroad was built in 1886, and for the next 17 years, thousands of people came by rail and water to enjoy the "Queen Resort of the Chesapeake." Chief among its attractions were the gravity road, the hotel, dining and dancing pavilions, all-day band concerts, picnic grounds, and a two-mile electric trolley ride that wound along the river and the lake shores.
The resort closed in 1903, and there was little interest in the area until 1922 when the Bay Ridge Realty Company began selling small lots on streets named after naval heroes. Within five years, some one hundred families had built summer cottages in the community. Bay Ridge remained largely a summer haven until World War II, when the need for year-round rental housing in the Annapolis area led many owners to winterize their cottages. Since then, the community has changed gradually from summer resort to permanent home for over 400 families, and today just a handful of its present dwellings are used only during the summer.
Just as many of the summer residents were those who remembered the pleasures of the resort era, so many of today's year-round residents enjoyed childhood summers in Bay Ridge. Perhaps for this reason, Bay Ridge has a special sense of history and permanence displayed in the pride and community spirit of its residents.