QUEEN ANNE’S RAILROAD
QUEEN ANNE’S RAILROAD
In February 1895, the Delaware legislature authorized the Queen Anne’s Railroad, a Maryland corporation formed the previous year, to extend its lines across the state to Lewes. Their goal was to establish a direct link between Baltimore and the coast. The western terminus was at Queenstown, Maryland, with connections from there to Baltimore via steamship. The eastern terminus provided travelers with access to the Rehoboth resort via rail, and steamship connection with Cape May, New Jersey. This was the last major railroad built on the Delmarva peninsula.
Over forty years had passed since the first of several unsuccessful efforts to bring a railway to Milton. On August 29, 1897, the first passenger train arrived here, to be greeted by a majority of the residents of the town and surrounding countryside. A station was erected on this site in October of that year. Regular passenger and mail service was provided, and a wide variety of freight was shipped and received. For many years Milton was noted for the export of holly and other seasonal greenery to northern cities.
In 1905 the Queen Anne’s Railroad was purchased by a subsidiary of the Pennsylvania Railroad. By the mid-1920’s limited profits and competition with other lines owned by the company led to a decision to abandon a large portion of the old railway. Facing that prospect, the Denton to Lewes section was purchased by the Maryland & Delaware Coast Railway. This effort proved to be largely unsuccessful, and passenger service was discontinued in October 1931. Once again slated for abandonment, the Ellendale to Milton line was purchased in 1934 for the purpose of continuing a freight link to the town via rail. It would become the last significant operable section of the Old Queen Anne’s Railroad.
LOCATION: North side of Chestnut Street, east side of Railroad - near intersection of same, Milton.
The Delaware Public Archives operates a historical markers program as part
of its mandate. Markers are placed at historically significant locations and sites
across the state. For more information on this program, please contact Tom Summers at (302) 744-5047