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History - alive and well in Oxford & Combsberry Inn

Did you know that Oxford is one of the oldest towns in Maryland?  Although the year 1683 marks the official founding of Oxford, it is thought to have been settled some 20 years earlier.  In 1694, Oxford and Anne Arundel ( present day Annapolis) were the only ports of entry for the entire Maryland province.  Oxford enjoyed prominence as an international shipping center surrounded by wealthy tobacco plantations.  
           One of these large plantations was Combsberry with 150 acres of land at one point.  The original land grant dates back to 1649 but it is thought that the Manor House was built around 1720 by John and Mary Oldham.  It was one of the earliest two and a half story houses built in Talbot County, Md.  There were no architects in the area at this time so builders had to depend upon pictures of homes in England to guide them.  The stair tower is another unique feature of the home and is the only original structure of this style in the county.  Underneath the stair tower is a hidden room, only accessible by a hidden ladder.  There are two theories of what this room was used for. One theory is that it was apart of The Underground Railroad.  Harriet Tubman's birthplace is in neighboring Dorchester County.  The other theory is that the room held prisoners in between trials since a judge did occupy the house at one point and there were no officials jails during that time.  
           This elegant English Country Manor Home now serves as a luxurious Inn where guests enjoy the mystery and ambiance of the past while enjoying modern day Jacuzzis, complementary internet access, hammocks, kayaks and canoes.  It is also the perfect setting for an elopement or a wedding.  Maryland's Eastern Shore is a premier location for a destination wedding without the hassle of air travel.  And if you have "been there and done that" already, let us take the hassle out of the second time around.  Get married inside or out or in the Pennsylvania Dutch style barn and honeymoon in the Carriage House, private, yet romantic and spacious.  We have become friends with many of the couples married here and they continue to return for their anniversaries or other special occasions.  It is truly one of the perks of inn keeping when a repeat guest walks through the door and announces, "I'm home!".

Combsberry Inn Valentines Day Retreat - Oxford, Maryland

Do you know why we send Valentines?
The first Valentine was sent by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife in 1415.  Writing affectionate notes and love letters gained popularity in the 1700s.  At that time, people used regular writing paper.  Around 1820, companies started to produce stationary specifically for Valentine's Day.  The practice crossed the ocean from England to the U.S. when Esther Howland of Massachusetts received an English card and this enterprising woman was inspired to create her own American Valentine-making business. The holiday became more firmly established when the greeting cards were mass-produced and gift giving was added.
Valentine's Day is second only to Christmas for the most popular card-sending holiday.  Today, about one billion cards are sent world-wide. Each year, it gets harder and harder to "top" the romantic experience that one wants to create for that significant other.
      Combsberry Inn can solve that problem for you.  We are located on Maryland's picaresque Eastern Shore.  Sip your favorite wine in front of a crackling fireplace while watching the Canadian geese land in the cove. After dinner, slip into the candle lit Jacuzzi which will prepare you for the king sized bed dressed in linen smelling fresh from the line - like your grandmother used to do.  The following morning, you will be treated with a gourmet breakfast watching squirrels, rabbits and robins cavort on the expansive lawn.  To make this weekend even easier in terms of planning, we will provide complimentary flowers and chocolate covered strawberries.  Call or email today to book this wonderful Valentine Retreat.  Offer Valid February 10-15, 2012.

Oxfords Christmas on the Creek - This Weekend


This weekend the lovely town of Oxford, Maryland will be hosting their Christmas on the Creek weekend.  The town will be alive with holiday spirit and activities.  From the lighting of the dock trees to breakfast with Santa, you are sure to find something that all of the members of your family will love.  Afterwards, come stay at Combsberry and celebrate with a hot cuppa in front of a cozy fireplaces and Egg Nog Pancakes for breakfast.  


The full schedule of activities may be found below.  Again, we would love to see you knocking on our door this weekend.  


Friday ,December 2nd:
6:00pm- Gospel Music and Community Caroling at St. Paul’s Church featuring The Friendship Choir of Waters United Methodist Church

Saturday, December 3rd:
9:00am- 12:00pm- Christmas Bazaar at The Church of the Holy Trinity featuring baked goods, fresh holiday greenery and handcrafted items.
10:00am-4:00pm- Oxford Library Open House with refreshments and special sale on hardback books.
1:00-3:00pm- Mystery Loves Company will host Author of “A Temptation Tale” J.R. MacKenzie.
Refreshments and a Book Signing.
3:00-5:00pm- The Ruffled Duck Inn will host a holiday tea complete with traditional tea and sweets!
10:00am-4:00pm- The Treasure Chest will be open for your Christmas Shopping! Open Sat and Sun!
5:00-7:00pm- Homemade Soup Supper at the Oxford Methodist Church
5:30pm- Santa comes to town!! The official tree lighting in the park and 
the visit from Santa kick off the holidays in Oxford!
6:00pm- Oxford Museum will be open with festive window displays and unique gifts.

Sunday December 4th:
7:00-11:00am Breakfast with Santa at the Oxford Firehouse.
Ladies Auxillary will host their Gift Shop with baked goods, handcrafted ornaments and more!
11:00am-5:00pm- Oxford Holiday House Tour hosted by the Oxford Community Center
Check in at the Church of the Holy Trinity for tickets and tour brochure and map.
1:00-3:00pm – Magnolia Wreath Workshop at The Combsberry Inn complete with treats

Eastern Shore Pumpkin Harvest Muffins


Halloween is over and Thanksgiving is quickly approaching.  Do you need an idea of what to do with all of your leftover jack-o-lanterns?  Well, we have the recipe for you!  These pumpkins muffins are perfect for breakfast, lunch or dessert.  Our Innkeeper would even eat them for dinner!  Here at the Combsberry Inn, our guests enjoy these scrumptious treats while overlooking 35 acres of Eastern Shore waterfront property.  Nestled in a secluded cove off the Tred Avon River, one is certain to see all the treasures that Maryland has to offer.


  • Muffin Ingredients:
  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup (heaping) Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/2 cup Evaporated Milk
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1/2 cup Golden Raisins (optional!)
  • _____
  • Topping
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • _____
  • 1/4 cup Softened Butter
  • 4 ounces, weight Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 pound Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Generously grease 12 muffin tins.

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Cut in butter with two knives or a pastry blender until it is fully incorporated. In a separate bowl, mix together pumpkin, evaporated milk, egg, and vanilla. Pour pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture. Add raisins. Fold gently until mixture is just combined.

Pour into a greased muffin pan—batter hardly ever fills all twelve unless you keep it down to 1/2 full. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar-nutmeg mixture over the top of each unbaked muffin.

Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove and allow to cool. Ice with cream cheese frosting.


Courtesy of:

Dine INN at our Fabulous Eastern Shore Inn

Fall has arrived and there is a slight chill in the air.  If you would love to have a quiet night in at the Inn curled up by a fireplace rather than going out, look no further!  This November and December, Gourmet by the Bay is offering a fantastic take out menu.  Simply make your reservations at The Combsberry Inn and let our Innkeeper know what you prefer for dinner.  We will pick up the meal for you, set the table and then slip quietly away into the night so you may enjoy a little R&R.  Sneak a peek at their fabulous faire by clicking the link above...  Sounds too good to be true, right?  We look forward to seeing you soon!
Please note that meals are only available on Wednesday through Saturdays and must be ordered the week prior.  

Eastern Shore Maryland Crab Dip


Crabs from Maryland's Eastern Shore cannot be beat for taste.  Some of the best and most plentiful crabs are to be found in Sept and Oct.  Enjoy fall @ Combsberry Inn and partake of these delicacies as you watch the leaves turn beautiful shades of red and yellow and hear the haunting sound of the Canadian geese as they return to Bringman's Cove.

1 lb crab meat
4 T milk
2 T minced onion
16 ounces cream cheese
1 cup grated chedder cheese
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp Old Bay
2 T horse radish
Beat cream cheese until very soft.  Beat in milk, onion, horse radish, lemon juice, worceshire and Old Bay.  Fold in crab meat.  Place in a greased casserole dish.
Bake @ 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Take out, sprinkle with grated cheese and bake 15 additional minutes.  Service with crackers. 

Oxford, Maryland Nautical Festival September 3, 2011


1st Annual Nautical Festival and Flea Market

The 1st Annual Nautical Festival and Flea Market will be held on Saturday, September 3. The event will be held at the Town Soccer Field on South Morris Street, Oxford.

Nautical Flea Market

The event, chaired by Guy Gauvin of Hinckley Yachts, will promote the Town of Oxford's maritime background. On the Chesapeake Bay, few small towns have 7 working marinas, all bustling with activity during the busy season. "We wanted to try to host an event where not only nautical vendors can come, but the Oxford businesses and residents can get involved," says Gauvin.

In addition to the vendor portion, there will also be a flea market area, where local residents can try to sell their "boat stuff". There will also be an area where boats will be on display that are for sale.

Other plans for the day include a crab feast and live music in the early evening, which will be a fundraiser for a local "maritime themed" cause, which is still in the planning stages.

Vendor applications are a part of this information. For more information, please contact the Oxford Business Association by e-mail at

Vendors for 2011 Nautical Festival (as of July 8)

  • Oxford Fire Dept. Ladies Auxiliary
  • Barbara Woods – Beach Glass Jewelry
  • Ron Fortucci – Hand Carved Half Hull Models of Local and Classic Boats
  • Woodgrain Interpretations
  • Pop’s Snow Palace and Treats
  • Edythe Humphries – Used Boat Parts
  • Arts in the AM – Pottery, Artwork and Notecards and Handbags
  • Hinckley Yacht Services
  • T.M. Enterprises – polarized & sport sunglasses
  • Mandy’s Makings
  • Campbell’s Boatyards
  • The Treasure Chest
  • Vastraya
  • Shore Canvas

Mystery Signing this weekend in Oxford, MD

This Sat Augt 20, 1:30 - 3:30pm Mystery Loves Company welcomes Ellen Crosby signing her new wine mystery THE SAUVIGNON SECRET. Virginia vineyard owner Lucie Montgomery goes to Napa where she is reunited with her former vintner Quinn as they try to unravel the mystery on behalf of Lucie’s Grandfather. We’ll have wine to share. Reserve your signed copies now. 410-226-0010

Oxford, Maryland named #1 Yachting Town... in the WORLD!

The votes are in and scenic Oxford, Maryland, has won YACHTING’s first annual contest as the world’s best waterfront town.  Over 2,000 votes were cast online for the small, former colonial port on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The runner-up was Charlevoix, Michigan, with over 1,500 votesyachtingsbest resized 600

Cardboard Boat Races this Weekend in Oxford, Maryland



This year marks the 23rd Anniversary of the Cardboard Boat Races in Oxford, Maryland to be held on the shores of the Tred Avon River on Saturday, June 25th. Race Registration starts at 9:00 am and the races start at 11:00 am. The first race will be in memory of Doug Hanks, Jr. and will feature the Smith Island Crab Skiffs which are the only gas powered boats to race for the day. Following that the creative boat constructions made from corrugated press board will be tested for buoyancy. Every year a few sink and the contestants swim to shore. The event is held along the Strand in shallow water so all contestants can push their sunken sodden creations around the course. But with the crafty skills of some of the builders their exhibits of construction are most durable. Some of the crafts have been racing for over five years.


The event is held to have fun and raise money for Special Olympics of Maryland, and awareness for the host of the event, the Oxford Pool Committee. See: Admission is free to the public.


The featured races are: Iron Man, the longest race course, Battle of the Brave, where the Coast Guard, local police and firemen will compete. These races will be followed by the Corporate Challenge where local businesses have sponsored a boat, to be followed by the only trophy-eligible entrants, the Funny Race, where crocodiles, corn husks, battleships, etc. all compete to finish a figure eight race in memory of Police Chief Wally Jones. Chief Jones was an 18-year veteran to the Oxford Police force whose favorite charity was Special Olympics of Maryland. The Kids Race, an all-parents favorite, where only the young not the young at heart, provide the mirth for the end of the races.


In past years this event was brought to you from the volunteers of Boat Bums International (BBI) whose generosity for being allowed on boats, which did not belong to them, extended to the Cardboard Boat Race. As Chief Wally Jones mediated between two of Oxfords finest as to who was the better boat builder, he challenged that a boat could be built from old seafood boxes. The gauntlet that he threw was picked up and a course was set from the town parking lot on Town Creek to end at the waterfront restaurant off of Atlantic Avenue formerly known as Railroad Avenue, today known as South Morris Street.


Today this lively and colorful event is co-hosted by the Town of Oxford and the Oxford Pool Committee. The Committee brings awareness to the much needed necessity of a community swimming pool for Oxford, with the jelly fish rendering the waters surrounding Oxford a stinging reality during the hottest times of the year. The Pool Committee hopes everyone will stop by the concessions during the race as one hopes not to be last in line for the good hamburgers and hot dogs cooked by Oxford Meat and Seafood or to miss a few scoops of the delicious ice cream from the Highland Creamery, both supporters of the Race day's activities. Special thanks also go to Tom’s General Services, Easton, for his continuing support of this event. All events are open to the public with plenty of viewing area along the Strand and free parking in town. Guests are reminded to obey the 25 mph speed limit while in Oxford. For registration, please go online to or contact Skipper Marquess, Cardboard Boat Fleet Admiral, at (410) 924-3212 or For information on official construction rules and suggested construction plans, see below.

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