Tilghman Waterman's Museum
Attractions and MuseumsMuseums
Tilghman Island is unique — and the Tilghman Watermen’s Museum was created to capture its distinctive culture and colorful heritage before they disappear. Through collections of oral history, art, and artifacts, the Museum tells the Island’s story to both enrich the community and give future generations a glimpse of what those who grew up here called “Paradise.” Open April through November on Saturday and Sunday, and by appointment.
The Tilghman Watermen’s Museum celebrates the work and culture of Tilghman’s Island watermen and their families.
In 2007, a handful of Tilghman’s Island residents came together to try to preserve a historic workboat, the Kathryn. This singular idea soon expanded into the larger effort to record the ongoing story of Tilghman’s Island’s unique community, a community rich in history and with a culture centered on the work of watermen and their families. These early efforts lead to the birth of the Tilghman Watermen’s Museum.
The Museum opened in June 2008, in a small building that was once the island’s barber shop. Two barbers, Duckey Scharch and Johnny Moore worked at the drawers and mirrors still in place today. Johnny was also the island’s undertaker and kept a display of tombstones in the field across the street.
When TWM opened, the focus was primarily on capturing, on audio and video, the stories and experiences of the watermen before the old way of life on Tilghman disappeared. That effort produced an