Cobb Island (Maryland)

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Cobb Island is a small island located at the confluence of the Potomac and Wicomico rivers in southern Charles County, Maryland, United States.[3] It is located approximately 45 miles (72 km) south of Washington, and is considered to be within the Washington, D.C. MSA. Cobb Island is separated from the mainland by Neale Sound and connected to it by a 0.11-mile-long (180 m)[4] fixed bridge carrying Maryland Route 254.

Cobb Island, Maryland
Location of Cobb Island, Charles County, Maryland
Location of Cobb Island, Charles County, Maryland
Coordinates: 38°15′30″N 76°50′38″W / 38.25833°N 76.84389°W / 38.25833; -76.84389Coordinates: 38°15′30″N 76°50′38″W / 38.25833°N 76.84389°W / 38.25833; -76.84389
CountryUnited States
 • Total0.93 sq mi (2.39 km2)
 • Land0.63 sq mi (1.62 km2)
 • Water0.30 sq mi (0.77 km2)
Elevation10 ft (3 m)
 • Total929
 • Density1,484.03/sq mi (573.16/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
GNIS feature ID1988529[2]

Cobb Island is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP). As of the 2010 census, the CDP had a population of 1,166.[5] The community has a small post office, a volunteer fire department and rescue squad,[6] a Baptist church, a large community green space (Fisherman's Field) and a small playground for children. Commercially, there are two seafood restaurants with marinas (Captain John's Crab House, and Shymansky's Restaurant & Marina), The Rivah, a marina with a pizzeria restaurant chain (Ledo Pizza), a small bar and grill (The Scuttlebutt), a seasonal coffee shop, art gallery and bakery (The Cove at Cobb Island), and a small market (Cobb Island Market).

The Neale Sound, Wicomico River, and Potomac River join at Cobb Island

World's first human voice radio transmissionEdit

On December 23, 1900, Reginald Aubrey Fessenden sent and received the first intelligible speech by electromagnetic waves on a pair of masts 50 feet (15 m) high and 1 mile (1.6 km) apart on Cobb Island.[7] Fessenden was using a spark transmitter with a Kintner-Brashear interrupter.[8]


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[9]

Name origin and privateer pastEdit

The Island was owned in 1642 by James Neal, a privateer (a legal pirate working for the British Empire) who captured Spanish ships bearing treasure to Spain from Central America. Captured Spanish coins were cut into "cobbs" (smaller coins) and distributed to Maryland colonists, which led to the name "Cobb Island".[10]


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 26, 2022.
  2. ^ a b "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Cobb Island (Maryland)
  4. ^ "Highway Location Reference: Charles County" (PDF). Maryland State Highway Administration. 2010. Retrieved 2011-10-03.
  5. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Cobb Island CDP, Maryland". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
  6. ^ "Cobb Island Volunteer Fire Department & EMS - Charles County, Company 6". Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  7. ^ Belrose, John S. (September 1994). "Fessenden and the Early History of Radio Science". The Radioscientist. 5 (3). Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  8. ^ On the Birth of Wireless Telephony, John S. Belrose
  9. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  10. ^ Patrice Gaines, Washington Post (August 20, 1994) Cobb Island:The Water Offers An Everyday Escape

External linksEdit