Paddling into History: Celebrating 415 Years of Captain John Smith’s Exploration


Join us, the 3P Protect Perryman Peninsula Coalition (3P), as we journey into our shared history. We mark the 415th anniversary of Captain John Smith’s expedition into the Bush River with a unique kayak tour. Paddle along the path that Captain Smith might have traced, while relishing our splendid natural environment and contemplating its preservation.

The event takes place at the historical marker at Willowbyes (Bush River), believed to be Captain Smith’s first landing site. A commemorative reading will be held here, casting a spotlight on the significance of his exploration and the continued need for environmental preservation.

Paul Fallace, President of 3P, extends an invitation: “We celebrate our past while pledging for our future. Let us retrace Captain Smith’s journey, inspiring our community to embrace our history and take decisive actions towards environmental preservation. Maryland residents, we encourage you to join us on this historical journey, and together, let’s protect our natural environment for the future.”

Event Details:

  • Date: Sunday, September 10, 2023 (This event had previously been scheduled for August 8)
  • Time: 12:00 PM – Unguided tours commence from various launch points (RAIN DELAY – NEW START TIME IS 12PM)
  • 12:30 PM – Commemorative reading and ceremonial bell ringing at Willowbyes (Bush River)

Launch Points:

  • Gablers Shore Marina
  • Flying Point
  • Otter Creek


  • Historical marker at Willowbyes (Bush River), situated on the eastern shore of the Bush River, just south of the Amtrak Train Bridge (GPS Coordinates 39.4386819, -76.2382390)


  • The event is led by Genene LaCour, Chair, 3P Historical Team. Members of the 3P Steering Committee will be present to answer any questions.

Celebrating history, fostering environmental consciousness:

Captain John Smith’s voyage forms a crucial chapter in our shared history. His exploration, as he ventured into unknown territories, has significantly shaped our region, and his spirit of discovery continues to resonate with us today. As we honor the past, we recognize the urgency of protecting our environment to ensure a sustainable future.

The commemorative marker at “Willowbyes” is a Maltese cross, a symbol of protection and honor, marking the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. This cross, #18 out of 24, was installed by the volunteers of the Captain John Smith Cross Project in July 2018. Access is solely by tidal water and granted freely without permission.

3P Protect Perryman Peninsula is a grassroots coalition dedicated to promoting responsible environmental practices in the area. We affirm that celebrating our history and preserving our natural environment are intertwined goals. We can cherish the legacy of our past while fervently protecting our future.

We welcome media coverage of this unique event that melds local history, community participation, and environmental consciousness.


Protect Perryman Peninsula (3P) welcomes you to participate in the commemoration of the 415th anniversary of Captain John Smith’s exploration of the Bush River. As this is a self-guided and voluntary event, 3P must emphasize that your participation is solely at your own risk.

By participating in this event, you acknowledge and accept the potential risks and hazards related to boating, including kayaking. These may include, but are not limited to, changing water conditions, weather, and potential encounters with wildlife.

3P is not providing supervision, rescue services, or safety equipment. It is the responsibility of each participant to be adequately prepared and equipped for the conditions and to comply with all relevant safety regulations and guidelines.

As a participant, you assume full responsibility for any loss, liability, damage, or costs you may incur due to your participation in this event. You agree to indemnify and hold harmless 3P, its board members, volunteers, and associates from any loss, liability, damage, or cost they may incur due to your presence at the event.

By launching your boat for this event, you are confirming that you have read and understood this disclaimer, and that you accept the stated conditions.

Remember, your safety is your responsibility. Ensure that you have the necessary skills and equipment, and always respect the water and weather conditions.

Enjoy your paddle, and thank you for helping to commemorate this significant moment in our local history. 

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