Dorchester County, located on Maryland's Eastern Shore, is a rural community of 30,000. Principal industries include farming, oystering, crabbing, and timbering. The area grew through late 17th-century English colonial settlement. Dorchester County was the site of the last remaining Indian reservation in Maryland, and is still the home of an active community of Native Americans.
The county has a rich architectural and archeological heritage, and boasts seven local history museums operated by volunteers that include the James B. Richardson Maritime Museum.
Dorchester County has many resources related to native-born Harriet Tubman that it interprets through a tour itinerary as well as the Harriet Tubman Museum and Education Center. These resources are part of the Underground Railroad Trail, a Maryland Scenic Byway that is currently seeking National Scenic Byway designation.
Dorchester County is also a participant in the National Park Service Gateway Community program, and its County Seat (Cambridge) is a Maryland Main Street Community.
The Heart of Chesapeake Heritage Area, encompassing most of the county, was certified on the State level in 2002 and is managed by a public/private board. Its detailed management plan provides a basis for implementing heritage tourism initiatives to support economic growth, and emphasizes the county's strong commitment to its cultural and heritage assets.
Dorchester First, an economic development program, is a collaborative venture of the Dorchester Department of Tourism, local governments within the county, the Small Business Center at Chesapeake College, and the County Library System, with technical assistance from the Maryland Heritage Area Authority and funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Center.
Designated a Preserve America Community in January 2004.