Claiborne is an unincorporated community in Talbot County, Maryland. The village is located on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay near the mouth of the Eastern Bay at 38.83750°N 76.27806°W / 38°50′15″N 76°16′41″W, and uses ZIP code 21624. The 2000 U.S. Census lists the population as 147 and the number of homes as 84, slightly down from its 1941 population of 156. Between 1890 and 1952, the village was a busy port for passenger and then automobile ferry service across the Chesapeake Bay, with numerous stores and motels/resorts, including Maple Hall. A post office was added in 1893 and the Protestant Episcopal Church of Claiborne was built in 1898. In 1912 an elementary school and Methodist Church were added. Before 1912, students attended school in nearby McDaniel. The town's first school consisted of the kitchen of the local railroad pavilion, used as a classroom, where Miss Dolly Thompson taught. Teachers in later years included Grace Oldham, Alice Dawson, Edna Harrison, and Lida Smith. In 1913, the town became home to the Claiborne Fresh Air Association, Inc., (“Miracle House”) which was formed for the purpose of providing 10 weeks of fresh air and summer vacation for children who had been exposed to tuberculosis.
Prior to the 1870s, Claiborne was part of the nearby McDanieltown postal community (now McDaniel). Its name can be traced back in honor of William Claiborne, a fur trader who founded an English settlement on nearby Kent Island in 1631. Early land patents in Claiborne included "Rich Neck Manor," which was first granted to James Mitchell in 1652. Either Mitchell or the subsequent owner of Rich Neck, Philip Land, built a chapel in the 1650s. The Rich Neck Manor Chapel still stands and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, but is private property. Rich Neck was also home to Matthew Tilghman, the head of the Maryland delegation to the Continental Congress, and Lloyd Tilghman, Confederate general.