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DestinationsNatural WondersWay Back Machine

Why is the Town Played by Berlin in the Movie “Runaway Bride” Called Hale?

    Welcome to Hale Sign Since the subject at hand is peaches, we might as well start with the bit of "Runaway Bride" trivia highlighted in the headline here. The name Hale, you see, is actually a sly tribute to a tasty little slice of Eastern Shore history. Released in 1999 and starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, “Runaway Bride” was filmed in Berlin. Berlin, in turn, was…
DestinationsWay Back Machine

Tracing the History of the Famous Pony-Penning Party in Chincoteague

    Before I did a little research, I assumed that the Chincoteague’s big annual pony-penning festival became a big deal only after 1947, the year Marguerite Henry published “Misty of Chincoteague.” That story, of course, became a children’s classic and then a Hollywood movie. But it turns out that the story of pony-penning day actually dates back centuries, not decades. Local historians say that…
CharactersNatural Wonders

Who could mistake a manatee for a mermaid? Capt. John Smith, for one.

    On July 12, 2015, there was a confirmed manatee sighting in the coastal waters off of Ocean City. That was the first such sighting in nine years, according to experts at the National Aquarium. Manatee sightings in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay are more frequent, usually coming in at the rate of one every year. These cuddly-looking mammals have been compared by some…
DestinationsWay Back Machine

Time Capsule: This Old Grocery Store Has 80-Plus Years of Stories to Tell

Most folks nowadays get to experience old-time general stores only through the magic of books and movies. But if you venture off of Route 50 and head into the heart of Cambridge, you can still get a taste of the real thing. Simmons Center Market has been around for more than 80 years now. The store’s name honors the memory of the late James “Jimmy”…
DestinationsNatural WondersRoad Trips

Strolling the Shifting Sands of Assateague Island

  This gorgeous barrier island lies on the Atlantic coast right where Maryland meets Virginia. It's the kind of place where in the course of your wanderings you are quite likely at some point to take a look at your camera and say something like, “Geez, did I really just take my 374th picture of a horse?” The diminutive ponies that the 37-mile-long Assateague is famous for…
DestinationsRoad Trips

Salisbury Gems: The Ward Museum and City Park

  “Two dumb country boys.” That’s how Lem Ward liked to describe himself and his brother, Steve. They were born in the last years of the 19th century and lived in Crisfield. Both were barbers by trade, just like their father. They shared a shop, in fact. And for fun, they sang in a little barbershop quartet. Darn if those two dumb country boys didn’t end…
DestinationsWay Back Machine

The English Cottage Gas Station that Has a Story to Tell in Cape Charles

    Some empty buildings are just that, unfortunate bits of neglected junk on the Eastern Shore landscape. Others are something else altogether: Dilapidated, perhaps, but still graced with the ability to unravel fascinating secrets behind key turns in the life of the Shore—and even the country—in days gone by. Take this old guy, for example. He stands on the outskirts of Cape Charles, just…
December 5, 2014
DestinationsNatural Wonders

The Deal With Seals: What Brings Guys Like This To Our Beaches?

Seals tend to live farther up in the North Atlantic—off of Massachusetts, Maine, and Canada—but every year in the colder months between about January and April a good number of them embark on a hellacious journey to points south in search of more temperate waters. That’s when they land on our beaches—mostly on the Delaware coast and in the lower Delaware Bay, but sometimes in Maryland…