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One of the excursions in my book Eastern Shore Road Trips (Vol. 2): 26 MORE One-Day Adventures on Delmarva is a tour of baseball greatness with stops honoring five major league greats who hailed from the region, including four Hall of Famers. This excerpt is the section of that trip dedicated to slugger Jimmie Foxx. Itty bitty Sudlersville, Md. is the first stop in this…
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WAY BACK MACHINE: On the Trail of Lady Eglantine, the Miracle Hen of Greensboro

This excerpt from Eastern Shore Road Trips #2: 26 MORE One-Day Adventures on Delmarva is a bonus section that comes at the end of a road trip chock full of other interesting stories that are set along the backroads of Caroline County, Md. between the towns of Preston and Denton. Pretty little Greensboro, Md. lies just a few miles north of Denton. That this place…
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WORDS OF DELMARVA WISDOM: “What may be the manhood and history [ahead for] a plain boy in rural life?”

Think about this question the next time you pass by a couple of kids working the water’s edge with fishing poles or crab nets. Such scenes remain quite common along the backroads of Delmarva, of course, just as they were when John Fletcher Hurst was growing up in Dorchester County, Maryland in the 1840s. Despite suffering from occasional debilitating bouts of asthma, young John loved…
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Chincoteague Character of the Day: Thomas Downing, the ‘Oyster King’ of NYC

Growing up in Chincoteague, Va. in the 1790s and the first decade of the 1800s, Thomas Downing spent much of his time fishing, oystering, digging up clams, and catching terrapins. He must have spent a good bit of time around the kitchen as well, considering the way he grew up to become one of the most famous restaurateurs in New York City—the “Oyster King of…
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Ocean City Character of the Day: Rosalie Tilghman Shreve & the Plimhimmon Hotel

A century ago, the Plimhimmon Hotel was the most famous and iconic structure in the then-fledgling resort town of Ocean City, Md. Old pictures of the place, with its elegant oceanfront porches, expansive decks, and swooping, cone-shaped tower, have a way of leaving us modern folks weak at the knees from yearning for the splendor of yesteryear.  But there is much more than nostalgia to…
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Snow Hill/Wilmington Character of the Day: Hall of Famer Judy Johnson

Clutch: That’s the word that pops up when baseball people talk about how Judy Johnson earned his place among the game’s all-time greats. Johnson wasn’t particularly strong, or fast, or powerful. He stood less than 6 feet tall and weighed less than 150 pounds. There was nothing flashy about his style. But "no one would drive in as many clutch runs as he would,” said…
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Ocean City Character of the Day: Dr. Francis Townsend and His ‘Miracle Cure’

The more I learn about Ocean City, Md. the more I marvel over the way the fledgling resort drew so many men and women full of entrepreneurial zeal.  That zeal wasn’t just the province of hotel magnates and boardwalk businesses. Case in point: Francis Townsend Sr., a native of Snow Hill, Md. was the first physician in the town’s history, practicing between 1900 and 1945.…
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Born in Chesterville: The First Black Minister to Address the U.S. Congress 

    Starting Point: Kent County, Md. Heading west out of Millington, Maryland on Route 291 you will soon come to a sign announcing that the road is dedicated to the memory of Henry Highland Garnet, whose life story has as many interesting twists and turns as any African American man in the 19th century. The fact that the first black minister to ever address…
January 30, 2018