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The St. Michaels Seafood Packing Plant that Helped Launch the Blue-Crab Revolution

The next time you’re at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md., take a few moments to remember that you’re walking in the entrepreneurial footsteps of William H.T. Coulbourne and Frederick Jewett. It’ll be easy—the gift shop is where the Coulbourne family lived for many years, and the Coulbourne & Jewett seafood-packing plant stood at the heart of the museum’s campus, on Navy…
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Celebrating the End of Slavery in a Black Church, 1864: ‘You belong to nobody but de Lord now.”

The way slaves in Maryland gained their freedom was a little bit different. The Emancipation Proclamation issued by Abraham Lincoln in 1863 applied only in Confederate states, not in the three Union states where slavery remained legal, even while the Civil War raged. It was up to Marylanders to end slavery on their own. In October 1864--22 months after Lincoln's proclamation--the state's voters approved a…
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“Now I’m Almost Home!” The Death and Funeral of Harriet Tubman, 1913

When her time came, Harriet Tubman was ready. Among the last recorded words of wisdom that we received from the Eastern-Shore-born heroine of the Underground Railroad comes to us by way of suffragette and civil rights activist Mary Burnett Talbert, who made a pilgrimage to upstate New York upon hearing that Harriet's health was failing. It was February of 1913. Harriet had been living in…
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Distaff Beauty: The Women Lighthouse Keepers of Turkey Point

This is a free excerpt from Eastern Shore Road Trips 2: 26 MORE One-Day Adventures on Delmarva. It comes from a chapter that includes stops in the towns of Elkton, North East, and Charlestown, as well as a visit to a covered bridge the remains of an old gristmill. The most beautiful of those overlooks lies at the end of a 12-or-so-mile drive down Turkey…
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A Wild, Icy Ride on Sharps Island Light

Many of you have climbed up into the cottage of a screwpile lighthouse. Perhaps in St. Michaels, Md. at the Maritime Museum. Or in Cambridge, Md. on the waterfront. Perhaps some of you been in one of those beacons on a day so cold and windy you could feel the whole cottage shaking. OK, now imagine three things: (1) The cottage stands out in the…