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In the Land of Holly: Wreath-Making in Southern Delaware

If you find yourself in Southern Delaware this Christmas season, you will be riding through the “Land of Holly.” The story of that nickname dates to 1890, when a man named William Buell in the little burg of Farmington, near Milford, chased after a business idea that had popped into his head. He harvested loose twigs and branches from holly trees, bright with red berries…
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Fruitland! “The Holly Capital of the Peninsula”

The holly-wreath industry on Delmarva was born at the turn of the 20th century in Southern Delaware, then quickly moved across the border into Maryland. Soon enough, holly became known far and wide as “Maryland’s Christmas Crop.” Estimates of the number of Eastern Shore residents involved in that holly trade in any given year run as high as 10,000. Most were farmers, looking to earn…
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PICTURE THIS: On Cambridge Creek, the Oldest Crabpacking Plant in the World

Crabs weren’t always a big deal on the Eastern Shore. All the way through the 1800s, the oyster was the unrivaled king of Chesapeake seafood. Crabs were an afterthought. People rarely ate them—and when they did, they had to catch them, because nobody was selling crabs or crabmeat on a commercial basis. This iconic Delmarva scene up top here—it’s the work of Jill Jasuta Photography,…
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HEROES OF DELMARVA: 5 Things About Col. Tench Tilghman, Revolutionary Star

Tench Tilghman served in the Revolutionary War as a top aide to George Washington, who praised the Talbot County, Md. native generously for his advice, loyalty, and trustworthiness. After the British surrendered at Yorktown, Washington assigned to Tilghman the task of making a mad dash to the nation’s capital in Philadelphia to deliver official word of the triumph. (1) That Weird First Name The tench…