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CharactersDelmarva WisdomWay Back Machine

Conversation in the Fields: How Warner Mifflin Became an Early Champion of Freedom in Slavery Times

There is a fascinating scene from colonial times to put in your mind’s eye the next time you are headed toward Greenbackville, Va. That pretty little waterfront town sits just below the Maryland border. Getting there involves traveling along State Line Road, where you’ll pass Captain’s Cove, a big modern housing development with a golf course, a marina, and lots of other amenities. In the…
MiscellanyQuote of the DayWay Back Machine

Saxis on a Saturday Night! Scene from the Eastern Shore of Virginia, 1928

Saxis is a remote, real-deal watermen community on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. I visited there while working on my book, Eastern Shore Road Trips #1: 27 One-Day Adventures on Delmarva. It's a quiet place nowadays, with one fun restaurant, one tiki bar, and a local history museum being the main attractions for visitors outside of the waterfront, the marshland scenery, and the local people.…
Delmarva WisdomWay Back Machine

When Farming on Virginia’s Eastern Shore Took a Turn Out of “It’s a Wonderful Life”

In the Christmas classic "It's a Wonderful Life," George Bailey is trying to do the right thing by his neighbors in small-town Bedford Falls. By setting up a community-owned banking cooperative--Bailey Building & Loan--he wants to offer those neighbors a fair, homegrown alternative to the bank owned by Mr. Potter, the greedy and heartless antihero of the piece. That 1946 film came to mind as…
CharactersDelmarva WisdomWay Back Machine

When Accomac, Va. Put the Baptist in Jail, 1778

This excerpt from Eastern Shore Road Trips #2: 26 MORE One-Day Adventures on Delmarva comes from a trip centered on Accomac, the seat of Accomack County, Va. The town played an important role in the life of the preacher Elijah Baker (1742 to 1798), who helped get the then-fledgling Baptist faith off the ground and spreading through America. The most famous structure on the square…
The Newsroom

On WBOC-TV, Secrets of the Eastern Shore talks about the Prohibition Era

Secrets co-founder Jim Duffy recently went on WBOC-TV’s Good Day Delmarva to tell stories about the era of Prohibition on the Delmarva Peninsula. The 100th anniversary of Prohibition taking effect landed on Jan. 17, 1920. Have you heard the one about the guy in Wachapreague who set up a secret compartment under his kitchen floorboards so that booze would pour out of one of his…
From the BooksWay Back Machine

WAY BACK MACHINE: The Rough & Tumble Preachers in Revolutionary Times

This excerpt from Eastern Shore Road Trips #2: 26 MORE One-Day Adventures on Delmarva is one brief part of a chapter focused on history-laden Accomac, Va., which has a gorgeous old town square and side street full of sweet old houses and beautiful gardens. When the Revolutionary War broke out, most Methodist ministers fled back to England, fearing for their safety. Francis Asbury was not the fleeing…
CharactersWay Back Machine

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…
Quote of the DayWay Back Machine

QUOTE OF THE DAY: The Know Nothing Election of 1855 in Onancock, Virginia

Election day is coming up on Tuesday, and folks seem to be pretty excited and upset on both sides of the aisle. It was like that back during the Know Nothing election of 1855, too. John Sergeant Wise was a child then, living along Onancock Creek on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. He would have been 11 or 12 during that gubernatorial election campaign, which…
October 28, 2018
Quote of the Day

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “No more beautiful spot for a dwelling anywhere” than Onancock Creek

    John Sergeant Wise spent much of his 19th century childhood along Onancock Creek on the Eastern Shore, in Accomack County, Virginia. Later, he would grow up and become a politician, lawyer, and writer whose work took him to Richmond, Washington, D.C., and New York City, among other places. This is from his 1899 memoir, The End of an Era. Wise was born in…