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CharactersWay Back Machine

The Miraculous Reunions of Underground Railroad Hero William Still

I am posting this during the week of the bicentennial of William Still's birth on Oct. 7, 1821. Let's get the obvious question out of the way first: Why bother about a Philadelphia guy on a site devoted to stories of Delmarva? I mention Still countless times in my book of Tubman Travels: 32 Underground Railroad Journeys on Delmarva. That's because he played two key…
Quote of the DayWay Back Machine

A Day in the Life of a Child in Chopank, Md., early 1900s

I am not sure which individual is responsible for the memory I'm sharing here, as my source material was the work not of a single author, but of a committee of volunteers. Back in 1976, the Choptank Bicentennial Committee put together a little booklet to mark 200 years of American independence by celebrating life in their own little town, which lies on the river of…
Quote of the DayWay Back Machine

“Like a Visit to Another World:” Remembering Childhood Steamboat Trips on the Choptank River in Times Gone By

Sometimes, the best-laid productivity plans in a day go awry. I ventured into the Maryland Room of the Talbot County Free Library in Easton, Md. one day to research a very specific topic within a tight time window. Alas, I stumbled upon a little pamphlet titled "Memories of Choptank" while thumbing through a shelf. The title is a reference not to the river, but to…
DestinationsWay Back Machine

“Men Going Places & Building Things:” The Steamboat Glory Days of Little Choptank, Md.

If you visit the town of Choptank today, you'll encounter a quiet little town of 120 or so souls set on a glorious bit of waterfront scenery in Caroline County, Md. Located a few miles below Preston, Choptank stands a little way above where the Choptank River takes a big bend to the west at the mouth of Hunting Creek. It's a pleasant place for…
CharactersWay Back Machine

The Legend of Gilbert Lare, aka “The Del-Mar-Va Bandit” of the 1930s

The criminal career of Gilbert Lare, aka "The Del-Mar-Va Bandit,” began with a seemingly minor affair. Wilmington News Journal, Dec. 27, 1926: Gilbert Lare, a young man of , was arrested by Constable Thomas Nichols breaking into store on South Main Street Wednesday night and removing two slot machines. … The machines were found early the following morning along the river shores, broken up, and…
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A Marydel Whodunnit, 1909: Amateur Actor Fatally Poisoned on Stage during Show for Charity

The Philadelphia Inquirer, Jan. 11, 1909: “The little town of Marydel, , was thrown into an intense state of excitement this morning when it became known that Charles L. Pippin, a local businessman, was dead. The cause of his death was poison in a glass of wine which he drank during the amateur performance of a play in which he was one of the actors on…
From the BooksTubman TravelsWay Back Machine

TUBMAN TRAVELS: Flying for Freedom on Christmas Eve (the Christmas Escape, part 3)

This is an excerpt from my book, Tubman Travels: 32 Underground Railroad Journeys on Delmarva. It’s the third of three chapters in the book devoted to The Christmas Escape of 1854, one of the most famous of the escapes engineered by conductor Harriet Tubman. Each chapter in the book is a self-contained story that’s linked to a place you can visit today in Delaware or…
From the BooksTubman TravelsWay Back Machine

TUBMAN TRAVELS: ‘I’m Sorry I’m Gwine to Lebe You’

This excerpt from the Secrets of the Eastern Shore book, Tubman Travels: 32 Underground Railroad Journeys on Delmarva, tells the story of Harriet Tubman's own run for freedom in September of 1849.  More information about the book, including where to buy it in stores and online, is available here. BIG PICTURE: Strangers in a Strange Land The first time I went looking for Red Bridges Road…
September 12, 2019
CharactersWay Back Machine

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…
From the BooksTubman TravelsWay Back Machine


This is an excerpt from my book, Tubman Travels: 32 Underground Railroad Journeys on Delmarva.  More info about the book is here. Various little cabins play central roles in the stories of the Underground Railroad in this book. There is the one on Peter’s Neck where Harriet Tubman was born; another on Tuckahoe Creek where Frederick Douglass spent his childhood; still another on Poplar Neck…
July 6, 2018