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Strange & Wondrous

The Quarter Question: Is a Little Piece of Pittsville, Md. in Your Pocket or Purse?

The next time you fish around in your pocket or purse for some change, give some thought to the humble quarter. Yes, that’s an image of George Washington on the head’s side. But is it also the image of Dexter Truitt? That’s question doesn’t have a definitive answer, but it will lead us along a fun, follow-the-breadcrumbs trail. A native of little Pittsville on Maryland’s…
CharactersDestinationsFrom the BooksRoad Trips

ROAD TRIP! Visiting with Tallulah in Kent County, Md.

This is an excerpt from my book, Eastern Shore Road Trips #1: 27 One-Day Adventures on Delmarva. The full trip here is titled "The Road to Rock Hall" and includes stops at Caulk's Field, Rock Hall, the Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge, and other spots. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, which lies to the left (or southwest) on Sandy Bottom Road. The sweet little vestry house…
CharactersFrom the BooksTubman TravelsWay Back Machine

TUBMAN TRAVELS: The Other Harriet’s Wild Ride to Freedom

This is an excerpt from my book, Tubman Travels: 32 Underground Railroad Adventures on Delmarva. The book tells keystone stories about the Underground Railroad, with each story attached to place or places that you can go visit. More info about the book here. BIG PICTURE: A Ride for the Ages American history has its share of famous horseback rides. There is the “Midnight Ride” of…
MiscellanyQuote of the DayWay Back Machine

Life & Times in Old-Fashioned Country Stores, 1918 (with lots of photos!)

I was looking up something else in the February 23, 1918 edition of the Denton (Md.) Journal when I got distracted by the wonderful little essay below. It’s about the many roles that general stores and their shopkeepers filled in the communities of Delmarva around that time. There was no headline on the piece. Nor was there a byline. Old newspapers can be weird like…
CharactersWay Back Machine

The St. Michaels Seafood Packing Plant that Helped Blue Crabs Rise To a Whole New Level in the Early 1900s

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…
Quote of the DayWay Back Machine

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…