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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 Savings & 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…
DestinationsNatural Wonders

Virginia Eastern Shore: The Birding Trail at Brownsville Preserve

This is an excerpt from the coming-soon book, 181 Great Events on Delmarva, which includes more than 100 suggested side trips that are located near an event featured in the book. For a span of 326 years, more than 100 acres outside of Nassawadox on Virginia’s lower Eastern Shore stayed in the hands of one family, the Upshurs. From a colonial-era wharf on Brownsville Creek, they…
CharactersFrom the BooksRoad TripsWay Back Machine

JOURNEYS: The British Teenager Left Behind to Live with the Indians in 1608

Every chapter in my book, Eastern Shore Road Trips 2: 26 More One-Day Adventures on Delmarva, is a mix of fun places to visit and interesting stories from days gone by. This free excerpt is from one of the road trips set on the Eastern Shore of Virginia--the book also includes lots of trips in Delaware and on Maryland's Eastern Shore, of course. Thanks for…
DestinationsRoad Trips

The Lighthouse that Lived Three Different Lives and is Still Going Strong

Many folks think of the Choptank River Lighthouse in Cambridge, Md. as a newish thing, and, in a way, they’re right about that. The replica was constructed seven short years ago, but the stories that beacon is built on go clear back to before the Civil War—in fact, you might say that this seven-year-old lighthouse is celebrating its 161st birthday this year. In the photo…
Way Back Machine

When a Bunch of Birds Lost their Minds and Attacked Hog Island Light in 1900

The scene that unfolded on a February night back in the year 1900 on Hog Island, Va. was straight out of the Alfred Hitchcock horror classic “The Birds.” A flurry of unusual avian activity was in the air along the Atlantic Flyway in those weeks. A long and unseasonable stretch of warm weather had set a whole bunch of birds off on their northward spring…
From the BooksQuote of the Day

Quote of the Day: ‘No More Kindly Heart Ever Beat’

This excerpt from Eastern Shore Road Trips #2: 26 MORE One-Day Adventures on Delmarva is the bonus section at the end of a chapter that leads you along a backroads journey through the countryside and little fishing villages that line the oceanside length of the Eastern Shore of Virginia. The chapter touches several times on the history of the barrier islands off of that shore,…
Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day: The Terrible Scourge That Halted Work on the Cape Charles Lighthouse, 1895

There is a second Smith Island off of the Eastern Shore, with the lesser-known one shown here located all the way down by the mouth of the Bay. It's home to the Cape Charles Lighthouse, which is pretty as can be but just about impossible to go visit. Between the shifting sandbars and the tricky tides, the landing on uninhabited Smith Island is supposedly a…
Quote of the Day

QUOTE OF THE DAY: The Cape Charles Milkman Remembers-“That Horse’s Name Was Frank”

    History lovers in Cape Charles, Virginia rounded up some grant money a few years back and conducted oral history interviews with some older residents there. Here is David Mitchell, remembering his days of delivering milk aboard a horse-drawn carriage through Cape Charles. At an early age my Uncle Jesse had me working. He used to do a little gardening and he would sell butter beans…