Cart

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.…
CharactersHome Page FeatureWay Back Machine

Albert Jackson: How a Man Born into Slavery in Milford, Del. Became a Hero in Canada

Up in Toronto, Canada, there is a street in a residential neighborhood called Albert Jackson Lane. Downtown, on Lombard Street, there is a historical marker describing why Albert Jackson's life should be celebrated by Torontonians. The honors that Mr. Jackson has received up north go beyond those city limits--the Canadian postal service has issued a stamp in his honor. Why does this matter on a…
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…
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…
CharactersWay Back Machine

How Capt. Edward Trippe Launched the Steamboat Revolution

In tumultuous times, we sometimes miss the forest for the trees. Wartime news ruled the day during the summer of 1813. Nearly 40 British ships prowled the Chesapeake Bay. The bad guys burned a pair of Maryland towns, Fredericktown and Georgetown, and attacked another, St. Michaels. A vessel named Chesapeake dominated newspaper headlines that June--she was a U.S. Navy frigate captured by the bad guys…
Quote of the DayWay Back Machine

QUOTE OF THE DAY: In Colonial Times, You Could Pay Your Tax Bill in Squirrels’ Heads

Taxes come due a little later than usual here in 2020. Because of the big pandemic, the government pushed the deadline back to July 15. My condolences to those of you still wading through paperwork. If it's any consolation, taxes were complicated back in colonial times, too--just in a different way, one that might have you donning camo garb and grabbing a gun instead of…
CharactersWay Back Machine

‘The most remarkable man I had ever seen:’ John Hunn, Delaware’s Warrior for Freedom

If I could commune with the dead of Delmarva, one soul I would definitely want to call out is John Hunn, a great warrior for freedom during the days of slavery. He was a key player—the “superintendent,” as he once described it—along an Underground Railroad line the ran through central and northern Delaware. Precise numbers are impossible to pin down, but it’s likely that Hunn…
CharactersWay Back Machine

St. Michaels Character of the Day: The Crazy Life of James Michener, Millionaire & Cheapskate

This is an excerpt from Eastern Shore Road Trips #2: 26 MORE One-Day Adventures on Delmarva. At the end of each trip in the book, there is a postscript section that tells a bit of historical or natural lore attached to the trip. This is at the end of the chapter about visiting St. Michaels, Md. By the time Chesapeake was published in June of…
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…