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MiscellanyTubman TravelsWay Back Machine

Young Harriet Tubman Finds Her Strength, With a Little Help from Her Father

This is an excerpt from my book, Tubman Travels: 32 Underground Railroad Journeys on Delmarva. A smidgeon of background: This story begins while an adolescent Harriet Tubman—her name in her younger days was Minty—is in the midst of a long recovery after suffering a near-fatal head injury when hit in the head by a hardware-store metal weight flung by a plantation overseer. (You can read…
Strange & WondrousWay Back Machine

Traveling to Bethany Beach in its Early Days Was a Long, Bumpy, and Stinky Nightmare

Mom, Dad, are we there yet? Was that classic children’s whine a thing in the early 1900s? If it was … oh, those poor parents who decided to take their kids on vacation to Bethany Beach, Del. Everyone complains nowadays about summertime traffic tie-ups on the way to the beach. But those delays are nothing compared with the trials and tribulations endured by Bethany-bound travelers…
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Six Bridges Over Troubled Water: A Dreadful Day in Chincoteague, 1922

NOTE: This is a rough draft for a chapter in an upcoming book that is (very) tentatively titled Strange and Wondrous Tales from the Delmarva Peninsula. You can see the other books in my Secrets of the Eastern Shore series here. Oh, the hours of preparation and work that must have gone into the celebration planned for Chincoteague, Va. on Nov. 15, 1922! Local newspapers…
Strange & Wondrous

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

NOTE: This is a rough draft for a chapter in an upcoming book that is (very) tentatively titled: Strange and Wondrous Tales from the Delmarva Peninsula. You can see the other books in my Secrets of the Eastern Shore series here. 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…
Quote of the DayWay Back Machine

The Best Delmarva Trip You’ll Never Get to Take: Cobb’s Island Hotel in the 1860s

Outdoorsman Alexander Hunter wrote an essay describing his visit to the Cobb Island (Va.) Hotel shortly after it opened on the barrier island of that name off of Virginia's Eastern Shore. The essay was published in a 1908 book, but the events it recalls go back much further. The hotel first opened in the 1860s. The Cobbs had no idea how to run a hotel--except…
CharactersWay Back Machine

This Milford, Delaware Man Who Helped Ice Cream Parlors Take Off in the 1920s

In the beginning, the only folks who screamed for ice cream were filthy rich. The history of the ice cream parlors we know today dates back to France in the late 1600s, but the sweet treat didn’t take off with the general population until the arrival of industrial refrigeration technologies in the 1870s. Even then, there were problems. Early parlors served ice cream on paper…
Way Back Machine

Fall of an ‘Ancient Warrior:’ The Cape Henlopen Lighthouse Collapses, 1926

When it comes to iconic images of Delaware, the Cape Henlopen Lighthouse ranks at or near the top of the list. Its likeness can be found in galleries, on greeting cards, on websites, and in logos. There’s even a mini-replica set in the middle of a traffic roundabout on the way into Rehoboth Beach. That’s pretty impressive, considering the fact that the lighthouse toppled into…
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…