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Way Back Machine

WAY BACK MACHINE: When the Civil Rights ‘Freedom Riders’ Arrived in Chestertown, 1962

Early in 1962, Rev. Frederick Jones, Sr. invited a group of “Freedom Riders” to come to his town and help local blacks mount a campaign against segregation. Nearly 150 of those civil rights activists showed up on Feb. 3, in two buses and a dozen cars. They were mostly college students, and they came from schools in New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Baltimore. The activists…
Quote of the DayWay Back Machine

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “How dear to our hearts are the scenes of our childhood” on the Eastern Shore

    J.B. Seth was 71 years old when he finally got around to publishing his memoirs in 1926. The Talbot County native was an Eastern Shore railroad man in his adult career, but the part of his life that is the focus here is a boyhood spent in the Talbot County countryside during the 1850s. To enjoy golden days a child should be brought…
Quote of the Day

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “If I die, I jus’ die. … I’m gonna put it in God’s hands.”

    "Her name was Beulah, and when we first talked, she told me she was ninety-five years old. ... " So begins one of the many interesting stories relayed by the writer Hal Roth in his book, You Still Can't Get to Puckum, a collection of "folks and tales from Delmarva." Beulah couldn't tell Roth exactly how many children she gave birth to in her…
Quote of the Day

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Girls Are Bad Luck on New Year’s Day

The late Tom Flowers--aka, "The Old Honker"--was a legendary storyteller from Dorchester County. Some of his tales are collected in an out-of-print 1998 book titled Shore Folklore: Growing Up with Ghosts, ’N Legends, ’N Tales, ’N Home Remedies, including this one about the old legend on Delmarva that it was bad luck if a girl or woman came calling at your house on New Year's…
Quote of the Day

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “No more beautiful spot for a dwelling anywhere” than Onancock Creek

    John Sergeant Wise spent much of his 19th century childhood along Onancock Creek on the Eastern Shore, in Accomack County, Virginia. Later, he would grow up and become a politician, lawyer, and writer whose work took him to Richmond, Washington, D.C., and New York City, among other places. This is from his 1899 memoir, The End of an Era. Wise was born in…
Quote of the Day

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Chincoteague in 1913–The Times They Were a Changin’

    You know how some folks are always complaining about development and crowds and progress on the Eastern Shore, how they keep saying everything used to be friendlier and better back in the day? Inspiration Awaits! Click on the cover to learn more about this Secrets of the Eastern Shore book by Jim Duffy, Well, those same kinds of people were saying those same…
Tubman Travels

The Book: Tubman Travels–32 Underground Railroad Journeys on Delmarva

The inspiring, true-life stories of the Underground Railroad come alive for our times in Tubman Travels: 32 Underground Railroad Journeys on Delmarva. Join award-winning writer Jim Duffy as he wanders the backroads and small towns of Maryland’s Eastern Shore and Delaware in search of sites and scenes that will put modern-day travelers in touch with stories from the lives of men and women who set out…
Quote of the Day

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “On his arrival in Vienna, the people were filled with astonishment and alarm”

Set on a gorgeous bend of the Nanticoke River, Vienna is one of the prettiest little towns on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Home to around 300 people nowadays, it dates its history clear back to 1706. There is a lovely stretch of public green space on the waterfront today. As you stroll around there and admire the views, try to imagine this place back in the…
DestinationsWay Back Machine

The Phillips Packing Company Strike of 1937: Black and White Together on the Picket Lines

    The next time you drive through Cambridge, Maryland along Route 50, take a good look behind the Wawa convenience store, toward Dorchester Avenue and the western horizon. The towering pair of old smokestacks there have some faded lettering on them, “PPCO,” for Phillips Packing Company. This year marks the 80th anniversary of a big strike there that made headlines around the country back…