DestinationsWay Back Machine

How This Amazing Old House in Chincoteague Beat the Odds and Came Back to Life

  Why is it that one building manages to survive for centuries while all the others built at about the same time fall victim to the ravages of time? One of the experts who has spent some time with what is believed to be the oldest house in Chincoteague—it’s still standing after 200-plus years—chalked its survival up to a magical mix of being “well built, unusual,…
DestinationsNatural WondersWay Back Machine

Why is the Town Played by Berlin in the Movie “Runaway Bride” Called Hale?

    Welcome to Hale Sign Since the subject at hand is peaches, we might as well start with the bit of "Runaway Bride" trivia highlighted in the headline here. The name Hale, you see, is actually a sly tribute to a tasty little slice of Eastern Shore history. Released in 1999 and starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, “Runaway Bride” was filmed in Berlin. Berlin, in turn, was…
DestinationsWay Back Machine

Tracing the History of the Famous Pony-Penning Party in Chincoteague

    Before I did a little research, I assumed that the Chincoteague’s big annual pony-penning festival became a big deal only after 1947, the year Marguerite Henry published “Misty of Chincoteague.” That story, of course, became a children’s classic and then a Hollywood movie. But it turns out that the story of pony-penning day actually dates back centuries, not decades. Local historians say that…
Way Back Machine

How Elkton Became the King of Quickie Weddings Back in the Day

    On or about June 12 in recent years--that just so happens to be Marriage Day in some quarters, Loving Day in others--Elkton has been organizing a fun celebration of the strange twist of history that briefly turned the Eastern Shore’s northernmost city into the quickie-wedding capital of the whole East Coast. Alas, as of this writing in 2017, it looks like that tradition is coming…
Way Back Machine

The Crazy Fun Day When Danny “Killer” Marsh Went After a New World Record

    These images are blurry because they're from a grainy 35-year-old video, but that video just so happens to be the greatest Eastern Shore footage I have ever seen. One commenter on the YouTube link posted below says: “This is the best thing I’ve ever found on the internet." Another: “Greatest YouTube video ever." They are not exaggerating. The year was 1980. The place was Cambridge. Gas station…
Way Back Machine

The True Tale of Misty, Stormy, and maybe the worst nor’easter of them all

    The deluge lasted three long days and stretched across five high tides right at the time of the full moon. More than 90 percent of Chincoteague Island flooded. The water ran six feet deep at times on Main Street in downtown Chincoteague. The island's chicken industry was destroyed--an estimated 350,000 birds died in the storm. Chincoteague's famous ponies suffered horribly as well. By the time the rain stopped, more than…
DestinationsWay Back Machine

The English Cottage Gas Station that Has a Story to Tell in Cape Charles

    Some empty buildings are just that, unfortunate bits of neglected junk on the Eastern Shore landscape. Others are something else altogether: Dilapidated, perhaps, but still graced with the ability to unravel fascinating secrets behind key turns in the life of the Shore—and even the country—in days gone by. Take this old guy, for example. He stands on the outskirts of Cape Charles, just…
December 5, 2014