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Quote of the Day

QUOTE OF THE DAY: A Moonshine Moment in Greenbackville

    The book “Voices of the Chincoteague” is built around oral-history memories of folks whose families lived in Greenbackville and Franklin City during boomtimes for those towns back in the day. Franklin City is gone now. Greenbackville is still there, right on on the Chincoteague Bay at the Maryland/Virginia line. When Prohibition became law, most of the women of the community applauded. On the other…
Way Back Machine

Murder in Chincoteague, 1885: The Sensational Crime of a Lovesick Man Who Lost His Grip

Do you remember those scenes in “The Shining” when a maniacal-looking Jack Nicholson would be typing and typing and typing like, well, mad, and in the end we see that he’s been typing the same insane few words over and over again? Those scenes popped into my head recently while I was reading up on the story of a sensational murder case that happened in…
Quote of the Day

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Never before had seen a crab. No, they didn’t know what to do with it.’

    Local crab houses first started bringing in Mexican migrants as crabpickers in the early 1990s. A few years in, the historian Virginia Jenkins conducted a slew of interviews at Eastern Shore seafood houses to try and get a handle on how everything was going. Here is one thing she learned: Traditionally , women have taught their children or other family members how to…
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…
Quote of the Day

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Chesapeake Oystermen, 1887: “One of the Most Depraved Bodies of Workmen in the Country”

    This is from a report by the federal government written in 1887, at the height of the craziest and most violent oyster boomtimes that the Eastern Shore has ever seen. And hey, Somerset County, when you get to the end here, I am thinking that the writer is talking about you as the rare "respectable" and "honorable" exception to the rule--congrats! VERY STRICT…
From the BooksWay Back Machine

How a Construction Mishap Back in 1909 Helped Create Modern-Day Salisbury

This excerpt from Eastern Shore Road Trips #1: 27 One-Day Adventures on Delmarva is comes in the midst of a road trip through Salisbury, starting on the east at the Ward Museum and then running through City Park and into downtown and its Riverwalk. Do you see that giant kidney-shaped thing at the top of this old map of downtown Salisbury? That is the 40-acre Humphrey's Lake that…
CharactersWay Back Machine

The “Socialite” Whose Art Celebrates the Life of Eastern Shore African Americans Back in the Day

The story of Ruth Starr Rose is full of bold and interesting turns. Born in the Midwest in 1887, she moved to the Eastern Shore at twentyish years old when her parents bought a dilapidated wreck of a mansion called Hope House in Talbot County. The place was chock full of history—members of the Lloyd and Tilghman families had called it home in the 1700s—but by…
CharactersWay Back Machine

The Story Behind Wild West Sharpshooter Annie Oakley’s Time on the Eastern Shore

Sharpshooters Annie Oakley and Frank Butler were already famous stars by the time they found their way to Maryland’s Eastern Shore back in 1912. In fact, they were ready at that point to call it a career and retire altogether from the traveling-Wild-West-show business. From what I’ve read, it was Butler’s idea to settle on the Shore. After visiting Cambridge on one of their endless tours…