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From the BooksWay Back Machine

WAY BACK MACHINE: The Rough & Tumble Preachers in Revolutionary Times

This excerpt from Eastern Shore Road Trips #2: 26 MORE One-Day Adventures on Delmarva is one brief part of a chapter focused on history-laden Accomac, Va., which has a gorgeous old town square and side street full of sweet old houses and beautiful gardens. When the Revolutionary War broke out, most Methodist ministers fled back to England, fearing for their safety. Francis Asbury was not the fleeing…
From the BooksWay Back Machine

ROAD TRIPS 2 EXCERPT: ‘A Remarkably Ugly Fish’

This is an excerpt from Eastern Shore Road Trips #2: 26 MORE One-Day Adventures on Delmarva: That phrase, "a remarkably ugly fish" was perhaps the kindest phrase the environmental historian Nancy Langston employed during a 2019 talk she gave about the sturgeon. The phrases “sort of like zombies” and “basically dinosaurs” came into play as well. Langston wasn’t kidding about that last one. You’ve heard of…
Tubman TravelsWay Back Machine

Emancipation in Oxford: Joining the United States Colored Troops

Click on the image for more information about the book and where it's available. In this free excerpt from the book Tubman Travels: 32 Underground Railroad Journeys on Delmarva, a visit to Oxford, Maryland puts travelers in touch with stories about the slave trade there and the way some men found a way to freedom for them and their families by signing on to serve…
CharactersQuote of the DayWay Back Machine

WORDS OF DELMARVA WISDOM: “What may be the manhood and history [ahead for] a plain boy in rural life?”

John Fletcher Hurst Think about this question the next time you pass by a couple of kids working the water’s edge with fishing poles or crab nets. Such scenes remain quite common along the backroads of Delmarva, of course, just as they were when John Fletcher Hurst was growing up in Dorchester County, Maryland in the 1840s. Despite suffering from occasional debilitating bouts of asthma,…
Way Back Machine

When a Bunch of Birds Lost their Minds and Attacked Hog Island Light in 1900

The scene that unfolded on a February night back in the year 1900 on Hog Island, Va. was straight out of the Alfred Hitchcock horror classic “The Birds.” A flurry of unusual avian activity was in the air along the Atlantic Flyway in those weeks. A long and unseasonable stretch of warm weather had set a whole bunch of birds off on their northward spring…
CharactersWay Back Machine

Chincoteague Character of the Day: Thomas Downing, the ‘Oyster King’ of NYC

Growing up in Chincoteague, Va. in the 1790s and the first decade of the 1800s, Thomas Downing spent much of his time fishing, oystering, digging up clams, and catching terrapins. He must have spent a good bit of time around the kitchen as well, considering the way he grew up to become one of the most famous restaurateurs in New York City—the “Oyster King of…
Quote of the Day

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Ladies would not go out in their carriages” if “that horse frightening machine” was on the road …

The first automobiles to appear on the Eastern Shore of Virginia apparently caused quite a ruckus among the horse-and-carriage set. Here is an account of those early automotive days from The Eastern Shore of Virginia: 1603-1964, by Nora Miller Turman. You can find the book in area bookstores that carry an extensive collection of local titles, or here online. Some people had seen horseless carriages, called…