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Quote of the DayWay Back Machine

QUOTE OF THE DAY, 1907: Those Newfangled Skipjacks “Are as Cheap as Anything in the Form of a Boat Could Be.”

    Back in 1907, the Baltimore Sun published an essay lamenting the disappearance of an old sailing vessel called the pungy from the Chesapeake Bay sailing fleet. The business of oystering was in transition in those years, and the pungy was a bad fit for the new way of doing things. With the infamous Oyster Wars well under way, watermen were looking for vessels…
Quote of the DayWay Back Machine

Quote of the Day: A Shocking Discovery on the Dunes of Fenwick Island, c. 1900

    Ruth Watson Lewis grew up in a family that made a special trip every year to a religious "camp meeting" on the Delaware Beach. The reminiscence that follows about going to the Fenwick Island camp meeting as a young girl comes from the book, Barefoot in Fenwick Island: Life on the Isle in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Be sure to stay tuned…
CharactersWay Back Machine

Snow Hill/Wilmington Character of the Day: Hall of Famer Judy Johnson

    Clutch: That’s the word that pops up when baseball people talk about how Judy Johnson earned his place among the game’s all-time greats. Johnson wasn’t particularly strong, or fast, or powerful. He stood less than 6 feet tall and weighed less than 150 pounds. There was nothing flashy about his style. But "no one would drive in as many clutch runs as he…
Quote of the DayWay Back Machine

QUOTE OF THE DAY: ‘The mosquito,’ Dr. Tawes would say, ‘is one of the noblest creatures known to nature.’

    The late P.J. Wingate was, appropriately enough, from the little town of Wingate, which stands amid the mosquito-ridden marshland of South Dorchester County, Maryland. (Locals pronounced it win-GIT, actually.) A chemist by trade, Wingate dabbled quite a bit in writing as well. This is from his 1979 book, Bandages of Soft Illusion. It’s full of little essays about his childhood days in what…
Way Back Machine

A Frederica Story: From Ladies Undergarments to Man on the Moon

    Sometimes the stories Delmarva has to tell are hiding in plain sight. Consider, for example, the generic-looking, aluminum-clad buildings that make up the ILC Dover complex along Carpenter Bridge Road on the outskirts of Frederica, Del. Passersby could be forgiven for assuming this was just another warehouse or widget maker. The postal address contains a clue that something else is afoot: 1 Moonwalker…
Quote of the DayWay Back Machine

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Cambridge in 1872–“the most beautiful place on the Peninsula”

    In an article for Scribner’s Monthly magazine, the 19th century writer George Alfred Townsend shared his impressions after a bit of wandering around Maryland's Eastern Shore. The article included the description below of what it was like to come up the Choptank River into Cambridge in 1872, just a few short years after the Civil War. When you come to the part about…
Tubman Travels

TUBMAN TRAVELS: How the Other ‘Moses’ Kept the Dogs of Slavery at Bay

The story of Moses Viney that follows is excerpted from Tubman Travels: 32 Underground Railroad Journeys on Delmarva, a book by Secrets of the Eastern Shore that tells stories of Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, and many other men and women whose journeys in slavery and out of bondage went through the Eastern Shore and Delaware. Moses Viney had a pretty fun go of it for…
Quote of the DayWay Back Machine

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “You slide your feet around in the mud like you’re dancing a Bojangles sand-dance”

    “I am, like my daddy was, and his daddy was, a waterman.” So begins Chincoteague Summer of 1948: A Waterman’s Childhood Stories, a little wisp of a book that is both odd duck and fun read. It presents itself in quite authentic fashion as the recorded childhood memories of waterman Thurston Watson. But then the author, Ed Waterhouse, a Chincoteague native who had…