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From the BooksTubman TravelsWay Back Machine

TUBMAN TRAVELS: Sailing a Steamboat South to Freedom

This story of the Tilly escape is a free excerpt from the Secrets of the Eastern Shore guidebook, Tubman Travels: 32 Underground Railroad Journeys on Delmarva.  More information about the book, including where to buy it in stores and online, is available here. BIG PICTURE: Tricks of the Trade Back during the Ottoman Empire, a German military commander named Helmuth von Moltke came up with…
July 16, 2018
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 to the…
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 deep in the mosquito-ridden marshland of south Dorchester County, Maryland. (FYI: The local pronunciation is win-GIT, not win-GATE.) 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…
CharactersWay Back Machine

Ocean City Character of the Day: Dr. Francis Townsend and His ‘Miracle Cure’

The more I learn about Ocean City, Md. the more I marvel over the way the fledgling resort drew so many men and women full of entrepreneurial zeal.  That zeal wasn’t just the province of hotel magnates and boardwalk businesses. Case in point: Francis Townsend Sr., a native of Snow Hill, Md. was the first physician in the town’s history, practicing between 1900 and 1945.…
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 Road. An…
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…