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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…
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…
DestinationsTubman TravelsWay Back Machine

The Oldest Black Community in the Whole Country May Be Right Here on the Eastern Shore

    For many years, historians gave the title of oldest black community in the country to a neighborhood in New Orleans called Tremé, which dates its African American story back to 1812. But thanks to an extraordinary research and revitalization project in Talbot County, Maryland, it’s now apparent that a neighborhood on the Eastern Shore has Tremé beat by more than two decades. The…
CharactersWay Back Machine

Born in Chesterville: The First Black Minister to Address the U.S. Congress 

    Starting Point: Kent County, Md. Heading west out of Millington, Maryland on Route 291 you will soon come to a sign announcing that the road is dedicated to the memory of Henry Highland Garnet, whose life story has as many interesting twists and turns as any African American man in the 19th century. The fact that the first black minister to ever address…
January 30, 2018