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A Marydel Whodunnit, 1909: Amateur Actor Fatally Poisoned on Stage during Show for Charity

The Philadelphia Inquirer, Jan. 11, 1909: “The little town of Marydel, , was thrown into an intense state of excitement this morning when it became known that Charles L. Pippin, a local businessman, was dead. The cause of his death was poison in a glass of wine which he drank during the amateur performance of a play in which he was one of the actors on…
Quote of the DayWay Back Machine

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Maybe we needed a whole building because we had so many liars.”

Lots of towns have had famous “liar’s benches” over the years--a corner in a store or post office where old men gather and tell tall tales from days gone by. But in Trappe on Maryland's Eastern Shore, they had much more than a bench--a whole building there was set aside for the fine art of small-town storytelling. The description below of what days back in…
Quote of the DayWay Back Machine

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Muskrat Recipes “Worthy of an Epicure” from 1943

In the introduction to a 1943 “wildlife leaflet” titled, “Recipes for Cooking Muskrat Meat,” the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service offers these reassurances: “In modern times many persons have eaten the flesh of the muskrat and relished it. Some have declared that it is game worthy of an epicure.” And: “The recipes given here are typical of the many suitable for cooking this meat. When…
Home Page FeatureThe NewsroomWay Back Machine

The People’s Choice: The Top 10 Secrets Stories of 2019

Envelope, please! Judging by my website statistics, here are the stories that the 100,000 or so folks who visited the Secrets of the Eastern Shore website liked best during 2019 ... • Chincoteague Character of the Day: Thomas Downing, the Oyster King of NYC • How a Big Hurricane on Aug. 22, 1933 Created the Ocean City We Know Today • Love Point on Kent…
From the BooksTubman TravelsWay Back Machine

TUBMAN TRAVELS: Flying for Freedom on Christmas Eve (the Christmas Escape, part 3)

This is an excerpt from my book, Tubman Travels: 32 Underground Railroad Journeys on Delmarva. It’s the third of three chapters in the book devoted to The Christmas Escape of 1854, one of the most famous of the escapes engineered by conductor Harriet Tubman. Each chapter in the book is a self-contained story that’s linked to a place you can visit today in Delaware or…
From the BooksTubman TravelsWay Back Machine

TUBMAN TRAVELS: Love Stories at Buttons Creek (Christmas Escape, Part 2)

'Love Stories at Buttons Creek' is an excerpt from my book, Tubman Travels: 32 Underground Railroad Journeys on Delmarva. It’s the second of three chapters in the book devoted to one of the most famous of the escapes engineered by conductor Harriet Tubman. Each chapter in the book is a self-contained story that’s linked to a place you can visit today in Delaware or on…
December 12, 2019
Way Back Machine

The Year Smallpox Ruined Christmas in Sussex County, Delaware

The people of Sussex County did not have a very merry Christmas in 1919. Their holidays that year were filled instead with fear, distrust, and contention, culminating in a near riot in mid-January at the historic town circle of Georgetown, the county seat. The story begins in early December when reports surfaced that a contagious infection had popped up near Millsboro. At first, everyone thought…
From the BooksTubman TravelsWay Back Machine

A TUBMAN TALE: “The Good Ol’ Ship of Zion” (Christmas Escape, Part 1)

‘The Good Ol' Ship of Zion' is an excerpt from my book, Tubman Travels: 32 Underground Railroad Journeys on Delmarva. It's one of three chapters in the book devoted to one of the most famous of the escapes engineered by conductor Harriet Tubman. Each chapter in the book is a self-contained story that's linked to a place you can visit today in Delaware or on Maryland’s Eastern…
CharactersWay Back Machine

SUDLERSVILLE CHARACTER OF THE DAY: Hall of Fame Slugger Jimmie Foxx

One of the excursions in my book Eastern Shore Road Trips (Vol. 2): 26 MORE One-Day Adventures on Delmarva is a tour of baseball greatness with stops honoring five major league greats who hailed from the region, including four Hall of Famers. This excerpt is the section of that trip dedicated to slugger Jimmie Foxx. Itty bitty Sudlersville, Md. is the first stop in this…