Skip to main content
Exiles Song Featured Image of Littleton Purnell Bowen
Quote of the DayWay Back Machine

“The Exile’s Song:” A Poetic Ode By a Homesick Eastern Shoreman

Aside from having a beard for the ages, Littleton Purnell Bowen was a lawyer, historian, preacher, and poet. Born in Worcester County, Md. in 1833, he did his early schooling at the Berlin (Md.) Academy, graduating in 1851. He later earned a law degree, but abandoned that career to become a Presbyterian minister. Early on, Bowen served as a pastor in Lewes, Del. and Pocomoke…
Somerset Steak Knives Featured Image Small
CharactersWay Back Machine

Somerset Journey: The Steak Knife Was Invented in Crisfield, and That Story Begins on Marumsco Creek

The story behind the creation of the steak knife in your kitchen drawer involves a bit of manufacturing ingenuity, but there is more to it. Think romantic sleigh rides, a devastating fire, steadfast religious faith, and then—a Christmas gift from a friend that changes everything. This Somerset County, Md. tale begins with a farm boy who hated farm work. He much preferred puttering around in…
Way Back Machine

WAY BACK MACHINE: The Great Poplar Island Bootleg Booze Factory of 1929

On a Sunday afternoon in May 1929, Talbot County (Md.) Sheriff Thomas L. Faulkner and a team of local officers and federal agents sailed from Lowe’s Wharf, just up the mainland from Tilghman Island, heading past storied old Poplar Island and into the open Chesapeake Bay. But then the boat spun around and headed back for the island from the north. Poplar Island was a…
Quote of the DayWay Back Machine

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “The stately looking steamboat … cautiously, almost stealthily edged her way into the locks” of the C&D Canal.

In 1881, the Wilmington (Del.) Morning News published one writer’s eloquent account of his steamboat journey from the old city of New Castle through the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal and on across the Chesapeake Bay to Baltimore. Here are some highlights: Steamboats ran on the bays and rivers of Delmarva for a century and a half, from 1813 until 1962. This account of one brief…
Cambridge Dodgers Featured Image
Way Back Machine

About That 1945 Day When Baseball Hall of Famer Branch Rickey Went Fishing on the Choptank River

Fred “Fritz” Lucas was a baseball man through and through. The New Jersey native toiled for teams in nine different minor-league cities during the 1920s and 1930s. He had a proverbial cup of coffee with the big-league Philadelphia Phillies in 1935, getting 34 at-bats as a pinch hitter and reserve outfielder. He returned to the minors the next year, but his time on the playing…
Liars Building in Trappe, Maryland
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…
Muskrat Trappers Headed to Marsh in 1954
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…