Quote of the Day

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Ladies would not go out in their carriages” if “that horse frightening machine” was on the road …

The first automobiles to appear on the Eastern Shore of Virginia apparently caused quite a ruckus among the horse-and-carriage set. Here is an account of those early automotive days from The Eastern Shore of Virginia: 1603-1964, by Nora Miller Turman. You can find the book in area bookstores that carry an extensive collection of local titles, or here online. Some people had seen horseless carriages, called…
Quote of the DayWay Back Machine

QUOTE OF THE DAY: The Know Nothing Election of 1855 in Onancock, Virginia

Election day is coming up on Tuesday, and folks seem to be pretty excited and upset on both sides of the aisle. It was like that back during the Know Nothing election of 1855, too. John Sergeant Wise was a child then, living along Onancock Creek on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. He would have been 11 or 12 during that gubernatorial election campaign, which…
October 28, 2018
Quote of the DayWay Back Machine

QUOTE OF THE DAY, 1922: “Mainland folk have been prone to think their kinsmen on the islands of the Eastern Shore a bit barbaric …”

In 1922, Edward Noble Vallandigham wrote a book full of interesting essays about the towns, churches, and people of the Delmarva peninsula. Delaware and the Eastern Shore has a great subtitle: Some Aspects of a Peninsula Pleasant and Well Beloved. Here, Vallandigham gives his views about the people who inhabit the remote islands of the Eastern Shore.   Surnames are so few on some of the…
September 23, 2018
Quote of the DayWay Back Machine

QUOTE OF THE DAY: In an Old Tomato Cannery, “the Satisfication of All Our Work Done Right”

One day last winter I drove out to St. Michaels to hear a presentation at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum by a panel of local folks whose families were involved in various old canneries that used to be so central to the economy in the mid-Shore region--and all around the Delmarva Peninsula. One of the presenters passed around a copy of this poem, written during the…
September 16, 2018
Quote of the DayWay Back Machine

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Traveling to Tolchester Beach in 1879

    In 1879, a Baltimore company called A.P. Lloyd worked up a travel guide for boaters and travelers called The Chesapeake Illustrated. Below is what they had to say about one famous old-time destination, Tolchester Beach in Kent County, Maryland. And below that are some photos of how things looked at Tolchester back in the day. TOLCHESTER BEACH, THE NEAREST and probably the most popular of…
Quote of the DayWay Back Machine

QUOTE OF THE DAY, 1852: “Each Member of the Clerical Staff Must Bring 4 Pounds of Coal Each Day.”

    Everyone knows workplace conditions were a animal in times gone by, but it's still eye-opening to consider just how different things were. Consider this old poster, which I saw on a recent visit to the Furnacetown Living Heritage Village near Snow Hill, Md. The Village is on the site of an old bog-iron-making operation, but these Furnacetown rules actually apply to the clerical…
August 18, 2018
Quote of the DayWay Back Machine

QUOTE OF THE DAY: The Heyday of Garment Factories in Crisfield, Maryland

That old saying about how the more things change, the more they stay the same popped into my head when I went looking for a little background info to go with a cool photo of an old B.V.D. underwear plant, one of several old garment factories in Crisfield, Md. We’ve all heard about modern-day clothing and shoe companies that find their way to far-flung places…
July 23, 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…
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…