Your local blacksmith: Not on Angie’s List

Robert Jacobs, Blacksmith, Ridgely, Maryland

Robert Jacobs, Blacksmith, Ridgely, Maryland.  Age 13.

 

Continue reading

Share Button

Skipjack, fertilizer sack, mule, boy. Repeat.

As many as four or five two- and three-mast sailing vessels at a time were often tied up at the Denton wharves.  I often had the job of leading the mule forward to lift the bag out of the vessel’s hold, and backing him up again to drop the bag onto the wharf and to lower the tongs back into the hold for another bag. You get the picture – the mule and the boy – back and forth all day until the last bag was out of the hold.

Continue reading

Share Button

The black blacksmith with a bellowy laugh

In West Denton … there were two blacksmith Shops serving the farmers and residents of the area. One was operated by a Negro named Walter Moore …  I doubt if any kingdom ever fell because Walter’s nails came loose.

Continue reading

Share Button

Choptank & Tuckahoe culture, inventoried

The Old Harford Town Maritime Center (OHTMC) in West Denton is no more.  But OHTMC’s legacy continues.

Choptank River Heritage sites were first catalogued by OHTMC and published in two volumes:

Maryland’s Upper Choptank River and Tuckahoe River Cultural Resource Inventory (1999)

Lower Choptank River Cultural Resource Inventory (2002)

These studies were funded by the Maryland Historical Trust.  They identify many types of historic sites and structures, including:

  • towns
  • landings
  • wharves
  • warehouses
  • canneries, and
  • sunken vessels

Since the inventories were published, Choptank River Heritage (CRH) continues the work of OHTMC by publishing historic maps, site descriptions, and stories of people and places of the Choptank River watershed.

Share Button

Ships in a sea of Eastern Shore corn

You fly down Route 404 across the Delmarva Peninsula,
like Lawrence and his Arab fighters across the Sinai,
380 horsepower and Camels on the dash.  

Through a sea of sand toward Suez.
Through a sea of corn toward Rehoboth.    

Traffic comes to a dead stop.
It’s a line of ships blocking your route.

lawrence_suez_ship

It’s 1873, here.

Continue reading

Share Button

Change was inevitable. So was the map.

If change was inevitable,
so was the map that shows it.

1875-1897-1905 compare

 

See changes in Caroline County, 1875 – 1897 – 1905.

 

 

Share Button

USGS does the Shore

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) started printing beautiful paper maps of the American West in the 1860s.   Then worked its way east until it finally got to:

usgs topo dates table

Continue reading

Share Button

Before GPS, you saw crossroads up ahead

 Recalculating….
At Hubbard’s Crossroads, take the right fork.

hubbards crossroads

Continue reading

Share Button

Country roads: Sorry, no Google street view

Take to the highway, won’t you lend me your name?
Your way and my way seem to be one and the same.
Mamma don’t understand it.  She wants to know where I’ve been.
I have to be some kind of natural born fool to want to pass that way again.
But you know I can feel it, yeah-yeah, on a country road.

Walk on down, walk on down,
walk on down a country road.


In 1875, all roads in Caroline County were dirt.  Most were crooked.

dirt roads - 1875

Continue reading

Share Button

On Maryland's Eastern Shore