Joppa and Avalon were the two most notable steamboats that ran between Baltimore and Denton on the Choptank River from the 1880s until 1921. What happened to them after they disappeared from the Choptank?
Caleb Clark Wheeler was born in 1839 at Gilpin Point in Caroline County. At age 12 he began work as a cook on a sailing schooner that shipped goods and passengers between the Choptank and Baltimore. By age 18, he was a schooner captain, and at 21, he was part owner of the schooner John Nichols.
Wheeler could not read or write, but he had sharp business acumen. He opened a general store at Gilpin Point in 1862, at age 22, and served as middleman between Choptank River farmers and Baltimore merchants. Wheeler moved his business from Gilpin Point to Hillsboro in about 1870.