Gilpin Point on the Choptank River was once the site of a colony of radical economic reformers. The small colony of “Georgists” advocated the economic philosophy of Henry George. They held property in common at Gilpin Point, called for a single-land-tax economy, and hoped to create a model utopian community on the Choptank River.
Charles W. Wright was master of the Ruggles, Minnie Wheeler, and Chesapeake. He resigned from Wheeler employ in 1887 to accept the post of captain of the new steamer Choptank, of the Choptank Steamboat Company. Two years later, he joined the United States Steamboat Service and became an inspector in Baltimore.
Captain William Henry Harrison Perry joined the Wheeler line in 1881 and remained in Wheeler’s service until the latter’s death in 1899. Perry commanded the Easton from the time she was commissioned in 1896 until she was sold to the B. C. and A. Railway Company. He left the Wheeler line to continue at the helm of Easton.
Read more about C.C. Wheeler steamboats on the Choptank and Tuckahoe.
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.
What does the map look like closer to home? Zoom in here and look around:
Zoomed out, it looks like a population density map. Like a census map but with a bias toward showing population segments more likely to be engaged with social media:
Zooming in, we see other patterns and try to understand their meaning. Near Denton, the local hotspots for tweeters are North Caroline High School (upper left) and McDonald’s near MD 404 (lower right). The NCHS hotspot is easy to interprist: a population more likely to be active in social media:
But why are tweets coming from farm fields? Tractor and harvester operators are tweeting while they plow furrows or harvest soybeans?
And why are all these tweets coming from the middle of the Choptank River and from the marshes north of Denton and the MD 404 bridge? Waterfowl hunters? Seems unlikely. Bad geolocations in the Twitter data are always possible. But why scattered here?
And, of course, you have to wonder about all those tweets along Routes 404 and 50. Those just passengers tweeting, right? Can’t be drivers !
Got ideas? Write to me: cartographer @
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.
These studies were funded by the Maryland Historical Trust. They identify many types of historic sites and structures, including:
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.