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History & Lore

A ship wrecked long ago now tells its stories

Roads came late to Chesapeake Country. Well into the 20th century, Chesapeake Bay was our central corridor of transportation. Tributaries extended the system, carrying goods and people in and out of the interior.     Now an 18th century merchant ship has risen from its watery grave on the Eastern Shore’s Nanticoke River, reminding us of our history and sparking our sense of wonder.

60 years later, this Chesapeake shipwreck remains a cautionary tale

Much has changed in the maritime world in the 60 years since the sinking of the Levin J. Marvel topped the Chesapeake’s disaster charts. The key to maritime safety hasn’t changed — aboard the Levin J. Marvel in 1955 or the recreational craft we use today.

The past comes to life at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

On the banks of the Rhode River in Edgewater lies a hidden landscape of forests and wetlands called the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Enter, and you’ll discover miles of wooded trails and wildlife. Look more closely, and you will also discover traces of the past.

The shells reminded me of the Star ­Spangled Banner. But these bombs were not bursting in air; they were hitting ships.

Underway on 12 October 1944 aboard the USS Kalinin Bay, we steamed in good weather for Leyte, Philippine Islands. With us were other escort aircraft carriers: the Fanshaw Bay, White Plains and the St. Lo. The St. Lo previously had been named Midway — [until] the Navy Department built a large carrier and named it Midway. I thought it had to be a bad omen to change the ship’s name, which it proved to be.

Eldeane Wilson, Bookmobile Librarian

When I went away to college, my mother decided to get a job. She’d trained as a kindergarten teacher and had taught before she married my father, but now she wanted to work at the Anne Arundel County Public Library. My father thought that was a great idea: She could make back all the money she’d paid in overdue book fines.

Here’s how they played in 1993

At the Galesville Hot Sox reunion game on Saturday, April 25, you’ll see baseball at its best, as community sport and social.     That’s what Bay Weekly founders Sandra Martin and Bill Lambrecht saw on a summer’s day in 1993:

Oysterman hauls up archaeological treasure

A big jug was not what waterman Simon Dean of Solomons was expecting to haul up from the bottom of the Patuxent River in his oyster tongs. As a committed young waterman in partnership with wife Rachel to work the water and — with a new venture, Solomons Island Heritage Tours — introduce visitors to the estuarine experience, Dean knows his Chesapeake.     But nothing had prepared him to harvest a botija.

All you can eat plus sides of local culture at the Deale Volunteer Fire Department’s Oyster Roast

With a toothpick set in the corner of his mouth, Kenny Wilde offers up jive with fresh-shucked oysters.     “The toothpick helps to keep a cigarette out of my mouth,” says Wilde, K-MAN to his followers.     Wilde works construction most days, though he still holds a Tidal Fishing license so he can harvest oysters. “I went out a few times this fall,” he says. “Enough to remind me it’s hard work.”

Help push our Maryland Day Celebration into the future

George Washington slept here. So did four signers of the Declaration of Independence. Thurgood Marshall, too.     But making history takes more than a few big names.     History is made by being there. The weight of that daily job is carried by multitudes of people whose names are forgotten.

The road was long and never smooth for Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman made history as an abolitionist, as the first woman to lead an armed assault during the Civil War and as a suffragist. Now, over 100 years after her death, she is making history again.     In December 2014, Congress voted to establish the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park. It is the first national park honoring an African American woman.