Sunday, February 19, 2012

TIME MACHINE ... A 1905 Delicacy From The Eastern Shore

(Reader-friendly viewing of newspaper archives material)


October, 1905

(The Washington Post)


Trouble in Raising the Reptile Keeps the Prices Up

From The New York Press

Terrapin season is now on but most of the people in New York will not know it because the prices of the dish is above the average purse. Nevertheless this interesting and delicious reptile attracts all the attention its numbers can supply, and the prices does not count with the majority of people to whom it is served.

The chief source is Crisfield, Somerset County, on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where the artificial culture of the terrapin was first attempted, and where it has been successfully conducted for twenty years.

"Brer" Terrapin is a peculiar creature. He requires both fresh and salt water daily, and at different times, and this he gets in the inlets and tidal rivers of the Chesapeake. When the tide is out the fresh water flows over him; when the tide is in, the salt. This condition is necessary not only to his best development, but to his existence. If left in fresh water, in a few generations he becomes a common snapper; if in salt he becomes in about the same length of time a sea turtle, and loses his amphibian character.

At Crisfield, A.B. Biggin has a farm containing over 30,000 diamond-back terrapin. They are fed on mashed hard crab meat at low tide, and the scene is highly interesting. The sluggish reptile suddenly awakes to activity and does surprising stunts in the way of fighting for food, which he devours with great rapidity. The pond is a small bay of Tangier Sound, and is enclosed in a stout board fence with wire screens to let the tide flow in and out. The propagation of the diamond terrapins is not very rapid. The females lay from ten to twenty eggs in a season, but as it is the hen terrapins which is the favorite of the epicures, it does not have a fair chance to breed.

There are many other ponds on the Eastern Shore, but the owners buy most of their stock when small from the Pamlico and Albermarle Sound district. The demand for terrapin is now very general, and they are sold in large quantities in the West at the rate of $50 to $65 a dozen for the hen terrapin, and $40 to $50 a dozen for the bulls. An establishment in Delaware makes a specialty of tinning terrapin for the export trade, but it is suspected there is a good deal of red snapper in it, and perhaps some of the dishes served in swell restaurants are not free from the same alloy.

Footnote: During this era turtle dinners on the Eastern Shore were an attraction at public events such as political gatherings.


May, 1960

(The Salisbury Times)

Pocomoke Kiwanis Entertain Team

POCOMOKE CITY- The Pocomoke Kiwanis Club had as their guests on Monday evening the varsity basketball team of the Pocomoke Boys Club.

Ben Cohen introduced the leaders of the club, Avery Smith and Dave Wagner. Mr. Smith introduced the boys to the club and praised them on the excellent way they played during the season. He then awarded a trophy to the most improved player. This award went to Jerry Smith.


May, 1968

An exterminating company's use of chemically treated perches was meeting with success in driving pigeons away from downtown Pocomoke City. Councilman Fred Henderson suggested the plan.



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