Saturday, November 8, 2014

Every Sunday On The Pocomoke Public Eye..


It's reader-friendly viewing of newspaper archive and historical archive material, primarily of local interest. 

This week we share items from 1900, 1971, 1890, 1880, 1954, and 1903.

Check back tomorrow, 11/9, right here!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Ghosts under the Chesapeake -- Prehistory of Delmarva, Part 3:

Bob Jones
Bob Jones 9:50am Nov 6
Ghosts under the Chesapeake -- Prehistory of Delmarva, Part 3:
The colossal impact-crater buried under the southern tip of Delmarva is not the only ghost lurking in the murky depths of the Chesapeake Bay. There are at least three ancient "skeletons" that had much to do with the shape of our land. In 1948, when Bay Bridge engineers in search of firm footing drilled boreholes across the Bay, they hit coarse river gravel 120 feet down, uncovering the first evidence that an ancient river valley was buried beneath the Bay.

The Delmarva Peninsula used to be a much larger land mass. In fact, it was not a peninsula at all. It was high and dry. In those Olden Days, eons ago, if you had wanted to go catch some crabs at Public Landing or enjoy a meal at Greenback's Crusty Crab you would have driven 75 miles -- that's how far it was to the coast line. On the other hand, if you had wanted to drive to Crisfield, you would have driven all the way to Smith Island before arriving at water's edge -- and not salt water, but fresh . . . and not on the bay but on a river . . . the Susquehanna River, the great river at the head of the Bay that pours in nearly 50 percent of the river water entering our estuary today.

In those distant times, it was not an estuary, but a river like any river flowing towards the ocean, which it did not reach until some 70 miles east of Norfolk. But at that time -- millions of years ago -- we were in a great ice age. Sea levels drop due to the removal of large volumes of water above sea level in the icecaps. These sheets of ice could be a mile or two thick. The sea level dropped 400 feet or even more, exposing the continental shelves. The weight of the ice sheets was so great that they deformed the Earth's crust and mantle.

When an ice sheet melted, torrents of water would flow down river valleys to the ocean, and it was in this way that the ancient Susquehanna River got flooded and its bed got covered with the course river gravel discovered there in 1948. In those distant remote times, this ancient river did not empty into the sea at Norfolk -- it emptied at Exmore. So, Delmarva was then much shorter.

As the geologic ages unfolded, glaciation alternated with warming periods, which cause sea levels to retreat, and then advance. Whenever, the sea level rose, it would bring in sand to deposit in the Exmore region, and also flood the ancient Susquehanna River valley. Later, when sea level fell, the river bed would trap gravel and sediment and get filled up. Each time this cycle reoccurred, a new Susquehanna channel would be gorged out, and each time further to the west.

Why did the shift always head southward? There is an important south-flowing longshore current. Sand came sweeping down the ocean side of the Delmarva Peninsula, carried by a south-flowing longshore current. At the mouth of the Bay, the longshore current meets the tidal currents entering the Chesapeake. This confrontation causes the sand to stop, and it then builds up.

The work of Robert Mixon, a researcher with the U.S. Geological Survey, helped put together the pieces of this Delmarva puzzle. He explains the phenomenon this way: Though the peninsula began as a short spit of land, it was a spit susceptible to great growth spurts — and great growth pauses. It grew with rising sea levels, and it paused with falling sea levels. When warm eras brought rising seas, ocean currents would pile up sand and sediment — extending the southern end of the spit.

As the river at the end of the spit became an estuary, it filled up — and the Delmarva spit simply extended itself right across the flat channel. The forces of nature buried the Exmore Channel first, then it buried the Eastville Channel (150,000 years old). The Cape Charles Channel is buried under Fisherman’s Island. Each growth spurt ended in an ice age: falling sea levels drained the ocean away, terminating sand deliveries, and exposing the Delmarva as a long, low hill along the empty, dry plains of the continental shelf. In our present era, the ocean has risen so high that the "hill" we're on has the illusion of being a peninsula.

Looking at the three maps, we can see how the sand deposited in the Exmore Region became an obstacle causing the mouth of the river to move southward. The three ancient channels thus shifted, emptying first into the Atlantic at Exmore, later at Eastville, and finally at Cape Charles (18,000 years old). Those towns thus sit astride the mouths of old river beds.

I drew my material from various web sites, the most helpful being this one:

TIME MACHINE ... This Sunday's Preview

 1900.. The well known "Cedar Hall Farm" is for sale; 1971.. A Dodger great had fond memories of baseball in Pocomoke; 1890.. An Eastern Shore town's moment in history; 1880.. A police force of one in Ocean City; 1954.. It's a "no" for voting machines in Somerset County; and more of the observations of a 1903 visitor to Chincoteague. 

Although you may not find all of these items in a history book, they are a part of our local history and you can read more about it this Sunday right here at The Pocomoke Public Eye!

Do you have a local memory to share with PPE readers.. such as a big snow storm, a favorite school teacher, a local happening, something of interest your parents or grandparents told you about?  It can be just a line or two, or more if you wish. Send to and watch for it on a future TIME MACHINE posting!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Why would Jim Mathias make false statements about my record

Why would Jim Mathias make false statements about my record as a mayor 8 years ago? It's because he does not want you to focus on his record for the past 8 years as a legislator. Don't be fooled! The Pocomoke Mayor cannot vote, but a MD Legislator votes all the time!

 What are we to do with a guy who says, "I have never raised taxes" when we see clearly that he has not told the truth? Don't cast your vote for a man who will do and say anything to keep that title in front of his name!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

TIME MACHINE ... 1929, 1913, 2004, 1955, 1908, 1903.

"Friendliest Town On The Eastern Shore."  Our tradition runs deep.  Excerpt from a letter to the editor from a visitor to Newtown, (former name of Pocomoke City) published in the Baltimore Sun, April 28,1847.

This place (Newtown) is a pretty snug little village, containing about 500 clever and hospitable inhabitants; it has good wide streets, quite clear of that "eye sore," known mostly over the Peninsula by the name of "deep sand"; the houses, though built of frame, are generally built substantially and with some discretion and taste; there are two neat, new, and quite handsome frame churches in it; as for the merchants of the place, suffice it to state that they are very clever and hospitable.  F. Mezick, Esq., the landlord with whom I stopped, and his very obliging and jolly assistant, are richly deserving of a passing notice, for the good treatment and the extension of the many civilities to "the stranger."

(Reader-friendly viewing of news archives/historical archives material)

December, 1929
(Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune- Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.)




Onley, Va., Dec 2- (AP)-  Salvage crews today were removing the last of the wreckage of a train that left the rails, piling up coaches with a death toll of nine persons and an injured list of twenty-four. The train was bound from Cape Charles, Va., on the Pennsylvania railroad for New York with excursionists.  

Calm orders, "save women and children first," shouted by Kail F. Chenoweth, boatswain's mate, attached to the battleship Oklahoma, probably saved scores from death in the stampede that started in an overturned third car, said A.V. Kemp of Norfolk, a survivor.  Chenoweth was injured himself.

Doctors said that Mrs. Kemp was saved from death by the sailor, who tied a handkerchief above Mrs. Kemp's half severed wrist.

Four hundred and eighty-eight passengers were speeding up the eastern shore peninsula of Virginia early Sunday when they were thrown from their seats under a shower of flying glass as the cars struck a broken rail and careened.  Two coaches were overturned and four behind smashed into them. The locomotive and the first two cars remained on the tracks.

February, 1913
Marylander And Herald (Princess Anne)

Hospital Report

The fifteenth annual report of the Peninsula General Hospital, Salisbury, for the year ending December 31st, 1912, has been submitted to the Board of Directors in pamphlet form. 

It shows that the total expense of conducting the Hospital for the year was about $17,000.00, the largest items being superintendent and nursing, $3,000.00; provisions and servants wages, $5,857.00; light and fuel, $1,500.00; medical and surgical supplies, $942.00; improvements and ordinary repairs, $4,627.00; office expenses and insurance, $1,103.00. The largest items received by the hospital were: State of Maryland, $10,000; patients, $5,992; operating room, $820; Wicomico County, $300.00; Worcester County, $150.00.

From November 1, 1911 to November 1, 1912, six hundred and fifty-eight patients were admitted to the hospital, with 21 left over from the previous year, made 679 under treatment for the year just closed. There came from the following counties: Wicomico, 282; Worcester 123; Somerset, 68; Dorchester, 2; Talbot 2, Baltimore 3; Kent, 6; Queen Anne's, 1; Delaware sent 77, Virginia 110, Pennsylvania, 3, and North Carolina, 2.

The results of treatment in the hospital were: Cured, 517; improved, 66; unimproved, 24; died, 46. Twenty-three of the deaths occurred within 24 hours of admission to the Hospital, and 7 died of senility.

Four hundred of these patients were treated free; 150 paid in part, and 139 paid in full. It will thus be seen that two-thirds of the patients were treated free.

October, 2004
The Somerset Herald (Princess Anne)


Town Manager Resigns Abruptly

Disagreement Triggers Departure

PRINCESS ANNE-  Town Manager John O'Meara resigned abruptly last week over a fallout with elected town officials over an issue that involved operations of the department that oversees housing codes and building permits.

Brenda Benton, town finance administrator, was named temporary replacement for O'Meara, who in three years became known as "a man of vision" and initiated community projects, increased the property tax base and donated his pay raises to town workers.

June, 1955
The Denton Journal (Denton, Md.)


Lolita Hall, 17, Crowned Miss Delmarva VII At Chicken Festival

Lolita Hall, 17 year-old Ocean City brunette, was crowned Miss Delmarva VII at Onancock, Va., Monday afternoon in the beauty pageant which highlighted the opening day of the annual Delmarva Chicken Festival.

Earlier in the contest she was selected as Miss Maryland and in the finals won out over Miss Delaware, Frances Vincent, blue-eyed blonde from Laurel, and Miss Virginia, Joyce Fooks, of Exmore.

Miss Hall was crowned queen by Gov. Thomas B. Stanley of Virginia, on the open air stage at the Onancock High School bowl, with close to 2,000 persons looking on.

She won a $750 scholarship and a trophy.

As soon as the crowning was over, Miss Hall had to rush back to Ocean City to attend her high school graduation exercises.

Bill Jaegger of station WJWL in Georgetown was master of ceremonies. At the start of the pageant, Mrs. Jack Pigman, of Berlin, the former Nancy McGee, who was the first Miss Delmarva, and now married, with three children, gave a short talk. 

After the judging was over the girls selected Miss Personality, with Miss Pat Kilmon of Atlantic, Va., winner.

Footnote: In later years Nancy Pigman (the Mrs. Jack Pigman mentioned above) presented the weather on WBOC-TV's "Weather Fashions" sponsored by Benjamin's apparel store in Salisbury.

August, 1908
Peninsula Enterprise (Accomac Court House)

I.H. Merrill Company clothiers in Pocomoke City is having an August sale.. "Every Garment In The Store Is Included."  

Click address below to see the big newspaper ad (note sign at upper left above the ad to enlarge the print).[u'ACCOMAC',%20u'Accomac']&date1=1836&date2=1922&searchType=advanced&language=eng&sequence=1&lccn=sn94060041&proxdistance=5&rows=50&ortext=Accomac&proxtext=&phrasetext=&andtext=&dateFilterType=yearRange&index=22

(A visitor to Chincoteague writes his observations)

August, 1903
The Times Dispatch (Richmond, Va.)

PART 3 (continued from last week)

As evidence of the prosperity of Chincoteague, or possibly another form of it, may be found in the number of children one sees on the street. Where two or three men and women are gathered together, there are sure to be found twice as many boys and girls. At the pony penning on Chincotague there were three hundred people at the least, and at least half the number were boys from five years to fifteen. Early marriages are the rule. There is living here now a young woman who was a grandmother at thirty-one years of age. She was a mother at thirteen. Her daughter became a mother at fourteen. The population of Chincotague was only 1,100 ln 1870, and is now over 3,000.

The people of Chincotague appear to be more generally church members then are the inhabitants of other towns. But there are five saloons here, and I did not see evidences of threatened insolvency for any of them. While drinking is more or less general, drunkeness is extremely rare. The sergeant, or constable, told me last night he had not made an arrest in a year.

The majority of the church people are probably Baptists, or have leanings in that direction. This sect has a beautiful church and parsonage on the island. There are also Protestant Methodist and Methodist Episcopal churches and parsonages.

There are three public schools in Chincoteague, including the grade school. But the schools only continue five months and a half, and I was informed that the average number of pupils to a room in the primary grade was from 75 to 110. Better school facilities are badly needed.

But Chincoteague is not an incorporated town. A few years ago Mr. S. Wilkens Matthews, member of the House from Accomac, in response to a petition signed by many of the leading men of the island, went to work and had the Legislature pass an act incorporating the island into a town. But so many of the people were opposed to the measure that a vote was taken on  it, and the charter was rejected. The act was repealed.

There are no street lights. There are no water mains.  Insurance rates run from five to six per cent.  On nearly every house, stores and dwellings, one sees over the door a tin placard bearing the name of the company in which the building is insured.  And some day there are going to be numerous policies to pay unless Chincoteague gets a charter and a water system. There is only one brick building on the island.

(More from this article next Sunday.)

Do you have a local memory to share with PPE readers.. such as a big snow storm, a favorite school teacher, a local happening, something of interest your parents or grandparents told you about?  It can be just a line or two, or more if you wish. Send to and watch for it on a future TIME MACHINE posting!

"Somewhere Over The
Rainbow Bluebirds

Flying On For JMMB.
Her Pocomoke Public
Eye postings (April,
2008 to June, 2014)
kept us informed.