Thursday, April 2, 2015

TIME MACHINE ... This Sunday's Preview.

1999.. Officials in Somerset County prepare for possible year 2000 computer glitch; 1941.. Lower Shore National Guard members remain on active duty but can resume their civilian jobs; 1893.. Pig pens and Sunday bicycle riding are issues in Accomac; 1946.. Pocomoke students write about activities of the day at PHS. 1954.. Several Pocomoke High baseball players are standouts in game with Ocean City High; 1893.. (Ad) See why Gold Dust washing powder says housewives deserve their product.

It's 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!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


Stay on your P's and Q's today or someone will be saying.....

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     CREDIT: SHUTTERSTOCK
It was warmer on the northern tip of Antarctica last week than here on Delmarva.  In fact, according to multiple news sources, that section of the coldest place on Earth reached a record breaking temperature of +63.5 degrees (F) on March 24th.  The previous record high was +63.3 (F) the previous day.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

TIME MACHINE ... 1931, 1900, 1861, 1884, 1960's.

"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)

July, 1931
Denton Journal 


Early Thursday morning, fire swept the pier warehouse of the Pennsylvania Railroad and Baltimore-Virginia Steamship Line at Crisfield, destroying the terminal and several freight cars with an estimate of $150,000. Fire companies from Crisfield, Pocomoke City, Princess Anne and Marion fought the flames three or more hours. While the firemen pumped water into the warehouse, locomotive crews made repeated trips into the fire area to save all but three of twenty loaded freight cars on sidings near the pier. The investigation shows evidence that the fire started from a carelessly discarded cigarette out on the pier. Employees were first unaware of the fire until a sudden gust of wind filled the office area with smoke. The loss included a large quantity of produce and the freight in three cars. All employees escaped unharmed.

June, 1900
Baltimore Sun 

Negotiations Between Worcester & B.C.& A. Railway for Sinepuxent Bridge

Negotiations are pending between the Baltimore, Chesapeake and Atlantic Railway Company and Worcester County, Maryland, for the use of the railroad bridge across Sinepuxent Bay for highway purposes. Recently the railroad company bought control of the bridge from the Ocean City Bridge Company. A dispatch from Ocean City on Thursday stated that the company had decided that after June 15 use of the bridge would be limited solely to the purpose of the railroad. As this is the only bridge across the bay, such action would cut off all other traffic to and from Ocean City. 

General Manager Willard Thompson of the railroad company said yesterday that this was a mistake, as the county had been offered the use of the bridge at $750 a year. It previously paid $500 a year, but Mr Thompson stated that this was insufficient to keep up the bridge for county roads purposes.

September, 1861
The Daily Exchange (Baltimore)

The Daily Exchange quoting The Washington Star.   

November, 1884 (Time Machine archive) 
(The Denton Journal)


  An Eastern Shore Miser.-  No more curious or interesting character perhaps ever lived on the Eastern Shore than William J. Handy, of Somerset County, who died last week at the age of 85.

The Handy family is a prominent one in Somerset and Worcester counties, and several of its members have risen to distinction.  William J. Handy was born before the 19th century began, on a farm on Jones Creek near Princess Anne, and lived there until he was taken away by an order of the court a year or so ago.  He was thoroughly educated and remarkably intelligent.  He studied law, but never practiced.  He never married.  He was of miserly habits, and in slave times, it is said denied his Negroes food enough to keep them from being hungry;- the weekly allowance being a peck of corn and two pounds of bacon.  So (they) had an evil reputation throughout the countryside for stealing.  He had a hundred slaves and a large-landed estate.

Handy accumulated a large amount of money which he kept hid about his premises, being afraid to trust a bank with it.  In 1851 he was robbed of $3,200 which was never recovered.

When he lost his slaves through emancipation, Handy became embittered and enraged.  It made him almost helpless, and his lands were never thoroughly cultivated afterwards.  And the revenue raised by hiring out slaves was gone, so that he became more miserly than ever, and it is said that his sister who kept house for him, with thousands of dollars around her, did not have enough to eat.

In 1863 a second attempt was made to rob him.  The house was entered, but Mr. Handy opened upon the intruders with a double barreled shotgun, and drove them off.

After this affair Mr. Handy kept strict watch and ward over his money.  Even in the hottest weather the windows and doors were kept fastened down, and Mr. Handy and his sister led miserable lives.  During the night while one slept the other would watch with a double-barreled gun and pistol heavily loaded at hand.  Even during the day Mr. Handy kept his gun in his hand and seemed to be constantly afraid somebody would rob him.  The farm became a wilderness, and the house almost inaccessible from the bushes and thorns that grew around it.

(In a third robbery attempt he told would-be robbers to go ahead and kill him but his sister persuaded him to relinquish $3,000 in gold.  He hired detectives to track down the robbers but when they were located he refused to identify them.)

A short time after this (the robbery) his sister died and he was left alone, and he would have died several years ago from hunger and cold had it not been for the kindness of his neighbors.  He would furnish neither food nor raiment for himself, yet he persisted in the house in which he had eked out such a miserable existence, though kind friends offered to care for him at a reasonable figure.  But he rejected every generous offer, and would have remained under the old roof until his death had not the house been reduced to ashes.  He was then forced to take up quarters elsewhere.

Two years ago he was judged a lunatic and Col. Levin L. Waters was appointed by the court trustee to sell the property and take care of the proceeds. 


Some of us can remember when the place where you bought gasoline for your car was also the place that provided full service. Here's a Texaco commercial from the 1960's. It includes their classic jingle.  See it here, including more vintage Texaco commercials.

(Courtesy of Duke University Libraries Digital Collections)

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!

PPE remembers JMMB.