Tuesday, November 28, 2023
Monday, November 27, 2023
In Salisbury a winning $50,000 Cash game ticket and a $10,000 Ultimate Cash ticket were purchased.
“I do feel we could grow this event provided we have the right support and partnerships in place,” said Kelly Rados, the county’s director of recreation and parks.
(View news article:)
Sunday, November 26, 2023
(Pocomoke students entertain)
Saturday, November 25, 2023
ITS ORIGIN AND TOWN LIMITS
GROWTH, CHANGE OF NAME, ETC.
EASTERN SHORE STEAMBOAT CO.
SHIP BUILDING ETC.
HOTELS, LIVERY STABLES, ETC.
SOCIAL ASPECT, ETC.
CHURCHESNote: In duplicating this material for publishing on The Pocomoke Public Eye we have made minor adjustments to correct some of the spelling, punctuation, etc. We believe the errors were not in Rev. Murray's original writing but occurred in the process of formatting the material to a digital format for viewing online.
In writing a history of New Town, I have been no little
perplexed in gathering up evidence in regard to its origin. There is, however, one item of historical fact which gives some clue to it, namely: A certain Col William Stevens, who was, probably, staff officer to Lord Baltimore, estab- lished in 1670 what has since been called, for many years, Stevens'Ferry. A scrap of Col. Stevens' history may not be out of place here. He had a grant from Lord Baltimore to take up all the lands from the mouth of the Pocomoke River to Lewis- town, Delaware, and settle the same, which he did, with a colony of Welsh, Irish and English. He was one of Lord Baltimore's counsellors, was Judge of Somerset Court for twenty-two years, and departed this life the 23d day of December, in 1687, in the fifty -seventh year of his age. The reader will remember that, originally, Somerset County embraced all of Worcester County too. and the Court House stood on the rise of ground, on Edwin Townsend's farm, in Somerset County, at the junction of Cokes Bury and Snow Hill roads, leading to Dividing Creek Bridge. Indeed, the farm, from our earliest recol- lection, until recently, has been called Court House Farm, but now the name is becoming obsolete. Steven's Ferry reached from the Somerset side of Poco- moke River, adjoining the Phosphate Factory of Freeman, Lloyd, Mason and Dryden, to the foot of the Pocomoke Bridge, on the Worcester side. This Ferry was the center of business for this whole sec- tion of the country. The country on both sides of the river was, with some exceptions, a dense wilderness. The historical fact of Stevens' Ferry being erected in 1670 will serve as a nucleus with which to associate the history of New Town. All other evidence, which I have been able to obtain relative to the origin of the place is traditional. Tradition says : About the time or shortly after the erection of Stevens' Ferry a New England trader came up the Pocomoke River in his vessel, ladened with New England Rum and Cheese, and sought a landing at the Ferry, to sell his cargo, but the authorities drove him off, and he dropped his vessel down the river to the next knoll -on the Worcester side, which we used to call the Hill, but is now called the Public Square. Here he pitched his tent and traded with the sparse inhabitants, as they would come with their produce to trade for Rum and Cheese. The reader must conclude, of course, that the plank 'lent which he put up was the only house, or substitute for a house, in the neighborhood ; all around him were forest trees, between him and the river were mud flats and tuckahoes. Tradition goes on further to say: That about the year 16S3 or '54 the place was then called Meeting House Land- ing, in view of the saying that a Presbyterian House of. Worship was erected on the lot which was called, when I was a boy, the Sacher Lot, a nick name for Zachariah, as. the lot then belonged to one Zachariah Lambertson, but: now belonging to William J. S. Clarke, known of late: years as the Adreon Lot, at the foot of Willow St. "History states that about the year 1680, a petition was gotten up by Colonel William Stevens and others, and sent to the Presbytery of Laggan, Ireland, for a Minister- to come and settle in this part of the Colony to preach the- Gospel and look after the interests of the Presbyterian Church in these western wilds." " In 1682 the Rev. Francis Makemie, was sent to the- Colony, a man of celebrity, under whose supervision and: oversight, tradition says, this house was built. About the year 1700, the Tobacco Warehouse was built.. Tobacco having been made a legal tender by the House- of Burgesses, and a fixed price per pound established, for all debts, public and private, the warehouse became the place of deposit for the circulating medium. At this juncture of time, the name of the place was changed from Meeting House Landing to Warehouse Landing, or both may alternately have been used. Why the change was made, whether the log Church had been, abandoned or not, is all left to conjecture. I remember, well, the old Tobacco Warehouse, it stood about 120 years, and when it was torn down there was good material in it, and though I was but a child, yet I had many a romp and play in it, with my little associates, in hide-and-go-seek. It's large tobacco hogsheads, and and scales, and weights are still fresh in my memory. It stood on the hill, between the pump and the south-west corner of Smullen & Bro's. Store. From 1700 to the days of the Revolution, there is no evidence that I have been able to obtain, either historical or traditional, in regard to New Town. There are some few facts, however, which are within the writer's own knowledge, which may serve as reminiscences of that period, and fill up in some little degree the place of the lost history. I allude to some few old houses, which were probably coeval with the Old Tobacco Ware- house, one or two of which stood on the ground, now occupied by Smullen & Brother's Storehouse, one adjoining the ground now occupied by Twilly & Brother's Livery Stables, inhabited by an old lady by the name of Elizabeth Matthews. There were three or four more, only one of which I shall call the reader's attention to, which was a small red house, and stood on the south-west corner of Market and Second Streets. In this house a Revo- lutionary Soldier lived by the name of Daniel Spaulding. These houses served as landmarks, pointing to the period from 1700 to 1776, and show conclusively that they were once occupied by those who have long since passed away, and, so far as we have been able to ascertain, have left no tidings behind them. The reader is already aware that this place was called Warehouse Landing, and that name continued until 1780 or thereabouts, when it was changed to New Town. There is no record of the fact, why, or by whom the change was made. I remember about forty years ago, of having an interview with a man by the name of Reville, who said that he gave to this place the name of New Town. Be that as it may, there are some reflections presumptive of the fact. He was at the time of the interview eighty or ninety years old, so that at the time the place was named, he was twenty or twenty-five years old, admitting the fact that he was not a conspicuous man in the community, and that such changes generally take place by men of distinc- tion, yet it will be remembered that the inhabitants of the place were very few, and the surrounding country sparsely settled, so that there is a possibility that his statement is true, though I leave the reader to form his own con- clusions,
Friday, November 24, 2023
Thursday, November 23, 2023
Wednesday, November 22, 2023
I graduated from Pocomoke High School in June 1963. In September, I started my freshman year as an engineering student at George Washington University in Washington D.C. My freshman dormitory – Adams Hall – sat on the southwest corner of 19th an H Streets NW overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue. My class schedule was a far cry from the 8:45 to 3:30 routine of high school. In fact, on Fridays, I had only one class – Electrical Engineering basics – from 2 to 3 PM.
On Friday November 22, 1963, I was in my dorm room at Adams Hall around one o'clock with three other students – Frank, Tom, and Paul (their real names) – who were headed to the same two o’clock class as I was. Paul lived down the hall; Frank and Tom lived at home and commuted to class. They often visited between classes and almost always prior to the class on Friday. Also in the room was Rick, one of my two roommates.
As we all sat around talking – about nothing in particular – a student who lived in the next room walked in – his name was Al, or maybe Art – he was tall and thin, from Philadelphia, and he had a somewhat abrasive manner about him. “Did you all hear, the President has been shot.” With a smirk on his face, Rick got up from his desk in our little study alcove and said, “Yeh, we know that bit, we did it last year,” implying that this was some sort of gag. Al (or Art or whatever his name was) shrugged, said, “No, really,” with a tone that indicated that he didn’t care whether we believed him or not, and left the room.
“Easy enough to check,” I said and grabbed my little transistor radio. “ . . . has been taken to Parkland hospital, his condition is unknown,” blared forth. Twirling the dial found very little rock and roll and a lot of excited, ad libs from announcers who normally do not cover news stories. Rick heard my radio, uttered some form of expletive and literally went running from the dorm, saying that he was heading home – he lived nearby in Silver Spring Md. Meantime, I took my radio with me and – along with my three classmates – started the ten-minute walk to my class in the engineering building on 23rd street, with the radio pressed to my ear (no earphones).
The streets seemed to be teeming with people, many walking in a hurry and in agitated discussions with others; many had radios with them; those who didn’t were stopping those who did to get updates. There was an audible level of background buzz on the street. Strangers talking to each other. Some were not yet aware of what had happened. One man debarked from a transit bus and stopped our little group to find out what was going on. Strangers freely talking to each other in the street. Doesn’t happen very often.
Attendance at the class seemed normal but many of the students also had radios. The professor entered the classroom and said something like, “Latest is that they’re both still alive, you all can keep us updated,” and he waved in the general direction of those of us sitting in the back of the class with radios. His reference to “both” related to Texas Governor John Connally who was also shot. He then proceeded with the planned class which I think had something to do with wave propagation in a lossless line.
The professor was young, a recent PhD; some of the part-time commuting students were much older than him. I turned my radio way down and tried to pay attention to the interactive problem-solving discussion that was the normal teaching mechanism of this class. About ten or fifteen minutes into the class, one of the other students with a radio waved for attention, “He’s dead, they just reported.” I quickly turned up my radio long enough to hear “Because of the just announced death of the president, we now suspend our regular programming and present this recording of Bach’s Mass in B Minor.” I turned off my radio. The professor paused the class discussion for a moment to acknowledge the news, and then he did something extraordinary. He continued with the rest of the class.
We got out of class at 3, and Paul and I headed back to the dorm. By that time everyone knew. I have read accounts that describe people openly weeping, crying, hugging each other. Truthfully, I did not see anything like that other than maybe a couple of brief hugs. But people were congregating; some gathered into small groups, standing at street corners or sitting on front steps, or benches, or one group I remember just sitting on the curb of G Street between parked cars.
On our way back to the dorm Paul and I stopped at the studio of WRGW, the campus radio station which each of us had joined and where I hosted a weekly sports show. The radio station broadcast only to the dorms on campus (only it turns out that no one could actually hear us, but that’s another story.) The studios were up 8 flights of steps and sat above the stage of the University’s Lisner Auditorium. As soon as we entered the stairwell, we could hear the clang of the UPI wire machine which sat in an alcove in an office just outside the studio. The machine rang three bells whenever there was an Urgent item or Bulletin. Another of our friends Joel, was doing his program and was busily collecting and reading the latest wire service feeds. He had also taped the sequence of items – in order – to the wall. He kept those, and I often wonder if he saved them. It is interesting that the first bulletin that came in said (paraphrasing here) that shots were fired at President Kennedy’s motorcade in Dallas.
The dorm was quiet. There was a sort of lounge in the basement with a TV set, some tables and chairs and several vending machines. I went down there for a while and there were a dozen or so others in there. That’s where I got more of the details about the shooting, the killing of a Dallas police officer and the capture of a suspect. But I also knew that watching this on TV was not what I should be doing. The center of this story would soon be shifting from Dallas to where I was and I could watch it all unfold firsthand.
So that night a bunch of us from the dorm went down and joined the crowd in Lafayette Square, directly across Pennsylvania Avenue from the North Portico of the White House. In hindsight, I’m not sure why we went there or what we thought we would see, especially at night. But we felt the need to do something. By that time the presidential families had all returned to the White House and JFK’s remains had been taken to Bethesda Naval Hospital.
We watched as limousines slowly entered the White House grounds dropping off various dignitaries; in the dark we really could not tell who they were from where we were standing, even though we were right in front of the crowd, right against the police tape. The crowd was not allowed to cross Pennsylvania Avenue and stand against the fencing that surrounded the White House grounds.
The crowd was mostly silent or engaged in quiet conversations in small groups. An NBC news reporter – I think it was Sander Vanocur but I’m not sure of that – tailed by a camera crew, walked slowly down the line of the police tape, asking people their feelings, where they were, how they heard the news etc. As he approached me, I couldn’t help but wonder if anyone in Pocomoke was watching; would they see me, recognize me? But when he got to me, he walked past, and interviewed the person on my left. I guess I didn’t look like such an interesting person.
Back at the dorm my second roommate Larry arrived back around 11 PM. Larry was from Connecticut and had a part time job as an aide to his congressman who was a close Kennedy ally. He had been working that Friday when the news broke. He described the scene there in terms of shock and anger.
Around 3 or 4 in the morning, Larry woke me to look briefly out the window as a small procession including a hearse carrying the Presidents body moved slowly, silently, with no fanfare, down Pennsylvania Avenue toward the White House.
Saturday saw us back at Lafayette Square. The crowd even bigger than the night before. An even larger procession of limousines than the night before and while the daylight, made it a bit easier to recognize who was who, I only clearly remember recognizing one person: former President Dwight Eisenhower, his distinctive bald scalp announcing his presence.
For me, the most memorable two moments of the weekend were yet to come; one came on Sunday, the other on Monday.
Sunday morning, the flag covered coffin was placed on a horse drawn caisson for the grim procession from the White House to the Capitol rotunda. We did not watch the procession itself but my roommate Rick, his girlfriend Susan, and I got an early start and were near the front of the crowd gathered directly across from the eastern steps of the Capitol. Although there were tens of thousands of us gathered, silence fell as the caisson rounded the corner and drew up to the Capitol steps. I can still here the clop of the horses' hooves and the clatter of the caisson wheels against the brick paving echoing off the Capitol facade. I can still hear the wind whipping and distorting the sound of the band playing the Navy Hymn as the honor guard carried the casket up the steps of the Capitol to lie in state in the rotunda. These were unforgettable moments.
As soon as the entourage disappeared into the Capitol rotunda, the crowd didn’t disperse; it regrouped, and somewhat boisterously at that. The rotunda was to remain open all day and all night so that the public could file quietly past the flag-draped coffin, and the tens of thousands who had watched so quietly and respectfully, were now jockeying for their place in line. And that turned out to be a very, very long line.
Two lines were formed along opposite sides of East Capitol St. Each line was about ten or fifteen people wide. We kept walking east until we got to the end of the line some twenty blocks east of the Capitol! Others fell in behind us even farther back. While there was some bickering and complaining as the line moved forward (occasional shouts of “unfair” as people joined the line in the middle as they met up with friends), the crowd was noisy but peaceful and in fact at time took on an almost party-like atmosphere.
There was a noticeable increase in the noise level, as word spread through the crowd that the accused assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, had been shot in the Dallas police station. I distinctly remember two people nearby getting into a mildly heated argument about whether it was proper to refer to Oswald’s death as an assassination. And while the lines did start to move, progress was slow, and sometimes we didn’t move forward at all for 15 or 20 minutes. I later learned that they occasionally stopped the public lines to allow special visits by family members or other dignitaries.
At this point, I would love to relate how memorable it was to walk through the Capitol rotunda, past the coffin, but – unfortunately – I cannot do that. After we had been in line about 8 or 9 hours, we were still about 8 or 9 blocks from the Capitol. It was dark; we were tired, hungry, thirsty, and mostly, quite cold as the temperature had dropped and it was still windy. We quit the line and went back to our dorm. I regret that to this day, yet I remember that I knew at the time, I didn’t have anything left, and there was no guarantee that we would have made it through the rotunda before they shut down.
Monday, Nov 25, the funeral procession wound its way through the streets of Washington to Arlington National Cemetery. In addition to the horse drawn caisson, the most significant feature of this procession is that the large cadre of dignitaries walked the entire route. This included U.S. government officials, and foreign heads of state. An indelible memory is France’s Charles de Gaulle, marching stiffly, erectly, in full military regalia, a kepi topping his six-and-a-half-foot frame; he towered over most of the others in the procession.
Two days later, I was on the bus back to Pocomoke for the Thanksgiving break. Bus rides from Washington to Pocomoke were never easy, but that day was particularly bad as it seemed that everyone in Washington had decided to go somewhere else and the bus stations, streets, and any road going anywhere were impossibly jammed. In a subsequent article I will elaborate on the joys of traveling by bus from Washington to Pocomoke.
tk for ppe says: Many, if not most, of the local broadcasting stations on the lower Eastern Shore did not air commercials until after the Kennedy funeral.
I was working at WESR Radio in Virginia. We received a phone call about a bulletin on TV that the president had been shot. I checked our Associated Press news wire; the bulletin-alert bell was just starting to ring as the first AP bulletin was coming across. The television bulletin (the term "breaking news" wasn't in vogue in those days) was apparently from United Press International which is credited with having the first report on the shooting. I read those first AP bulletins to the WESR audience but as a young announcer during this highly charged time I was relieved that my on-air shift was soon ending and our senior announcer, John Hopkins, would be taking over. The AP wire was our sole source of National and World News. We did not have a network news affiliation. Two days later, on Sunday, I had a busy day alone at the station with the news of the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald.