POPLAR ISLAND 1877
There were only four property owners of property on Poplar Islands in 1877 through the
1880's. They were Captain Howeth, H. N. Sherwood, Captain D. Jones and the
Carroll estate on Cobblers Nexk. Until the 1920's fifteen families made their home there.
Valliant's Store with the post office was located on the smallest island. The larger island
had the school house which also served as the church, a saw mill, graveyard, a road to
at least a half dozen farms. Coaches Island, a separate island, also had several families.
The poplar Island farmers grew tomatoes, tobacco, watermelon, cantaloupe, corn and wheat.
The wheat was threshed with a steam engine powered thresher which now is said to lie about
one eighth mile off shore under water. They used oxen and horses to do the pulling of other
equipment. The people rode horses or walked as there were no carriages. Neither did they
Former Poplar resident Ida Richardson, now living in Tilghman, at age 87 says the church was always almost full but no preacher lived on the island. In the same building she
remembered going to school to Joseph Valiant,”a right good teacher” last ever on the
Sail canoes were the main vessel to each the mainland and oyster's were a good harvest from
the “Poplar Pot”, the natural harbor of the islands chain. Fish, especially rock fish were
Nannie Howeth,87 years old, also former resident, also lived in Tilghman, around the corner
from Ida Nannie was widow of Harvey Howeth, died at age 88. They married 7 June 1916,
lived on Poplar for four years until the brothers, Jim an Charles, sold the farms. This is the
farm the burial plot was on “ever to remain undisturbed according the deed, not accounting
for the effect of the Chesapeake.
Poplar Island was left to the moonshiners. In 1929 Federal Revenuers raided it, arrested
five, seized their yacht, and smashed the thousand gallon still.
Source: Eugene Meyer's “Maryland, Lost & Found”. 1986. Abstract December 13, 2017
by HARRISON HOWETH.