Thursday, August 25, 2016


Dorchester , made a county in 1669, is the largest on the Eastern Shore but much of it is salt marsh with tidal streams of great beauty were fish, muskrat, deer and ducks thrive for the fishermen and hunters. Lying between two sizable estuaries, the Choptank to the north and Nanticoke to the south, with bays, creeks, straits, large and small islands, a person could spend a lifetime exploring its beauty. There is deep and shallow water for fishing for rock, taylor bluefish, or perch. Ducking is a big sport with large preserves for shooters.

As Dorchester is readily accessible by water it was settled early and many quaint seventeenth century structures are standing. Richard Preston, a Quaker, was the first Dorchester delegate to the General Assembly held in St. Mary's.

There is to the north, East New Market, with old houses so distinctive is style, Cambridge, on the Choptank at its widest point, two miles, the shores second largest city, with narrow overcrowded streets, large trees in the residential area, is a maritime town. At the Point , a residence built in 1706 still stand and is occupied. Also are LaGrange, the Wallace Mansion, with a boxwood garden and the oldest magnolia tree on the Eastern Shore, and the Jordan House with a beautiful interior. Up and down the river are Eldon, known as Shoal Creek House, Glasgow Hambrook, Castle Haven, Sopcot and lets not forget Horns point. On Hoopers Island, to the south, is Church Creek, an ancient place, with the Treaty Oak, the scene of a powwow between settlers and native Indians long ago It was a ship building town until the timber was used up. Next down the Hooper Island Road is Trinity Church, known also as Old Church, established in 1680. This church is in possession of a red velvet cushion on which Queen Ann knelt when
she was crowned, and a silver chalice presented by Queen Ann. The bricks of the church were said for years to have been brought from England but it is known the colonist made bricks as soon as they settled and near by is a hollow, probably where the clay for the bricks was dug. Near here are two old houses, one on Church Creek, known as Old house, now two centuries old. Lake Cove, same age or so by fifty years, where Lovey Lake lived during the Revolution and saved the house from the British, deponent sayeth how. Near by stands an old windmill which until a few years ago was still able to grind grain.

Hoopers Island is really three islands, Upper, Middle and Lower. Applegarth, a ghost town, for a washed out bridge never replace, and the town population moving inland during WWI for high paying jobs never returned. Three other villages, Honga, Fishing Creek and Hooperville, oyster packing towns, with people of ancient customs and friendly hearts.

Tails of the past: Hoopers Straits was once know as Limbo, so named by Captain John Smith in 1608 when driven there by a great storm after which he repaired his sails with his sailors shirts.
On Goose Creek there lived an old chief of the Wiwash Tribe who took the name of Billy Rumley, married a white woman and remained at Goose Creek when the others of the tribe moved north..............Story is that to 'punish' his wife and to 'make her sweet' he would tie her in his big chimney to the 'lubber pole' and 'smoke' her . There are still some individuals with a tinge of copper in their skin who are descendants of Billy Rumley and his white wife in this neighborhood.

SOURCE: Maryland Main and the Eastern Shore by Hulbert Footner

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