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History & Lore

That’s the goal of Pirate’s Cove’s Pigs & Pearls Fundraiser to benefit the West & Rhode Riverkeeper

They say it was a hungry man who was the first to eat an oyster, but I disagree. I say it was a smart man, one who figured out how to set a bunch of oysters on a flat rock by a fire, cover them over with wet leaves and let them steam until they popped open, then slurped down all those succulent bits of salty goodness. Come to think of it, that was probably one smart woman who figured that out.

Take another guess or two

“What are those things?” a friend inquired.     The photos Shady Sider Kate King posted after she and son Caleb explored Calvert County’s Matoaka Beach showed a row of large concrete rings lined up on the shore.     “Alien spaceship remains,” King replied.     Are they really?     Steve Kullen of the Calvert County Department of Community Planning pulled back the curtain on this mystery.

A commuter’s love song

I love the Bay Bridge. Even when I’m in a line of slow-moving homebound traffic, even when I’m behind a carload of Bay-gazing tourists or even when facing winds, rains or snows that challenge the journey, I still love it.

Maryland Day: Our heritage, our legacy

How did you get here? Are you a ninth-generation Marylander, tracing your emigrating ancestors back to the Ark and the Dove? Or a first-generation transplant, here for new opportunity?     With a few indigenous exceptions, all of us Marylanders — regardless of how recent or how ancient — are immigrants, refugees, explorers or colonists.

And how should we spell her name?

Anne Arundel is a name we know hereabouts — in one spelling or another. There’s Anne Arundel County, Arundel roads galore and the Ann Arrundell Historical Society, to name a few.     Behind the name is a woman, Anne Arundell, who lived in England about the same time as Shakespeare. The Arundel family name had its impact on us due to Anne’s 1628 marriage into the influential Calvert family.

Black on the Shore in the early 20th century, as painted by Ruth Starr Rose

On Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Ruth Starr Rose believed she had been “suddenly transplanted into a fairy world.”     After Wisconsin, rural Talbot County under the dominating influence of Chesapeake Bay must have been quite the surprise. Certainly her mother was taken aback by their new home, Hope House, a run-down Georgian mansion and tobacco plantation that had belonged to General George Washington’s aide de camp Tench Tilghman. She had gotten nothing much more than a view, a stairway and a cemetery, Ida Starr lamented upon their arrival.

Start at the beginning as you would for American ancestors of any race

You’d expect Chris Haley, director of the Maryland State Archive’s Study of Slavery, to be hooked on genealogy. He is. Nephew of Roots author Alex Haley, Chris has studied the subject from the ground up. Here he shares some tips for learning about African American ancestors.

Great-great-grandfather Samuel Barr’s graceful cursive seems in itself an art of love

Editor’s preface: If you do not burn your love letters, they may outlive you. Because contributing writer Diana Dinsick’s great-great-grandmother did not heed that caution, the romantic passion of her husband-to-be lived on for 200 years, finally becoming a love story for you to share.

Oystering takes muscle, hope and political savvy

It’s still dark when I park my car at the public boat ramp in Solomons where I am to meet Ryan Mould, who drives 46 miles from Shady Side each weekday to oyster on a public bar below the Solomons Island bridge. As I walk out on the pier, the lights of four or five boats are hovering over the oyster bars, drifting slowly. At 7:05am I see the lights of Aquaholic approaching the pier to pick me up. Like all the others oystering this day all over the Bay, Ryan and his mate, Mike, will start at daylight, 7:21am.

Painting the land, I learned its history

When we were looking for a home to call our own, we drove. We searched up toward Frederick and Rockville, around Annapolis and down Route 2. We kept heading down Route 2, and from there we ventured down Route 2/4.     We saw areas of open farmland, old barns in open fields, crops growing, fenced pastures and shopping districts. All this was interspersed with communities that clearly had been built on old farm fields, rolling land with no existing trees but sometimes a barn. There were sections of forests and homes along the way with mailboxes right on the road.