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Coltons Point in St. Mary's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Trade Expands

Wharf Connects with New Markets

 
 
Trade Expands Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), August 26, 2022
1. Trade Expands Marker
Inscription.  
Island ties with Bay markets. In 1868, Blackistone's (St. Clement's) Island owner, Dr. Joseph McWilliams, built a steamboat wharf with his sons. The addition opened the island's door to trade with a busy network of Chesapeake Bay ports. Dr. McWilliams raised tobacco, corn, oats, sweet and Irish potatoes, cherries and peaches for city markets in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. He also sent geese, swan, ducks, hunted by his sons, to market. According to his diary, the steamships Express and Columbia would stop regularly at his wharf to pick up these goods.

After 1906, the Butterfields, the island's new owners, continued to farm on the Island. They also established the Blackistone Island Canning Co. and a machine shop that specialized in the repair of boat engines. Both were destroyed by a hurricane in 1933.

[Sidebar:]
The steamship Express, pictured above, stopped at Blackistone's Island on Wednesdays and Saturdays en route to other ports along the Chesapeake Bay. During the Civil War, the Express carried federal soldiers to Newport News, VA. The steamer John
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W. Thompson
also made stops at Blackistone's Island. These steamboats linked towns and wharves throughout the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay before the age of the automobile.

"Steamer Express takes off about 125 Boxes of Peaches and other fruit. I shipped 2 Boxs Damsons [plums]. Jerome and family, Ada along, leaves for Wa[sh]ington. 10 Bls Oyesters shipped from W[har]f and about 8 or 9 Pasangers go off. Goods landed for Colton…"
Excerpt from the diary of Dr. Joseph McWilliams, Wednesday, August 11, 1869 transcribed by St. Mary's County Historian Edwin W. Beitzell.

 
Erected by Commissioners of St. Mary's County; St. Mary's County Museum Division; Friends of the St. Clement's Island and Piney Point Museum; Children of the American Colonists; Destination Southern Maryland; Southern Maryland Heritage Area, Maryland Heritage Area Authority.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AgricultureAnimalsIndustry & CommerceWar, US CivilWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical date for this entry is August 11, 1869.
 
Location. 38° 12.487′ N, 76° 44.678′ W. Marker is in Coltons Point, Maryland, in St. Mary's County. This marker stands on St. Clement's Island, which has
Trade Expands Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), August 26, 2022
2. Trade Expands Marker
no paved roads. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Coltons Point MD 20626, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Blackistone Lighthouse (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Blackistone Lighthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Freedom to Worship (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Blackistone Lighthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Blackistone Lighthouse Bell Tower (within shouting distance of this marker); St. Clement's Island (within shouting distance of this marker); Ancestral Garden (within shouting distance of this marker); St. Clement's Hundred (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Coltons Point.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 27, 2022. It was originally submitted on August 27, 2022, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 101 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 27, 2022, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Apr. 13, 2024