“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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Historical Markers and War Memorials in St. Michaels, Maryland

Clickable Map of Talbot County, Maryland and Immediately Adjacent Jurisdictions image/svg+xml 2019-10-06 U.S. Census Bureau, Abe.suleiman; Lokal_Profil;; J.J.Prats/dc:title> Talbot County, MD (120) Anne Arundel County, MD (439) Calvert County, MD (153) Caroline County, MD (73) Dorchester County, MD (106) Queen Anne s County, MD (94)  TalbotCounty(120) Talbot County (120)  AnneArundelCounty(439) Anne Arundel County (439)  CalvertCounty(153) Calvert County (153)  CarolineCounty(73) Caroline County (73)  DorchesterCounty(106) Dorchester County (106)  QueenAnne'sCounty(94) Queen Anne's County (94)
Easton is the county seat for Talbot County
St. Michaels is in Talbot County
      Talbot County (120)  
      Anne Arundel County (439)  
      Calvert County (153)  
      Caroline County (73)  
      Dorchester County (106)  
      Queen Anne's County (94)  
Touch name on this list to highlight map location.
Touch blue arrow, or on map, to go there.
1Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Delaware — River Tug — Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum —
Large sailing vessels carrying cargoes of lumber, wheat, fertilizer, and coal, were common on the Chesapeake Bay until the 1930s. With its narrow, winding rivers and shallow harbors, many of the Bay's waterways were difficult to maneuver. Tugs . . . Map (db m138375) HM
2Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Freedom's Figurehead — Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
Where did such a big figurehead come from? A big ship? In this case, it was made for a relatively small vessel—the 88-foot schooner yacht, Freedom. Yacht designer John G. Alden never intended for Freedom to have a figurehead when . . . Map (db m138308) HM
3Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Freedom's Figurehead
Where did such a big figurehead come from? A big ship? In this case, it was made for a relatively small vessel -- the 88-foot schooner yacht Freedom. But yacht designer John G. Alden never intended Freedom to have a figurehead when . . . Map (db m158596) HM
4Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Katie G., Deadrise Workboat — Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
This small power skiff was made for pleasure fishing and crabbing. Although Katie G. was built with an engine, she has the shape of a sailboat. This is apparent in her "tuck stern," where the back of the boat rises out of the water. Later . . . Map (db m138359) HM
5Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Martha — Hoopers Island Dovetail — Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum —
Dovetail boats were built in the early 1900s with gasoline engines and a special stern that looked like a motor racer. Martha was built in 1934 for $350 and was probably used for oyster tonging and trotlining for crabs. She was named after . . . Map (db m138357) HM
6Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Merry Widow — Poquoson Log Canoe
Log canoes built in the Poquoson, Virginia style were rigged as sloops, with a jib carried on a short bowsprit. Built for oyster tonging by Captain Will Knott, Merry Widow was named for a popular musical of her day. Later, she was . . . Map (db m138368) HM
7Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Old Point — Crab Dredger — Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum —
Old Point was one of a fleet of crab dredging boats that operated out of Hampton, Virginia, at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay from the 1910s through the 1960s. From December through March, captains and crews lived on their boats so they . . . Map (db m138358) HM
8Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Spat, Miniature Skipjack — Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
A fairly simple and inexpensive boat to build, the skipjack became a popular workboat in the 1890s. Built in 1969, this miniature skipjack was a sturdy daysailer particularly suited for Chesapeake Bay waters. Formula for designing a . . . Map (db m138323) HM
9Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Thor, Pilothouse — Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
Most pilothouses had two sections. The forward part housed navigational equipment and served as the steering station, while the after part was for the crew who sometimes worked aboard these boats for many weeks at a time. The after section is where . . . Map (db m138369) HM
10Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Winnie Estelle — Buyboat — Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum —
Built in 1920 by Noah T. Evans, a native Smith Islander, Winnie Estelle was named for his two daughters. Evans was an occasional boatbuilder; his principal occupation was operating buyboats—buying fish and oysters directly from . . . Map (db m138370) HM
11Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — A Mighty Pull — Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
Handling heavy hawsers was hard, dangerous work on tugboats, but it became a little easier with power capstans. This capstan used steam from the same boilers that powered the steam tug America's 450-horsepower engine. America . . . Map (db m158604) HM
12Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Bugeye Design
Like the smaller brogans before them, bugeyes were essentially enlarged log canoes with two raked masts. Chunked from multiple pine logs, their hulls were then planked over, creating shallow vessels with wide decks. Bugeyes were generally sharp . . . Map (db m138316) HM
13Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Bugeyes and Oystering
In the 1800s, the once-slow harvest of oysters in the Chesapeake Bay exploded. New technology like railroads and food preservation allowed oysters to reach new markets. To meet the growing national demand for this cold-weather fishery, larger . . . Map (db m138320) HM
14Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Bushwack Boat
Bushwack boats were originally used for gill netting shad on the Susquehanna Flats at the northern end of the Chesapeake Bay. Waterfowlers adapted them for use with decoys while hunting ducks. The crouching hunters were hidden from view by a canvas . . . Map (db m138365) HM
15Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Captain John Smith's Shallop — and America's First National Water Trail
This modest open boat is a replica of one of the most important vessels in American History. In the summer of 1608, a small boat or "Shallop" similar to this was used by Captain John Smith to make the first detailed European exploration of the . . . Map (db m61332) HM
16Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Chesapeake Bay Small Craft
Watermen used a wide variety of small boats around the Chesapeake Bay for fishing, oystering, and crabbing. Some of their boats were brought from other places along the East Coast, but most were locally built, with designs that suited to available . . . Map (db m138362) HM
17Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Deflecting the Enemy — Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail — National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —
Local lore hails St. Michaels for "fooling the British" during the War of 1812 by using lanterns to misdirect gunfire high above the town. It is certain that this shipbuilding village successfully fended off two enemy assaults in 1813. On . . . Map (db m158610) HM
18Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Edna E. Lockwood
Edna E. Lockwood, built in 1889 by John B. Harrison on Tilghman Island, is the last example of an oystering vessel known as a bugeye. Constructed during the heyday of the Chesapeake oyster industry, bugeyes were sailboats designed to pull . . . Map (db m138319) HM
19Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Fishing Shanty / Ark
Arks were floating cabins used by watermen as living quarters while they fished for shad and herring on the Chesapeake Bay, far away from home. As the fish made their spring run up the Bay, the watermen would follow, towing the arks behind their . . . Map (db m138361) HM
20Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — For Whom the Bell Tolls — Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
Keeper Ulman Owens met an untimely end at the Holland Island Bar Lighthouse in 1931. The official report ruled that he died by natural causes, but his bruised body and a nearby knife made some suspect foul play. We can't be sure this 1,000-pound fog . . . Map (db m138380) HM
21Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Frederick Douglass
Born on Tuckahoe Creek, Talbot County; lived as a slave in St. Michaels area, 1833-1836. Taught self to read and write, conducted clandestine schools for blacks here. Escaped north, became noted abolitionist orator and editor. Returned 1877, as U.S. . . . Map (db m3732) HM
22Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — From Shipwrecked Puppies to Iron Dogs — Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
While sailing home from England in 1807, George Law, a member of a prominent Maryland family, rescued Newfoundland puppies from sinking British ship and brought them home to the Chesapeake Bay. The puppies—named Sailor and Canton (the name of . . . Map (db m138325) HM
23Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Grave of General Perry Benson (1757-1827)
A leader in his home community and State. In the Revolutionary War he served as a captain, and was wounded twice. In the War of 1812, he commanded the militia in Talbot, Caroline and Dorchester Counties.Map (db m61387) HM
24Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Heard Through the Fog — Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
The U.S. Lighthouse Establishment built two cottage-style lighthouses in 1892—one in Chesapeake Bay waters at Maryland Point on the Potomac River and one in Sharkfin Shoal on Tangier Sound. Each of these was equipped with not only a lighted . . . Map (db m138377) HM
25Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Hooper Straight Light's Twin — Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
After the first lighthouse at Janes Island near Crisfield was destroyed by ice in January 1879, a second screwpile lighthouse identical to the one at Hooper Strait (now located on Museum ground) replaced it. Ice struck the Janes Island Light again . . . Map (db m138379) HM
26Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Hooper Strait Lighthouse — Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
This lighthouse was originally located forty miles south of here –in Hopper Strait—where its light marked the location of one of the Chesapeake Bay’s many hidden sand bars. Because the Bay is mostly shallow, sailing a boat from the . . . Map (db m61486) HM
27Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — How the Screwpile Lighthouse Got Its Name
A screw like this one was at the bottom of each of the seven pilings (legs) of this lighthouse—allowing the leg to be screwed down into the soft Bay bottom. It would have been much easier to simply drive the leg straight down into the mud, but . . . Map (db m61491) HM
28Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Iconic Chesapeake Light — Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
The hexagonal screwpile cottage-style light station off Thomas Point was lit in 1875, replacing an earlier tower on the shore. In 1914, the US Lighthouse Service noted that Thomas Point Shoal's fog bell sounded a triple stroke every 30 seconds using . . . Map (db m138373) HM
29Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Kennedy M. Fitzgerald — (1987-2007)
Kennedy was a child of the Eastern Shore who touched many lives with his vibrant spirit and his love for the Chesapeake Bay. Growing up as a swimmer, boater, fisherman, and hunter, he was an Eagle Scout who worked summer jobs that would take . . . Map (db m138360) HM
30Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Last Bell Foundry — Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
Henry McShane started his Baltimore foundry in 1856, and by the late 1800s McShane Bell Foundry employed 90 people and produced tens of thousands of bells and chimes for churches, firehouses, public buildings and fog-alarm bells for lighthouses, . . . Map (db m138374) HM
31Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Lewis Tarr House — Built in 1843
Home of the Chesapeake Log CanoesMap (db m138300) HM
32Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Lost Overboard — Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
Hundreds of armed schooners sailed from Baltimore during the War of 1812, carrying cannons like this to defend themselves or to capture a poorly defended British merchantman. Baltimore was such a hub of privateering trade that it attracted a . . . Map (db m158641) HM
33Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Maritime Legend #21663 — "The Tow Rope"
Hand tonged in the Miles River in 1939 by local seafaring legend Frankie Alberto Morgan Wilkenship, this rope dates back to 1813. It was used during the British Invasion of St. Michaels. Maritime forensic experts claim the line "a true nautical . . . Map (db m62851) HM
34Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Maryland National Bank Building
The original portion of this building was constructed as a residence in 1806 and was remodeled for Maryland National Bank St. Michaels Office in 1963.Map (db m138301) HM
35Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Miniature Skipjack, Spat — Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
A fairly simple and inexpensive boat to build, the skipjack became a popular workboat in the 1890s. Built in 1969, this miniature version of a skipjack was a sturdy, swift daysailer particularly suitable for Chesapeake Bay waters. Length: . . . Map (db m61496) HM
36Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Navy Point Historic Houses
Eagle, Dodson and Higgins Houses have looked out over the St. Michaels waterfront for well over a hundred years now. When they were first built, the town's harbor would have been full of work boats, everything from oyster tonging skiffs and canoes . . . Map (db m61335) HM
37Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Navy Point Historic Houses — Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
Higgins, Dodson, and Eagle houses have looked out over the St. Michaels waterfront for well over a century. When they were built, the harbor was full of workboats, from oyster tonging skiffs and canoes to large commercial sailing vessels. Between . . . Map (db m138307) HM
38Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Oystering on the Chesapeake
The Chesapeake Bay is the greatest oyster factory on earth. Along its length, fresh water from the mid Atlantic states combines with salt water from the sea in just the right proportions (and at just the right depths and temperatures) to create the . . . Map (db m61480) HM
39Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Point Lookout Fog Bell Tower — Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
When fog hides a lighthouse’s beacon, sailors need an audible signal to guide them. So a fog tower containing a bell was frequently built alongside a lighthouse. Large bells, such as the 1100 pound bell in this tower, were used because their sound . . . Map (db m61483) HM
40Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Point Lookout Fog Bell Tower
When fog hides a lighthouse's beacon, sailors need an audible signal to guide them. So a fog tower containing a bell was frequently built alongside a lighthouse. Large bells, such as the 1,100 pound bell in this tower were used because their sound . . . Map (db m138371) HM
41Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Pot Pie Skiff — Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
Waterman Lock Brando used this little skiff to catch crabs with a trotline, and perhaps to tong for a few oysters. The boat is steered by a simple mechanism with a stick on the starboard or right side, connected by ropes to the rudder in the stern. . . . Map (db m138353) HM
42Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Rebuilding Rosie Parks
Museum craftsmen are restoring this historic skipjack, which was built in 1955 to dredge oysters from the bottom of the Chesapeake Bay. Why is this skipjack important? The celebrated Dorchester County boatbuilder Bronza Parks built Rosie Parks . . . Map (db m61527) HM
43Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Restoration
In 1975, Edna E. Lockwood was stripped to her log hull and restored from the waterline up. Now, those nine 127-year-old logs are finally in need of repair. Edna is currently undergoing a major restoration to replace her falling logs . . . Map (db m138318) HM
44Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Second Defense of St. Michaels
Here, August 26, 1813, General Perry Benson, with 600 militia, most of them from Talbot County, halted a British force of 1,800. The Easton artillery manned the road, the 4th and 26th infantry the woods, and the 9th cavalry the wings.Map (db m3177) HM
45Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Shallop — Replica — Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum —
In the summer of 1608, a small boat or a "shallop" like this was used by Captain John Smith to make the first detailed European exploration of the Chesapeake Bay. In the decades that followed, the knowledge gained from Smith's voyages played a key . . . Map (db m138304) HM
46Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Sharptown Barge
Sharptown barges developed on the Nanticoke River to fish for shad. Shad runs were a staple of Chesapeake springs on the 18th and 19th centuries, and their importance to the colonial Chesapeake economy earned them the nickname "The Founding Fish." . . . Map (db m138367) HM
47Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Skipjack Centerboard — Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
This centerboard was the retractable keel for the skipjack Martha Lewis, a near sister to Rosie Parks, which can be found afloat along the Museum waterfront.Map (db m138382) HM
48Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Smith Island Crabbing Skiff
Smith Island watermen used boats like this to sail to their crabbing grounds, where they caught soft crabs with a dip net. Although engine-powered boats appeared in the area around 1907, sailing skiffs such as this continued to be used in the . . . Map (db m158639) HM
49Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — St. Michaels
This town was attacked by a British force during the night of August 10, 1813, but they were driven back to their boats at sunrise. A gun used in its defense is mounted in the town square.Map (db m61386) HM
50Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — St. Michaels Packing Company Warehouse
When the St. Michaels Packing Company constructed this building in 1933, the Great Depression was at its height. To economize, the company bought a freight terminal in nearby Claiborne, Maryland from Baltimore, Chesapeake & Atlantic Railway Company, . . . Map (db m138363) HM
51Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — The Miles River
In front of you, the Miles River is carrying freshwater down to the Chesapeake Bay. Twice a day, saltwater tides from the Atlantic Ocean push back the fresh water flow of the Miles River and some 150 other rivers, creeks, and streams. This mixing of . . . Map (db m61529) HM
52Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — This Cannon
This Cannon was used against the British in Defence of St. Michaels, MD -- August 10, 1813 and mounted here August 11, 1913 by the following Centennial Commission. Thomas H. Sewell, Charles H Fogg, Richard S. Dodson, John T. Mansfield, O. . . . Map (db m61337) HM
53Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Tolchester Bandstand — Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
On this Victorian bandstand, musicians played for holiday visitors at Tolchester Beach, in Kent County. In the mid 1800s people from Baltimore and other Mid-Atlantic cities traveled to Tolchester Beach and other Eastern Shore destinations on . . . Map (db m158582) HM
54Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Tolchester Beach Bandstand
From 1880 until 1962, musicians entertained summer visitors from this bandstand at Tolchester Beach, a resort town and amusement park in Kent County, Maryland. Constructed to attract daytrippers traveling by steamboat from Baltimore and . . . Map (db m158583) HM
55Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Too Much of a Good Thing
Chesapeake waterman used all these tools to harvest oysters. This hardware tells a story of human ingenuity and greed. Hand tongs, in use since the early 1700s, extended human reach to oysters too deep to gather by hand. A hundred years later, . . . Map (db m61493) HM
56Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Tools of the Oystermen — Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
Chesapeake watermen used these tools to harvest oysters. Over time, oystering tools ranged from simple to complex, reflecting changes in technology, regulation, and oyster populations. A hundred years later, dredges—much more efficient, but . . . Map (db m138351) HM
57Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Under Fire — Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail — War of 1812 —
Eleven British barges advanced on the small battery guarding St. Michaels at Parrott’s Point August 10, 1813. Their mission was to capture or destroy any armed vessels rumored to be operating on the river. American defenders fired twice, then . . . Map (db m80676) HM
58Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — Veterans Memorial
Dedicated to the men and women of St. Michaels and the Bay Hundred area who courageously served their country in time of desperate need. Special gratitude is given to those who made the ultimate sacrifice as a result of that service.Map (db m138299) WM
59Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — War in the Chesapeake — Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail — National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —
During the War of 1812 the young United States was embroiled in conflict with Great Britain. From 1812 to 1815 Americans fought to protect their rights and economic independence. They faced superior enemy forces on the homefront and the high seas. . . . Map (db m158611) HM
60Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — What is a waterman?
A waterman harvests fish and shellfish for a living. Each season has its catch to harvest and its gear to prepare. Watermen and their families have worked on the Bay for hundreds of years. To succeed, they must be flexible. Their living depends . . . Map (db m138352) HM
61Maryland (Talbot County), St. Michaels — What's under your feet?
If you could drill down and pull up a sample, oyster shells would be up to 10 feet deep in some places. But that wasn't always the case. Two hundred years ago you would have been standing on low marshy land. As industries like oyster shucking . . . Map (db m138314) HM
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Jul. 4, 2022