Friday, April 19, 2024

Mostly Nature and a Wounded “Bird”

For the near future at least, my posts will be all about local views and happenings, ranging from our home and yard, to local dining venues and on to short back road drives and what we might encounter along the way.

I’ll start with my ‘wounded bird’.  We haven’t been doing too much lately although I will admit I’ve been more physically active than usual.  The crux of the matter was surgery that was performed on Laurie’s ankle in mid-March.  A couple of years ago she’d broken her ankle and had to have a plate and screws installed to allow it to heal. 

Well, as time passed the ankle healed but the screws were becoming an aggravation and risk, so she had to have all the hardware removed.  Then it was 2 weeks in the cast (photo) with no weight bearing, followed by 2 weeks in a ‘boot’ using a walker to lessen the pressure on the ankle.  Until the end of this month, she’ll be in the walking boot (no walker)…and then she’ll be free to 'fly' once again!  As a person that doesn’t sit still well for very long, this has been a challenge for my better half…

Fortunately it is spring season and drives around the countryside yield lots of blooms, plenty of greenery…and in this case a cute pair of donkeys’ along-side the road.  These local outings gave Laurie a break from sitting and reading or watching TV and they certainly cheered both of us up…

Did you know that there are more than 40,000,000 donkeys in the world?  Also, donkeys are stronger than horses of the same size.  Did you know that there is increasing demand for donkeys in China?  At least 7 African countries and Brazil have banned the sale of donkeys to China.  Donkey-hide gelatin is obtained from the skin of a donkey by soaking and stewing.  It is an ingredient in Chinese traditional medicines as well as some edibles.  It’s called ‘ejiao’ and estimates are that between 2,300,000 and 4,800,000 donkeys are slaughtered annually to satisfy the demand for ‘ejiao’.

Blogging ensures that I learn something new every day…even if what I learn isn’t a positive thing.



We both love red bud trees and their blooms, perhaps even a little more than we love the more dominant dogwood blooms that overlap the end of the red bud’s blossoms. 

For those that don’t know, the eastern redbud is a large deciduous shrub or small tree that is native to eastern North America from southern Michigan south to central Mexico.  Some species thrive as far west as California and as far north as southern Ontario Canada.  It’s the state tree of Oklahoma...

The flowers range from light to dark magenta pink and they appear in clusters beginning in the early spring.  They appear on bare stems or branches before the leaves begin to show themselves.  These flowers are pollinated by long-tongued bees such as blueberry and carpenter bees.

With Laurie hobbled, I’ve been the ‘cook’ for the most part.  However my skills are limited to frying, grilling and microwaving.  Simple is better as I’m not patient enough for anything that takes much time.  Laurie got tired of sandwiches, grilled meat and microwaved offerings.  She saw an ad for Hamburger Helper and became nostalgic…so I bought a couple of boxes of this ‘quick and easy’ meal.  It’s basically hamburger, noodles and seasoning combined in a big frying pan. (There are also tuna and chicken versions)

In any case, we had leftovers from the first Hamburger Helper entrée we’d eaten in a long time.  So it became a breakfast option.  I ‘browned’ it up a bit with some cheese in a frying pan, grilled a buttered leftover hot dog bun as an accompaniment and then topped it with 2 easy over eggs.  Not a great breakfast, but filling…and the food didn't go to waste.



Laurie took these photos from her recliner… They are all about ‘dove love’!  In the first photo the male…all fluffed up and ready to go…appears to be trying to convince the female that he’s worthy of her attention.  In the second photo she appears to be telling him “Hell No!”  But, in the third picture, it appears that they’re making up and baby doves could be in their future.

There are 3 dove species native to Tennessee but this pair are mourning doves…colloquially as the turtle dove.  This bird is one of the most abundant and widespread North American birds and it’s a favorite gamebird for hunters as well.  More than 20,000,000 birds are shot annually in the USA but doves are prolific breeders.  In warmer areas of North America, a pair may raise as many as 6 broods (12 young or squabs) in a single year.  FYI, mourning doves are generally monogamous.

Speaking of broods and breeding, a neighbor took this photo of a mama red fox nursing her young…while looking directly at the photographer.  It’s like she’s saying, “What are you looking at?  Leave us alone”!

We have a number of red fox and their dens scattered around our area in common grounds, the edges of the golf courses and on undeveloped lots.  One family has a den just a lot away from our house.  The red fox is the largest fox and it is the most widely distributed member of the order Carnivora.  It can be found in most of North America, Europe and Asia as well as in parts of North Africa.  Other than their beauty, the best attribute for fox families in the neighborhood is that they are voracious rodent hunters…mice, voles and rats for the most part…but they also help hold down the squirrel population.

That’s all for now.  Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

The Road Home…and Food of Course!

Finally…the end of our family road trip exploring parts of the Delmarva Peninsula.  After we checked out of our hotel in Easton Maryland, we needed to take the quickest route back to the Raleigh-Durham North Carolina airport so Laurie’s sister and her husband could catch their plane back to St. Louis Missouri.

As it turned out, the quickest route south from Easton was to take US Hwy 50 north and then crossing the bay over to Annapolis via the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.  Then when US Hwy 50 intersected with I-95/I-495, we headed south, skirting around Washington D.C. and on into Virginia.  By the time we got to the Richmond Virginia area, we realized that we had time to spare so I took secondary highways over to Farmville Virginia.  From there we could drop almost directly down to Raleigh Durham. 

By the time we neared Farmville, it was time for lunch and we’d skipped breakfast except for a muffin and juice.  A quick check on the Internet revealed a restaurant destination that was well rated and which sounded very interesting. 

That’s how we found the “Fishing Pig” restaurant.  Despite being a weekday, the parking lot was quite full.  This was obviously a popular destination.


We quickly discovered that the parking lot didn’t lie.  This was a very busy big  restaurant.  The décor is best described as industrial glitzy but with better lighting than most with this ‘look’.  There was a significant wait for a table so we headed for the bar.  The good news is that the bartender told us that we could order our lunches and eat at the bar…a real time saver for us.  In that second photo, Bonnie and Bill have secured our seats.

When eating at a bar, one feels ‘unnatural’ if one doesn’t imbibe with an adult beverage.  Even I had a Miller High Life.  The others went for Bud Lights, a pint of beer from Three Notch’d Brewery or a Bloody Mary.  It was $5.00 per beer, $6.00 for the pint and $8.00 for a Bloody Mary.  To learn about Three Notch’d Brewery, go to Three Notch'd Brewing Co. | Virginia Craft Brewery & Distllery – Three Notch'd Brewing Company (threenotchdbrewing.com).    


And so we ordered our lunches.  The ladies both ordered Joan’s Catfish Basket. ($13.95 LY/$14.95 TY) To say that this was a generous portion of fried catfish would be an understatement.  The Catfish ‘Basket’ came with cilantro dill remoulade, homemade coleslaw and a southern side.  Bonnie went for the beans and Laurie opted for the potato salad. 

The menu provided 11 different basic sides to choose from as well as 5 others with an upcharge.  The catfish filets were not only huge and numerous, they were also delicious.  Winner, winner, catfish dinner!!  The value was undeniable.

Bill wanted to mix it up a bit so he ordered the Pork and Catfish Combo. ($15.50 still) His pulled pork and catfish plate came with the remoulade, coleslaw, a bun for the pulled pork and he chose the beans as his side.  While he thought that the pork was good, he wished he’d just ordered the Catfish Baskets like our better halves did… In any case, he had plenty of food to eat.   

I do love good pork ribs and it had been a while since I had some, so I ordered a Half Rack of Ribs. ($21.75 still) ‘Grady’s” ribs are slow smoked with Memphis dry rub and they came with the coleslaw and French fries.  The ribs were among the best I’ve had in recent years…not overdone and, as I prefer, they didn’t just fall off the bone, I got to ‘worry’ the meat a bit…like a dog with his bone. 

Despite the fact that I ‘helped’ Laurie with her catfish overload and Bill did the same for Bonnie, we still had plenty of food leftover…and no way to save it with the drive ahead of us.

This was our bar tender/server.  Usually the names are on the receipts but in this case all it shows if ‘SC Bar 1’.  Like any good bar tender, he was friendly and helped us decide what to order.  We gave him an A+ for service.  The food was a solid 4.5 out of 5…with a 5 for the ‘bang for your buck’! 

If we didn’t have a long drive ahead of us, we would have ‘done’ appetizers too.  They range from Fried Green Tomatoes, to Fresh Fried Pork Rinds, to Blackened Ahi Tuna.  The menu at the Fishing Pig is quite large and there is a quite a bit of variety to choose from.  You can check out the menu and learn more about this restaurant at FARMVILLE | The Fishin' Pig (fishinpig.com).  There are 2 other Fishing Pig locations in Virginia.

As we wandered the back roads from Farmville Virginia down to Raleigh Durham, I stopped to take a photo of this deserted and lonely looking structure, probably an early gas station.  I’m tempted to start taking photos of deserted buildings and homes as there is some nostalgia involved as well as a haunting quality related to the past…

After we dropped Bonnie and Bill at the Raleigh Durham airport, Laurie and I headed west on I-40.  We did stop overnight in North Carolina as planned but continued our journey the next morning.  The photo shown above shows our approach to the Smoky Mountains and the pass through them to East Tennessee.


We made one last stop as we neared Knoxville.  This is the Buc-ee’s at Kodak Tennessee…just north of Sevierville, Pidgeon Forge and Gatlinburg.  As usual, it was a very busy place.  From what I could see, there are now more than 60 Buc-ee’s locations, mostly in the south and southeast but one is located in Colorado too.  They are huge family friendly ‘convenience stores’ that sell just about everything, have amazingly clean restrooms, a huge flock of gas pumps and no semi-trucks to deal with.

When we finally arrived home, we unloaded the ‘loot’ that we’d scored at Buc-ee’s.  It was quite a pile for sure!  We had a variety of unhealthy snack foods, a rice crispy marshmallow treat, hot dogs in a blanket, muffins, cookies and more!  To be honest though, although most of it was OK it wasn’t exceptional.  The best of our loot were the pecan brittle, the honey glazed pecans and our dinner for the evening, the brisket sandwiches.  We really did like those sandwiches…

To learn more about Buc-ee’s, go to Home - Buc-ees.

…and so ends the September/October 2023 Delmarva road trip saga!

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

Thanks for sticking with me on this journey and for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

 

Friday, April 12, 2024

Dinner at a Diner – Easton Maryland

I’m nearing the end of posts related to our late September/early October backroads exploration of the Delmarva Peninsula with Laurie, her sister Bonnie and Bonnie’s husband Bill.  So…as our last day of our adventures came to an end, it was time for dinner.  One more night and we’d be headed home.


The group decided to keep our dinner simple…no fancy food and no seafood for a change.  We chose the Easton Diner – Family Restaurant and Bar which was located close to our hotel.



The bar was bright and shiny, looking more like an old-time soda or ice cream bar.  One doesn’t see too many ‘diners’ with full service bars.  The interior of Easton Diner was definitely colorful…although it could use some new carpet. 

We stayed with the basics.  This hearty chicken noodle soup was the ‘soup du jour’. ($3.99 cup/$5.99 bowl) It was very satisfying and quite flavorful. 

Bonnie ordered the Roast Turkey Dinner. ($13.99) It came with the ‘soup du jour’ or the salad bar, plus 2 vegetables and a roll.  With the lack of color, it isn’t appealing to the eye but it delivered that satisfying ‘diner’ turkey dinner that was expected. 

I think that Laurie had the Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato sandwich. ($11.99) It came with the ‘soup du jour’, French fries, coleslaw and a pickle.  Lots of crispy bacon made it ‘right’ for Laurie.

I’m guessing that Bonnie ordered the Egg Salad Sandwich. ($8.99) It also came with the soup or salad bar plus French fries and coleslaw.  No one had any complaints or issues with these basic sandwiches.

I just had to be different!  My dinner selection became clear for me once I learned that I could order breakfast for my evening meal!  So I ordered the Country Fried Steak and Eggs breakfast. (Price unknown as I can’t find a current breakfast menu on-line)

As you can see, my 2 easy-over eggs are covering my country fried ‘steak’ and I have a nice portion of hash brown potatoes and 2 slices of buttered rye toast on the side.  I didn’t quite understand the brown gravy they served on the side with the breakfast…must be a local thing.  Tabasco wasn’t available so I used a lot of Frank’s Hot Sauce with my meal.  Breakfast for dinner makes me happy and this was no exception!

We didn't have any dessert...too much food for the previous several days.  However I did take a photo of the dessert display which was loaded with several versions of the Smith Island multi-layer cake.  FYI, the original version of these cakes can be ordered on-line directly from the Smith Island Bakery.  They resemble a prinzregententorte, a Bavarian torte.  Check out the shopping options at Smith Island Cakes | Fast Nationwide Shipping | SIBC.

We decided that our meals ranged from OK/average to very good, about what one might expect in a diner.  The Easton Diner – Family Restaurant and Bar is located by the north bound lanes of US Hwy 50 and its intersection with MD Hwy 33 toward St. Michaels.  The actual address is 8451 Ocean Gateway in Easton.  Website: Welcome to Easton Diner & Family Restaurant - Easton Diner MD.

Just one more post related to our fall 2023 adventure…and that will be on our way home.  Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

A Bit More Exploration…

…as the last day of our exploration of the Delmarva Peninsula wound down this past September, we took one more drive along the back roads in Talbot County near St. Michaels Maryland.  We’ve always been inclined to visit out of the way places and those ‘at the end of the road’ tend to be our favorites.

In this case, we continued following MD Hwy 33 west from St. Michaels toward Chesapeake Bay and then south when it follows the coast down to Tilghman Island.  

This is St. John’s Chapel on Tilghman Island.  It was built in 1891 at a cost of $2,000, but its history is a little complex.  The deed for the property shows that the original name was the “Lower Tilghman Methodist Episcopal Church, South”. 

The term ‘South” had a significant meaning.  John Wesley’s brand of Protestantism had spread quickly, especially among ‘working people’.  It was a less fatalistic alternative to Calvinism.  However, Wesley was an abolitionist and opposition to slavery was a problem in an area where some Methodists owned slaves.  In the end, many congregations broke away from the pro-Union parent church and formed a new “Conference”, the Methodist Episcopal Church South.  However, it is unclear how a congregation could have been split 25 years after the Civil War.  It may well have been because of a dispute between families...

This is an ongoing active church despite the population of Tilghman Island totaling only 807 residents.  In season though this is a low key but popular vacation spot for those living on the populous east shore of Chesapeake Bay.  Additionally, this appears to be a significant destination for weddings.  The chapel is located at 5160 Black Walnut Point Road.  Website: Holy Spirit Filled | St. John's Chapel | Tilghman (stjohnschapeltilghman.org).

We love little country stores.  The Tilghman Island Country Store has that ‘look’, doesn’t it?  It seems to serve many purposes.  It is a grocery store, a deli…complete with hot food items, it has beer, wine and liquor and it even has wine tastings in season.  They always offer local fresh seafood as one of their carry-out specials and in the winter oyster sandwiches and stew are favorites.  In warmer months it’s all about soft shell crab sandwiches, rockfish tenders and seafood chowder, but there are a variety of other items available as well.  The Tilghman Island Country Store is right on MD Hwy 33 on the island and you can’t miss it…

The store has 218 reviews on TripAdvisor…206 of which, (almost 95%) are either excellent or very good.  This Tilghman Island Country Store is on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/tilghmanislandcountrystore/.

This handsome and unusual structure is the Lee House.  It is one of 13 unique “W” houses built on the island and in nearby Sherwood MD, roughly between 1890 and 1900.  Named for the first residents, it remained in the family until the 1930s when it was inherited by “Miss Leona” who operated a popular fishing resort.  She used the home for overflow guests.  In 1984 it passed onto another family…standing vacant for a while…before being purchased by The Tilghman’s Watermen’s Museum in 2010.

The Tilghman Watermen’s Museum showcases the work and culture of the islands ‘watermen’ and their families.  The museum was initially focused on capturing on video and audio, stories and experiences of the watermen before the old way of life on the island completely disappeared.  The museum also collected art…the island attracts artists…then boat models, watermen’s tools, the ‘how to’ of netting, tonging, dredging, crabbing, etc.

I decided to have a look at the video that was put together by the museum.  It was shown on PBS and it surely shows a different era and a far different way of life.  I enjoyed it.  Check it out on Chesapeake Bay Week | Growing Up on Tilghman | PBS.  The Tilghman Watermen’s Museum will reopen for the season on 5/11/24.  To learn more, go to About us / Leadership - Tilghman Watermen's Museum (tilghmanmuseum.org)

Travelers encounter a lot of drawbridges along the Florida coastline but not so many this far north. (However, I did learn that there are 15 moveable bridges in Maryland) This bridge connects Tilghman Island with the mainland.  It is a ‘new’ bridge, having been built in 1998.  It bridges ‘Knapps Narrows’, the 42 foot wide channel that flows between Chesapeake Bay and the Choptank River. 

This ‘heel trunnion rolling lift bridge with a counterweight suspended above the roadway’ replaced a replaced an earlier ‘counterweight bascule span’ bridge, a portion of which is now on display at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels Maryland.  The ‘new’ bridge is in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and it opens about 12,000 times a year...or more than one time per hour.  It used to open partially based on the size of the boat or boats passing through the Narrows but now they have to open it fully to reduce the strain on the structure.  In season, that extra time causes delays for locals and tourists alike.

Note: If you are 'into' sailing boats and ships, Tilghman Island is home to 10 Skipjacks that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  To learn more about these special vessels and to see some photos, go to Skipjack (boat) - Wikipedia.

This colorful and appropriate mural helped us enjoy the wait for the drawbridge to close again.  It’s painted on the side of the Phillips Wharf Environmental Center building.  This large display of public art celebrates the Tilghman Packing Company, the local watermen and the bounties of the Chesapeake Bay.  The mural was created by a well-known local artist, Michael Rosato and it was completed in the late spring of 2021.

FYI, Michael Rosato is based in Cambridge Maryland and his murals are stunning.  Learn more at Michael Rosato Studio.

Note: The Tilghman Packing Company was founded in 1897 in an oyster-shucking house on pilings on a steamboat wharf.  I grew to include multiple operations and to employ 600 people, the majority of men and women in the area.  It was the largest employer in Talbot County.  The company closed in 1975 and not a vestige of the company remains today.  A PBS video about the packing company can be viewed at MPT Presents | Til-Made, Remembering the Tilghman Packing Company | PBS.  It is a very interesting look into the not too distant past...

When we got back from Tilghman Island Bonnie and Bill were done for the day.  But Laurie and I ‘just had to’ check out a couple more back roads.  That’s when we came across the schoolhouse pictured above.  It’s located north of Easton Maryland on MD Hwy 662.

The “Little Red Schoolhouse” was also known as the Longwoods Elementary School and the Germantown Consolidated School.  It was one of the forty-three one-room school houses in Talbot County in 1865.  It remained in use until 1967.

In the early days, the school was heated through the use of a pot-bellied stove that was the responsibility of the teacher.  First through seventh grades were taught here…with young students at the front of the room and older students in the back.  Few schools teach geography these days but it was a key curriculum item for the children along with reading, writing, arithmetic and history.  Slates or small chalkboards were used by the students as paper was very expensive.  Electric lights were added in 1936 and indoor plumbing was installed in 1951…about when my better half was born. 

After the school was closed the Talbot County Historical Society restored the schoolhouse to its original condition, the outhouses were put back and the electric lights were removed.  To learn more, just go to Little Red School House | VisitMaryland.org.

That’s all for now…  Next up – “Dinner at a Diner”.

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for Stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave 

Friday, April 5, 2024

Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum #3

…continuing with our tour of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum which is located in St. Michaels Maryland.  We were nearing the end of our family trip to explore part of the Delmarva Peninsula.

This final post about our visit to the Museum will look at a variety of exhibits…in no particular order.


The first photo shows a punt that's equipped with a punt gun… These were tools used in the commercial waterfowl hunting trade.  Restaurants in the big cities not only craved oysters by the bushel, but also a steady supply of waterfowl for their clientele.  The Chesapeake Bay area is a critical and massive stopover for migrating ducks, geese, etc.

Punts are small flat-bottomed boats with a square bow.  They are used in smaller rivers and in shallow bodies of water.  They’re propelled by pushing with a pole on the river bed.  Punt guns are oversized smoothbore percussion guns that are far too big to fire from the shoulder so they’re mounted at the front of the punt and could be aimed by the shooter.  Guns like this were charged with huge amounts of gun powder and shot…and then were aimed at a flock of water birds.  When fired, a hundred or more ducks could be harvested, just from one shot.

The second photo is one of the results of punt guns being outlawed.  To work around their inability to employ punt guns, market hunters built ‘battery guns’.  Basically they consisted of 3 – 12 old muzzle loaders secured to a wooden frame.  A powder filled ‘trench’ connected to vents caused the barrels to fire in a series. With the spread of gun barrels, they covered a wider area with shot pellets.  However they were dangerous to operate…

In any case, the use of punt guns or battery guns severely depleted the number of wild waterfowl and by the 1860s most states had banned the practice.  The Lacey Act of 1900 banned the transport of wild game across state lines.  Then a series of Federal laws in 1918 outlawed market hunting altogether.

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum has an impressive collection of artifacts related to water fowl hunting as a pastime and occupation.  As shown above this collection includes firearms and gunning skiffs but in addition there is a sizable collection of decoys…backed up by sinkboxes, tools and clothing.

The Museum’s large decoy collection includes working goose, duck, swan, and shorebird decoys made by more than 70 regional makers…many of them rather famous for their skills.  This display is part of the Museum’s long term exhibition “Stories from the Shoreline”.

Note: Not being a hunter I had to look up the term ‘sinkbox’.  It is a hunting blind consisting of a weighted, partially submerged enclosure that can hold one or more hunters.  Sinkboxes are suspended from a floating platform and are placed in calm water so the hunter can wait for his opportunity with the waterline roughly at shoulder height.  Since the early 1900s, sinkboxes have been illegal in the USA


The first photo shows the “model shop” at the Museum.  The volunteer Maritime Model Guild supports the Museum’s curatorial needs with exhibition models and building kits that are available at the Museum Store.  The Guild also offers classes for building models from scratch.  The Model Guild also hosts radio-controlled skipjack sailing races.  The Museum’s extensive ship model collection numbers more than 300 vessels.

I suspect that this handsome and detailed model of the “Peggy Stewart” was made by a member of the Model Guild.  The original “Peggy Stewart” was a Maryland cargo vessel that, with its cargo of tea, was burned in Annapolis Maryland on October 19, 1774.  It’s destruction was as a punishment for attempting to get around the boycott on tea imports that had been imposed in retaliation for the British occupation of Boston following that city’s “Tea Party”.  The burning of the “Peggy Stewart” in known as the “Annapolis Tea Party”.

Note: Incidentally, the most important cargo aboard the “Peggy Stewart” was removed from the ship before she was burned.  That cargo consisted of 53 ‘indentured’ servants.


The first photo shows the tugboat “El Toro” after it had been acquired by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad and it had been renamed “Chessie”…and later “W.J. Harahan”.  The “El Toro” was built in 1928 and spent many years of her life moving railroad car barges across Chesapeake Bay. 

The second photo shows the 12 foot high compound 2-cylinder steam engine the tug boat was equipped with.  This engine produced 700 horsepower…just a fraction of the power needed for today’s tugboats.  As I’d mentioned, the Museum covers a wide variety of Chesapeake Bay endeavors…

…and the variety of displays at the Museum continues.  In this case it includes a collection of about 1500 historic and contemporary paintings, prints and other artwork.  Works by regional artists as well as contemporary artists are featured along with posters, print advertisements and detailed drawings.

I failed to note the photographic artist who took this eye-catching aerial photo of a creek or small river where it emptied into part of Chesapeake Bay.  Nevertheless, I’d love to have the original of this photo on my wall at home!  Nature's designs are endless...

I do love ship paintings…and this one is no exception.  This is a painting depicting the pungy “Geneva A. Kirwan” sailing along the Bay.  This vessel was built in Madison Maryland in 1882.  The painting was completed in 1933 by Louis Feuchter.  Feuchter was born in 1885 and died in 1957.  He was known for his maritime paintings and he was quite prolific. 

Many of Feuchter’s paintings can be purchased for less than $1,000 with many in the $500 range.  The highest price for one of his paintings was for a painting of the “Pungy Amanda F. Lewis”, which sold for $4,312. 

Note: Yes…I did have to look up the ship style referred to as a ‘pungy’.  Basically, a pungy is a two-masted schooner that was used for oyster dredging in Chesapeake Bay.


The “Stories from the Shoreline” exhibit also addresses the mass production and marketing of motorboats.  This modest display of outboard motors caught my eye as I’m always looking for items that tie back to my former ‘work life’ in some way. 

In this case, that small outboard motor to the left center of the photo did tie back to a former employer.  The close-up photo of the top of that little 7.5 HP “Sea King” outboard motor shows that it was manufactured for and sold by Montgomery Ward.  The company sold Sea King outboard motors from 1933 until 1986. (I didn’t join the company until 1987)

Primary manufacturers of a variety of Sea King outboard motors included Gale, Clinton and Chrysler Marine.  Some discontinued Lockwood (Evinrude/Outboard Motors Corporation) motors were also relabeled Sea King.  The same thing happened with some Thor outboards.  Apparently old/antique Sea King outboard motors are quite collectable with a number of them for sale on-line.  Another company advertises that they have replacement parts available.

This rather worn vessel is a five-log Tilghman Canoe.  It is the last of the 68 built by Robert Lambdin of St. Michaels Maryland.  These canoes were used in the fisheries industry along the bay.  This one was built in 1893 and it cost $212.57 at the time.  In 1910 this ‘canoe’ was converted to a powerboat by removing the centerboard and adding a propeller shaft.  It had been abandoned along the shore of Chesapeake Bay for several years before it was rescued and stabilized for the Museum.

…continuing with my boating or boat theme.  This is the “Bessie Lee”, a 20 foot long Seaside Bateau that is located in the Small Boat Shed at the Museum.  This is a two-sail periauger rig or “cat-yawl”.  In broad terms, a periauger or peroque is a shallow draft, often flat-bottomed 2-masted sailing vessel which also carried oars for rowing.  These vessels were often created by digging out a log, splitting it longitudinally and then adding at least one keel plank between the halves. 

Only small vessels with a shallow draft could enter many of the inlets around the bay.  But these bateaus were used by local merchants as well as blockade runners during the Revolutionary War.  A family’s boat ca. 1850s may have looked like this.  Bateaus did come in varying sizes depending on their planned use.

This is a Smith Island Power Crabbing Skiff.  Smith Island watermen used similar boats to sail to their crabbing grounds where they caught soft crabs using a dip net.  Originally these were sailing skiffs but engine-powered boats like this began being used ca. 1907.  Sailing skiffs continued to be used in the commercial crab fishery until WWII. 

After retirement from the fishery business, this skiff was used for pleasure.  She was found stored in a Pennsylvania barn but she has been restored to her original configuration and paint colors.  She was built ca 1925.

This early cabin cruiser was built in 1926 by the Mathews Company in Port Clinton Ohio.  The original owner spotted it on display at the Maryland Yacht Club in Baltimore and he paid $6,500 for it…a lot of money back in 1926.  Named the “Isabel”, she was a ‘show boat’ so it came equipped with anchors, life rings, monogrammed china, linen and silver.  Some of those artifacts are also on display at the museum. 

The family of the original owner spent almost 70 summers cruising the Chesapeake Bay on “Isabel”.  Her heirs were among the founders of the Classic Yacht Club of America and they participated in numerous rendezvous, parades and cruises.  With the exception of a new diesel engine, the boat retains most of its original equipment and fittings.  In 1995 the family donated this classic 38 foot cruiser to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum


I’ll end our tour of the Museum with a photo of a more traditional Chesapeake Bay boat.  The 51 foot long “Old Point” was built in 1909.  The builder used 7 pine logs pinned together and then hewn to shape to construct this vessel.  She is a good example of the fleet of boats operating out of Hampton Virginia from the 1910s through the 1960s that were designed to dredge crabs during the winter. 

From December through March, captains and crews lived on their boats so they could leave every morning and dredge for crabs all day.  In the summer and fall, “Old Point” would carry fish and oysters to packing houses or to market.  The former owner of “Old Point”, Captain Ernest Bradshaw, had to transition throughout the year…from fish, to oysters and to crabs.  Part of the Museum’s ‘floating fleet’, “Old Point” was donated to the Museum by Mr. and Mrs. Richard C. DuPont back in 1984.

And so ends our tour of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.  To learn more about the museum, its exhibits, waterborne tours, hours of operation and entry fees, just go to Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum | Home Page (cbmm.org).  We certainly enjoyed our experience at the Museum!

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave