|Tilghman Island Victorian House|
|Location||Tilghman Island, Maryland|
|Founder||Hall and Mary Kellogg|
|Website||The Tilghman Watermen's Museum|
The Tilghman Watermen's Museum (established 2008)records the maritime traditions of the people of Tilghman Island and the unique way of life of the watermen who lived on the island. It is located on Tilghman Island, Talbot County, Maryland, United States.
Originally located in an old barbershop at 5778 Tilghman Island Road,the museum relocated as of June 2015 to the Lee House, a historic home off MD 33. Lee House is the best preserved example of a style of vernacular architecture unique to Tilghman Island, Maryland, known as a "W" facade house.
|"They say once you get that oyster mud under your fingernails, you'll always come back", Growing up on Tilghman (Promo), Tilghman Island Museum|
When the Chesapeake Bay area was first settled in the 1600s, it was a bountiful source of fish and other seafood. The area around Tilghman Island had particularly rich oyster beds. Watermen earned their livelihood from a variety of tasks: crabbing, oystering, tonging and dredging, seafood packing and canning, and guiding hunting parties. The maritime industry of shipbuilding became established on the island, and several types of boats developed for use in local conditions.Log canoes with sails, adapted from the canoes of Powhatan tribes, are local to the area. So are skipjacks, two-masted sailboats used for oystering on Chesapeake Bay. Skipjacks have remained the primary boat for oystering due to a Maryland law banning the use of motors for oystering.
Most watermen live in small waterfront communities like Tilghman Island. Independent fishermen who own their own boat and equipment, they work long days and may travel miles to reach fishing or harvesting grounds. Crabbing occurs in the summer; oystering in the winter; and fishing throughout the spring, fall and winter.
The idea of creating a museum specific to Tilghman Island arose in 2007, when a group of residents became involved in an effort to preserve the Kathryn , a Chesapeake bay skipjack.One result of this work was an increased awareness of the historical record of the local area. The Tilghman Island Museum opened in June 2008, under the direction of Hall and Mary Kellogg, local residents.
Initially, the museum focused on collecting and presenting oral histories to record the way of life of the watermen on Tilghman Island. The video Growing up on Tilghman (2010), scripted and directed by Jennifer Shea and filmed by Peter Carroll Productions, draws on these oral histories and has been shown on Maryland Public Television.Over time, the museum's displays have expanded to include artifacts related to the watermen and the island, scale boat models, and local artwork. The area is particularly popular with artists and photographers including Marc Castelli, Tilghman Hemsley IV and Walt Bartman.
The museum's first location was an old barbershop, located at 5778 Tilghman Island Road. Once the workplace of islanders Duckey Scharch and Johnny Moore, it retained the original mirrors and fittings of the barbershop.However, as a rented location, it offered few options for expansion. The Kelloggs purchased the Lee House, a local historical building, in 2010, and obtained a grant for $90,000 from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority towards its restoration.
The Lee House was listed on the Maryland Historical Trust Inventory of Historic Properties in May 1977 under the name "Tilghman Island Victorian House" (T-859, previously T-366).It is located about half a mile south of the Knapps Narrows Bridge, off Route 33.
The Lee House dates to around 1890.It is the best preserved example of an architecturally significant style of vernacular architecture unique to Tilghman Island, Maryland, known as a "W" facade house. The Maryland government reports that about thirteen such houses were built between 1890 and 1900. The Tilghman Watermen's Museum indicates that twelve such houses were located on Tilghman Island, with two others in Sherwood, Maryland. Of these, only five are left.
Lee House is a 2+1⁄2-story, frame house in an "ell" shape, with two equal frame wings. In the angle of the ell is a three-bay entrance projection with a central doorway and sash windows on either side. According to local inhabitants of the area, the unique design allowed for air flow throughout the house, regardless of the direction of the breeze.
The Maryland Historic Trust inventory notes that the house at one time belonged to Becky Lee.The Lee family are credited as the original owners, living in the Lee House until the 1930s. Then the house was inherited by Leona Garvin Harrison. Harrison lived nearby at "The Elms", a popular island resort. She used the Lee House as a boarding house for overflow guests and fishing parties. Up to twelve people at a time slept there, eating their meals at the Elms. After 1971 the Lee House remained vacant. It was inherited in 1984 by Leona Garvin Harrison's daughter, Shirley Garvin Walton, and in 2000 by her grandchildren, John and Barbara Walton.
"The Lee House represents something unique to Tilghman Island, as do the watermen and their way of life."
The Battle of St. Michaels was an engagement contested on August 10, 1813, during the War of 1812. British soldiers attacked the American militia at St. Michaels, Maryland, which is located on Maryland's Eastern Shore with access to Chesapeake Bay. At the time, this small town was on the main shipping route to important cities such as Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
The skipjack is a traditional fishing boat used on the Chesapeake Bay for oyster dredging. It is a sailboat which succeeded the bugeye as the chief oystering boat on the bay, and it remains in service due to laws restricting the use of powerboats in the Maryland state oyster fishery.
The Chesapeake Bay deadrise or deadrise workboat is a type of traditional fishing boat used in the Chesapeake Bay. Watermen use these boats year round for everything from crabbing and oystering to catching fish or eels.
The log canoe is a type of sailboat developed in the Chesapeake Bay region. Based on the dugout, it was the principal traditional fishing boat of the bay until superseded by the bugeye and the skipjack. However, it is most famous as a racing sailboat, and races continue to be held.
The bugeye is a type of sailboat developed in the Chesapeake Bay for oyster dredging. The predecessor of the skipjack, it was superseded by the latter as oyster harvests dropped.
Holland Island was a marshy, rapidly eroding island in the Chesapeake Bay, in Dorchester County, Maryland, west of Salisbury. The island was once inhabited by watermen and farmers but has since been abandoned due to sinking of the land's surface associated with isostatic subsidence and sea level rise. It is located in the Holland Strait, between Bloodsworth Island and Smith Island, six miles west of Wenona, Maryland and Southeast of another former island, Long Island.
Hilda M. Willing is a relatively small Chesapeake Bay skipjack, built in 1905 at Oriole, Maryland, and declared a National Historic Landmark in 1994.
The Edna E. Lockwood is a Chesapeake Bay bugeye, the last working oyster boat of her kind. She is located at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in Saint Michaels, Maryland. She was built in 1889 at Tilghman Island, Maryland by John B. Harrison and is of nine-log construction, similar to the smaller log canoe, and was launched on October 5, 1889 for Daniel Haddaway, at a cost of $2,200. She worked for at least seven sets of owners from 1899 until 1967, and was then sailed as a yacht until donated to the museum in 1973. The museum undertook an extensive restoration of the Lockwood from 1975 through 1979, which restored the bugeye to its 1910 appearance with the "patent stern" that had been added sometime prior to that year. She is the last bugeye retaining the sailing rig and working appearance of the type. Her length is 53.5 feet (16.3 m), with a 15.25 feet (4.65 m) beam and a draft of 2.58 feet (0.79 m) with the centerboard up, and a maximum sail area of approximately 1700 square feet.
The Rebecca T. Ruark is a Chesapeake Bay skipjack built at Taylor's Island, Maryland. She is homeported at Tilghman Island, Maryland. Built in 1896, she is the oldest surviving skipjack in the Chesapeake Bay fleet. She was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2003.
The Saint Michaels Historic District encompasses the historic center of Saint Michaels, Maryland. The town, which has about 1,000 permanent residents, is located on a tributary to the Chesapeake Bay on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. After over 100 years as a center for trade and shipbuilding, the community was incorporated as a town in 1805. Shipbuilding peaked in 1820, and the town's economy became focused more on oyster and seafood collection and packing. In the 1970s, the town transitioned to tourism.
E.C. Collier is a Chesapeake Bay skipjack, built in 1910 at Deal Island, Maryland. She is a 52-foot-long (16 m) two-sail bateau, or "V"-bottomed deadrise type of centerboard sloop. She has a beam of 17.9 feet (5.5 m), a depth of 4.5 feet (1.4 m), and a registered net tonnage of 14 tons. She is one of the 35 surviving traditional Chesapeake Bay skipjacks and a member of the last commercial sailing fleet in the United States. At the time of her documentation on the National Register of Historic Places she was located at Tilghman, Talbot County, Maryland. She is now a permanent exhibit at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in Saint Michaels, Maryland.
The Minnie V is a Chesapeake Bay skipjack, built in 1906 at Wenona, Maryland, United States. It is a 45.3-foot-long, two-sail bateau, or "V"-bottomed deadrise type of centerboard sloop. It has a beam of 15.7 feet and a depth of 3 feet with a net registered tonnage of 8 tons. It is one of the 35 surviving traditional Chesapeake Bay skipjacks and a member of the last commercial sailing fleet in the United States. It is located at Tilghman, Talbot County, Maryland.
The Nellie L. Byrd is a Chesapeake Bay skipjack, built in 1911 at Oriole, Maryland. She is a 53.6' long two-sail bateau, or "V"-bottomed deadrise type of centerboard sloop. She has a beam of 26.7', a depth of 4.8', and a net tonnage of 18 tons. She is one of the 35 surviving traditional Chesapeake Bay skipjacks and a member of the last commercial sailing fleet in the United States. When listed, she was located at Tilghman, Talbot County, Maryland. Since 2005, she is located at Middle River, Maryland, Baltimore County, Maryland.
The Stanley Norman is a Chesapeake Bay skipjack, built in 1902 by Otis Lloyd, Salisbury, Maryland. She is a 48-foot-3-inch-long (14.71 m) in Length overall with length on deck (LOD) OF 47.5-foot-long (14.5 m) two-sail bateau, or "V"-bottomed deadrise type of centerboard sloop. She has a beam of 16 feet (4.9 m), a depth of 4 feet (1.2 m) at the stern with the centerboard up, and a registered tonnage of 7 tons.
The Oyster Wars were a series of sometimes violent disputes between oyster pirates and authorities and legal watermen from Maryland and Virginia in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River from 1865 until about 1959.
An oyster buy-boat, also known as deck boat, is an approximately 40–90 foot long wooden boat with a large open deck which serviced oyster tongers and dredgers. Similar in function to sardine carriers, buy boats circulated among the harvesters collecting their catches, then delivered their loads to a wholesaler or oyster processing house. This spared the fishermen the task and its downtime, allowing them to catch more oysters. Buy-boats also bought seed oysters, or spat, for planting in oyster beds.
Harris Creek (Maryland) is a tidal creek on the eastern shore of Maryland. It is a location for oyster restoration.
The Helen Virginia is a Skipjack boat built in Crisfield, Maryland in 1948. Having fallen into disrepair after decades of use, she underwent restoration beginning in 2013 in Chance, Maryland. The work was completed just in time to enter the 55th Annual Deal Island Skipjack Race, where maritime history was made on Sep 1, 2014 as the first-ever all-female skipjack crew, captained by Katarina Ennerfelt, sailed her to victory.
The Second Battle of St. Michaels was a raid conducted on Maryland's Eastern Shore by British soldiers during the War of 1812. The raid occurred on August 26, 1813, at points between Tilghman Island and the town of St. Michaels, Maryland. Local militia defended against the raiders.