Monthly Archives: January 2013

Fisherman Island, Real Estate from Thin Air

What happens when real estate appears more or less out of thin air? Turns out the answer’s not all that difficult to find out. Fisherman Island is at the southern tip of the Delmarva Peninsula.   The most remarkable thing about touring this refuge is that you’re standing in a spot that was water not too … Continue reading

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Baltimore’s Curtis Creek, A Motley Assemblage of Ruined Vessels

Cities are as much a vault for abandoned history as the countryside, and there’s something logical and engaging about urban exploration.  The whirr of production, the odor of industry, the energy are all as much a part of the bay’s history and ecology as remote stretches far from any city center. Among the most intriguing … Continue reading

Posted in Boat Graveyards, Industry | 4 Comments

Richmond’s Belle Isle and the Mixed Blessing of Water

John Roberts and his wife were surely crushed. Their six-year-old daughter had been missing almost a week when she turned up, accidentally drowned, caught in a fish trap in the swiftly-flowing James River. It was 1862. Even with news trickling in of carnage on Civil War battlefields, even in a day-and-age when losing a child … Continue reading

Posted in Cemeteries, Ghost towns, Industry | 6 Comments

Far Pocosan, or, Pocosin Mission; Shenandoah National Park

The Towles sisters, Florence and Marion, must have wondered what they’d gotten themselves into.  On dark nights they huddled together in a ramshackle cabin, terrified, miles from civilization, listening, Florence recalled, “to the thunder of flying horses’ feet and the shouts and yells of drunken men wild with moonshine whiskey.” The spot where The Towleses … Continue reading

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Mallows Bay

Surely the oddest spectacle in all the Chesapeake Bay’s tributaries is Mallows Bay.  You can’t help some sense of bewilderment paddling about the 170-odd burned and weather-beaten hulks, their remnants barely breaking the surface of the murky water, their keels sunk fast into the Potomac River’s syrupy black mud. The remains here are what’s left of a … Continue reading

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