Recent Salisbury University grads from Somerset County named

SALISBURY — Some 25 Somerset County students recently graduated from Salisbury University. They were among the 1,688 students who received 1,487 bachelor’s degrees, 201 master’s degrees during a ceremony at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center. Crisfield area residents include Gregory Bisset, B.A., psychology; Janae Johnson, M.S.W.; Jodi Parsons, M.S.W.; Jacob Townsend, B.A.S.W.; and Kaitlynn […]

Maps from the era of the Oyster Wars of the Chesapeake Bay featured at Nabb Center

SALISBURY — Many on the Eastern Shore have heard about the fabled Oyster Wars of the Chesapeake Bay, but increasingly few have actually seen a representation of the “battlefields.”
Thanks to Worcester County businessman Reese Cropper III, members of the public will have a chance to see those battle lines more clearly drawn at Salisbury University’s Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture.
Cropper recently donated to the center a 1908 Maryland Shell Fish Commission oyster chart featuring maps of oyster beds in Worcester County.
“We didn’t have any maps that really showed the oyster beds like this one does,” said Dr. G. Ray Thompson, the center’s director. “This may well be one of the few maps left of its kind.”
Though not that old, relatively speaking — the center’s archives go back to the 1600s — the rare chart captures a distinct period in Chesapeake Bay history, from the end of the Civil War until roughly 1959, when Eastern Shore watermen went to war over the estuary’s oyster population.

New book by Clara Small profiles African Americans from the Delmarva

SALISBURY — The first African-American woman to serve in a state legislature lived on the Delmarva Peninsula. So did two Tuskegee Airmen, a Buffalo Soldier and the second president of Liberia.
These are just a handful of the notable individuals Dr. Clara Small profiles in her new book Compass Points: Profiles and Biographies of African Americans from the Delmarva Peninsula.
The 317-page book, containing some 56 profiles, is an extension of a one-night project Small undertook in 1998 as a professor of history at Salisbury University.
“A student said Blacks have never done anything in this country, nor on the Eastern Shore,” she said. “I stayed up all night and wrote a 32-page book.”
The manuscript’s title reflected what Small hoped the book would give the student: A Reality Check. It included brief biographies of many of the individuals explored in depth in her new work.
Her all-nighter was the beginning of a 15-year labor of love. She spent the next decade and a half conducting research, from primary documents to interviews with dozens of people who knew, were related to, were descendants of or, in some cases, actually were those she wanted to profile.
Her retirement in 2013 after almost half a century in education — including nearly four decades at SU — gave her time to “get that information out of my head and down on paper.”
She hopes that from there, it will get into the heads of many others.