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NEWS
By TOM HORTON | July 9, 1994
SMITH ISLAND -- Its square footage is little more than some living rooms, but the grand opening last week of Duke Marshall's Drum Point Market was like Harborplace and Wal-Mart combined.Here in Tylerton, remotest of the three watermen's communities on this mid-Chesapeake island, a store has always been more than a place to shop.Listen to an old woman's description of a store -- one of four here when she was a child and the population of Tylerton was near an all-time high of some 200 souls:There was confectionery on one side; hardware, shoes and oilskins in another part; groceries in another.
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NEWS
July 17, 2013
The opinions expressed by letter writer Craig Piette ("Time to cut bait on Smith Island," July 11) reflect a lack of knowledge of the subject matter. It also wasn't clear whether he visited Ewell or Rhodes Point during his time on Smith Island or only Tylerton. Smith Island is made up of all three communities, with Ewell having twice the full-time population of either Tylerton or Rhodes Point. There is more to Smith Island than any one community represents. Several new businesses were started in Ewell over the past three years.
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NEWS
By Tom Horton and Tom Horton,SUN STAFF | July 13, 2001
TYLERTON - Thank goodness there were only four entries in the kids' Fourth of July best-decorated bike contest. We judges declared them winners all - Most Creative, Most Patriotic, Most Sparkly and Most Balloons. The Fourth always happens on Saturday here in Tylerton, the most remote of three villages in the center of the Chesapeake Bay on Smith Island. Weekdays, there's no time for anything but the crabbing that underpins the island's economy. It had been a while since my last visit to the little community where my family lived for three years during the 1980s, but the islanders quickly put me to work getting festivities ready.
NEWS
July 11, 2013
A recent commentator speculated about whether Smith Island can be rescued from oblivion ("Smith Island can be saved," July 7). I ask, why bother? For the 50 years I've lived in Maryland, I've heard Smith Island this, Smith Island that. I really believed there was something to Smith Island. Boy, was I wrong! During a recent environmental professional institute, I visited Tylerton, one of the communities on the group of islands that constitute Smith Island. With all due respect to the lovely folks with whom I interacted, why any tax dollars would be spent saving a swamp with 50 or so residents is beyond me. Approximately half the homes are shacks, boarded up and seemingly abandoned.
FEATURES
By Carl Schoettler and Carl Schoettler,SUN STAFF | June 8, 1996
SMITH ISLAND -- Washed by an ebb tide of memories, a little sadness and lots of fun, the last one-room school in Maryland closed forever yesterday on the island town of Tylerton.For more than a century, everyone born on this island was educated at the school at the edge of the reed marshes on Union Church Lane. Tylerton's one-room school symbolized a way of life, shaping generations of families who worked the waters of the Chesapeake Bay.But yesterday three of the island's seven students raised the flag on the deck in front of the school for the last time.
NEWS
By John Rivera and John Rivera,Sun Staff Writer | July 19, 1995
Action on the fate of the last one-room schoolhouse in Maryland was deferred last night until next month so that the Somerset County school board can hold additional public hearings.The board deferred its decision until after Aug. 8, when public hearings will be held at Tylerton Elementary, the one-room schoolhouse on Smith Island, and at Ewell Elementary, which will be affected by any action on Tylerton.The board is considering closing Tylerton Elementary -- a kindergarten through sixth-grade school -- because it cannot justify keeping the school open for only a handful of students next year.
NEWS
By Mike Bowler and Mike Bowler,Sun Staff Writer | August 17, 1995
Residents of Tylerton, the Smith Island community where Maryland's last one-room school had been threatened with closing, gave prayers of thanks yesterday for a year's reprieve and vowed to "search the nation" for seven school-age children needed to keep their school open permanently.The Somerset County school board voted Tuesday night to make no changes at Tylerton during the 1995-1996 school year.But the board also put Smith Islanders on notice that they will have to have an enrollment of 10 by next fall, or the school will be closed.
NEWS
By TOM HORTON | July 15, 1995
At one point the young waterman, pleading with the Somerset County School Board not to close the state's last one-room public school, stopped and bent nearly double at the podium."
NEWS
By Mike Bowler and Mike Bowler,Sun Staff Writer | November 25, 1994
TYLERTON -- Maryland's last one-room public school is down to nine students -- five of them in the sixth grade -- and going the way of the oyster industry that once sustained this island village in the Chesapeake Bay.Opened in 1911 and with a $110,000 wooden structure built in 1974, the Tylerton School has been the pride of Smith Island for generations.But the decline of the seafood industry, tidal erosion and the gradual sinking of the 16-square-mile island have forced many families to leave.
NEWS
By TOM HORTON | October 25, 2005
TYLERTON -- The fall crab run is on, and oysters are fetching record prices here on Smith Island, Maryland's only offshore fishing community. So why are watermen and their families here talking as if their world, out here on this dab of marsh 10 miles from the mainland, might be ending? We think that if we maintain the bay's water quality, and sustain its fisheries, watermen will thrive. But with waterfront property fetching insane prices from Norfolk to Havre de Grace, just maintaining space for their boats and communities along the Chesapeake's edges is becoming ever more a problem for the commercial man. "We're losing ground all the time, up and down the bay, with property getting so expensive watermen can't compete," says Larry Simns, president of the Maryland Watermen's Association.
NEWS
July 9, 2013
I don't begrudge Smith Islanders trying to preserve their way of life in their appeal to your readership for the public to fund, in the words of Smith Island United, "the cost of these huge projects" ("Demise of Smith Island is far from inevitable," July 7). And why not if the state only has to pony up 25 percent on the project as was claimed? But I question whether that 75/25 federal and state contribution still holds true. I also question whether it will do any good, given some of the maps I've seen on sea levels rises in the Chesapeake Bay region.
NEWS
By Eddie Somers and Duke Marshall | July 7, 2013
Some believe it is inevitable that Smith Island will be lost to erosion and rising sea levels. We disagree. As members of Smith Island United, a group formed to preserve Smith Island, we believe the government has pretty much eliminated the word ""inevitable"" when it comes to the future of Chesapeake Bay islands. Hart Miller and Poplar islands in the upper bay were basically ""created"" by the government from open bay waters. These are very big projects. Poplar Island, off Tilghman Island, started in 1998 with a 35,000 foot stone dike, which was then filled with dredged spoils and is currently over 1,000 acres of high land and marsh.
FEATURES
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | May 12, 2013
Superstorm Sandy barely laid a glove on Smith Island last fall, to hear residents tell it. Though storm-driven flooding damaged hundreds of homes in Crisfield and the rest of Somerset County, only a couple islanders got any water in their homes from the surging Chesapeake Bay. Yet with the island slowly shrinking and sinking into the bay, the state is considering using $2 million of the federal storm recovery aid it's received so far to buy out...
NEWS
By RONA KOBELL and RONA KOBELL,SUN REPORTER | August 10, 2006
TYLERTON -- The aroma hits as soon as the screen door to the Drum Point Market swings closed. It wafts up from behind the ice cream cooler, near the cracker packs and stacked boxes of Jell-O, filling up the garage-sized general store in this remote Smith Island town. The regulars - hardened watermen, tourists who keep coming back - know that smell. Those are Mary Ada Marshall's crab cakes in the deep fryer, and they might just be the best in the world. In a place where crab is king and every island lady has her own closely guarded recipe, that claim is no small boast.
NEWS
By STEPHANIE DESMON AND GADY A. EPSTEIN and STEPHANIE DESMON AND GADY A. EPSTEIN,SUN REPORTERS | May 1, 2006
TYLERTON -- On Smith Island, Donna Smith knows there's only one thing for women like her to do once their men have delivered their catch of Chesapeake Bay blue crabs and the crabs have been steamed and silenced for good. They have to get to work, the tedious, monotonous work of picking crabmeat. Geography and nature have set the boundaries of what they do as surely as geography and nature have set the boundaries of the island. Some of the women were born into this life. Others married into it, knowing that their fate for at least six months out of the year would be to separate crabs from their shells with as much speed and dexterity as they could muster, picking fast enough each day to stay ahead of the next day's catch.
TRAVEL
By MICHELLE DEAL-ZIMMERMAN and MICHELLE DEAL-ZIMMERMAN,TRAVEL EDITOR | February 5, 2006
Everyone knows Virginia is for lovers. And Hershey, Pa., claims to be the "sweetest place on Earth." We don't doubt that, having gotten a whiff of the heavenly chocolate air. Then there's the town of Valentine in New Jersey - now that's a state that doesn't get a lot of love. But what about Maryland? Do we have any claim to romance? While the state may be known for its hard-shell crabs, Maryland has a softer side. You just have to know where to look. With Valentine's Day rapidly approaching, we asked readers to tell us the most romantic places in Maryland.
NEWS
By TOM HORTON | December 25, 1993
Hear Dallas Bradshaw of Smith Island recall a bitter cold Christmas of 50 years ago that still warms his heart:There came a freeze-up so bad the whole Chesapeake threatened to ice over. Smith Island, nine miles from the mainland, would soon be cut off.Tylerton, the town where the Bradshaws have lived for the last couple of centuries, was itself islanded from the other communities of Smith by a broad, deep channel -- that was turning as solid as any other town's main street.The ice had forced Dallas' dad and other island men to beach their "drudge boats" where they were oystering, across the bay on the Potomac.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler and Timothy B. Wheeler,Sun Staff Writer | April 19, 1994
Under pressure from established seafood dealers to crack down on unlicensed crab pickers on Smith Island, Maryland Health Secretary Nelson J. Sabatini is backing away from his agreement to give the isolated Chesapeake Bay watermen's community more time to comply with strict state food-handling regulations.Mr. Sabatini said yesterday that he probably would deny a group of watermen's wives and widows in Tylerton permission to keep selling crab meat this spring and summer while they work on plans to set up a crab-picking cooperative that can meet state health requirements.
NEWS
By TOM HORTON | October 25, 2005
TYLERTON -- The fall crab run is on, and oysters are fetching record prices here on Smith Island, Maryland's only offshore fishing community. So why are watermen and their families here talking as if their world, out here on this dab of marsh 10 miles from the mainland, might be ending? We think that if we maintain the bay's water quality, and sustain its fisheries, watermen will thrive. But with waterfront property fetching insane prices from Norfolk to Havre de Grace, just maintaining space for their boats and communities along the Chesapeake's edges is becoming ever more a problem for the commercial man. "We're losing ground all the time, up and down the bay, with property getting so expensive watermen can't compete," says Larry Simns, president of the Maryland Watermen's Association.
NEWS
By Chris Guy and Chris Guy,SUN STAFF | September 4, 2005
EWELL -- From her trim front yard in this village on Maryland's Smith Island, Yvonne Harrison, 62, can count a half-dozen "For Sale" signs along the spine of sandy high ground that serves as a one-lane Main Street. Men and women who have spent their lives struggling to earn a living from the Chesapeake Bay have decided it is time to move on. That is not surprising. What is new is the robust market of people who want to buy their homes. Houses in the island's three tiny towns are being scooped up as second homes by mainlanders who can't resist the quiet and isolation -- not to mention prices that seem like bargains to metropolitan-area residents.
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