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When St. Michaels was Just a Waterman’s Town by Harold W. Hurst

Present-day St. Michaels is a picturesque, historic town and a major stopping point for the thousands of tourists who descend each year on the Delmarva Peninsula. Swarms of visitors stroll up and down its main street, viewing its historic sites or seeking out the many upscale restaurants, gift shops, boutiques and antiques emporiums. In recent years, many wealthy retirees have bought some of the historic homes or built new town houses or condominiums. Yacht races and marinas are the chief at-

tractions enjoyed by outsiders and new arrivals from the North. Throughout the nineteenth century, however, St. Michaels was occupied largely by sailors, watermen and shipyard workers. In brief, St. Michaels was a waterman’s town. The top of the social pyramid included a handful of prosperous merchants, sea captains, shipbuilders and professional men. By contrast, Easton, and most of the rural sections of Talbot County, were the home of large planters and their black laborers. St. Michaels

The Baltimore Chasseur 57

July 2012 Tidewater Times  

July 2012 Tidewater Times

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