Milestone: The Wittman Post Office Celebrates 150 Years

This week, a large crowd gathered at the Wittman Post Office for a 150th birthday celebration. Wittman and the surrounding area is known as “Pot Pie” and local lore attributes this savory name to an elderly woman who cooked pot pies that she offered to watermen returning home after a long day on the water.  Another belief is when the local preacher of the church visited a parishioner’s home and was offered refreshments, he always asked for a pot pie.

At the celebration, historical memorabilia were proudly displayed. One plaque listed the names of the eighteen persons who have previously served as Postmaster.  The first Postmaster, from 1869 to 1875, was Mrs. Emily Wittman, whose family originally settled in the area in the 1860’s. 

A historical photograph from the early 1900’s showed the general store across the street from the current Post Office location.  Residents originally received mail at the general store. After the store closed, the Post Office moved across Pot Pie Road to its current location. Today the Post Office serves not only Wittman residents but also the communities of McDaniel and Sherwood. With the closing of the Asbury Methodist Church across Pit Pie Road, the Wittman Post Office is the unofficial gathering spot for the area’s communities.

Several dignitaries or their representatives attended the event to offer their congratulations. State Senator Addie Eckardt read both the Citation signed by Governor Larry Hogan, Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford and Secretary of State John C. Wobensmith and the Resolution from the Senate of Maryland; State Delegates Christopher Adams and Johnny Mautz read the Official Citation from the Maryland General Assembly; Mike Arntz represented Congressman Andy Harris and read his Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition.  In addition, Postmistress Chris Henckel received new United States and State of Maryland flags. The United States flag once flew over the US Capitol building.

After the dignitaries’ presentations, Wittman’s oldest native resident and landlord for the Post Office, Mr. Clarence Marshall, 93 years young, cut the cake and the party began. Several previous Postmasters posed for pictures along with Postmaster Carl Starlipper from the St. Michaels Post Office on this momentous occasion.

Several tents with refreshments were set up for shade but the large crowd spilled out into the street. I enjoyed chatting with my neighbors and meeting new ones. As I walked home, I reflected upon how much I appreciated my neighborhood for its small size, congenial neighbors and its diverse mix of newcomers and descendants of original settlers that makes Wittman a very special place. 

 

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee.

 

Free Family Law Assistance Available at Easton Library

On Thursday, August 1, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., in the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library, a lawyer will be available to provide free consultation to patrons on how to represent themselves and complete forms for divorce, custody, visitation, child support, name change, guardianship, adoption, and juvenile expungement.  For more information visit: ttp://mdcourts.gov/clerks/talbot/family.html This project is supported by a Family Division/Family Services Grant from the Maryland Administrative Office of the Courts, Department of Family Administration.

Upcoming Programming at the Library July 29 to August 1

St. Michaels Library to Screen Children’s Film

On Monday, July 29, at noon, the St. Michaels branch of the Talbot County Free Library will show a children’s film on its big, professional screen.  All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register to attend this screening.  For more information (including the title of this film, which, due to licensing requirements, we cannot publish here), please call the library at 410-745-5877, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Joe Romano

Professional Magician to Entertain at Easton Library

On Wednesday, July 31, at 10:30 a.m., in the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library, professional magician Joe Romano returns to perform an act he’s calling “Take Me to Your Reader!”  Music, comedy, and sensational sets make this a show children of all ages are sure to enjoy.  All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register to attend this Romano’s show.  For more information, please call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit www.tcfl.org

St. Michaels Library to Offer STEM Story Time at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

On Wednesday, July 31, at 10:30 a.m., the St. Michaels branch of the Talbot County Free Library will offer a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) story time program at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum for ages 5 and under accompanied by an adult.  Children will learn about how some items float and others sink when placed in water.

All library programs are free and open to the public, but pre-registration (by calling the St. Michaels library at 410-745-5877) is required to participate in this program and receive free admission to the museum.  For more information, please call the library at 410-745-5877, or visit www.tcfl.org.

St. Michaels Library to Offer Adult Arts & Crafts

On Thursday, August 1, from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., the St. Michaels branch of the Talbot County Free Library invites patrons to bring their coloring books, Zentangle pens, or anything else that fuels their passion for being creative and come in for a program of adult arts and crafts.

Free instruction will be available for knitting, beading, needlework, and tatting.  Patrons may bring their lunch.  All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register to attend this screening.  For more information (including the title of this film, which, due to licensing requirements, we cannot publish here), please call the library at 410-745-5877, or visit www.tcfl.org.

St. Michaels Museum Walking Tours

St. Michaels Museum
Walking Tours
Saturday, August 3 & 17 at 10:00 am
“Frederic Douglass, as a Slave, in St. Michaels 1833-36”

This tour is given as a 90-minute walking tour on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month. The tour gives a view of the early life of St. Michaels’ most famous 19th century resident and the most important African American Abolitionist in the Civil War. The cost for the tours is $10 adults, $5 youths (6-17). St. Michaels Museum is located at 201 E. Chestnut St, St. Michaels, MD. For information call 410 745-9561 or check the website at: www.stmichaelsmuseum.org

St. Michaels Museum
Walking Tours
Saturday, August 10 & 24 at 10:00 am
“Historic St. Michaels: its People, Places and Happenings”

This tour is given as a 90-minute walking tour on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays. It highlights St. Michaels during the 19th Century. Stories will be told by viewing many restored structures from that era and describing lives of famous and typical residents of these times including Frederic Douglass. The cost for the tours is $10 adults, $5 youths (6-17). St. Michaels Museum is located at 201 E. Chestnut St, St. Michaels, MD. For information call 410 745-9561 or check the website at: www.stmichaelsmuseum.org.

CBMM Invites Families to Boatshop Program

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md., will offer another summer session of its Family Boatshop program on Saturday, Aug. 3. Participation is limited, with advanced registration needed.

Families participating in this 9am–4pm program are invited to join carver and master model maker Ed Thieler to learn the basic skills needed to carve their very own nameboards. Materials and basic tools will be included, and guests are encouraged to bring a bagged lunch.

This program is limited to children 10 years of age and older, who must be accompanied by an adult. The cost includes one child and one adult and costs $75, with a 20% discount for CBMM members. Registration for additional children is $20 per child. Scholarships are available for participants in the Talbot Mentors program; to learn more about this partnership, contact Shipyard Education Programs Manger Jenn Kuhn at jkuhn@cbmm.org. Registration for all participants is available at cbmm.org/shipyardprograms.

CBMM’s Apprentice for a Day Shipyard Programs take place year-round, offering demonstrations, workshops, intensives with visiting master craftsmen, on-the-water experiences, and customized programming. Programs take place on weekends and select weekdays, and include a variety of programs for every interest and age. To find one that’s right for you, visit cbmm.org/shipyardprograms.

New Leadership and A New Home for Mid Shore Community Mediation Center

There was plenty to celebrate at Mid Shore Community Mediation Center last Wednesday, July 10th as volunteers, staff, community members, and local government representatives alike came together to welcome Jenn Williams as the newly appointed Center Director and officially open the Center’s new location on Brooks Drive in Easton.

Williams grew up on the Eastern Shore, graduated from St Michael’s High School, and currently resides in Royal Oak. She attended Hood College and earned her master’s degree in Conflict Resolution from Salisbury University. Williams began working at Mid Shore Community Mediation Center in 2012, where she partnered with leadership in the Dorchester County Public School System to create a nationally recognized school-based mediation program, the Peace Team. The Peace Team Program is a service that enables professionally trained mediators to provide mediation services to students, staff and families, both in community settings and in school buildings during the school day. This school-community collaboration is a model for other districts throughout the state and will continue into its 9th school year this Fall.

Williams describes herself as ‘conflict competent’ and loves the work she does: “I’ve combined my academic foundations with the practical tools I gained in basic mediation training to, I hope, become an effective conflict interventionist. It is both so humbling and rewarding to support people through difficult conversations. To hold space for people to communicate freely, to be able to listen to those people without judgment or agenda it’s really an incredible experience.”

Dr. Lorig Charkoudian, Director of Community Mediation Maryland and Maryland Delegate, was on hand to help open the new building and welcome Williams. Charkoudian said, “Jenn is a skillful, experienced mediator and an entrepreneur. I’m delighted to welcome her in her new role as Director and look forward to what she will achieve.  I know it will be good for Eastern Shore communities.”

Williams, along with her staff team, Jessica Basom and Abby Hastings, both also graduates of Salisbury University’s Conflict Resolution Department, have big plans for the Center.  New programs are reaching people re-entering their communities from incarceration, as well as individuals who are in recovery from substance abuse addiction.  According to Williams, “Research on the impact of mediation for people leaving incarceration shows that even one session reduces the likelihood of recidivism (re-incarceration) by 10%. It is our hope to have similar impacts on individuals and families in the recovery process. “

Colleen Kennedy, a Substance Use Disorder Specialist working in the Caroline County Detention Center, is enthusiastic about the impact of the addiction recovery and re-entry mediation initiatives, “I have already seen the Mid Shore Mediation program act as a catalyst for individuals in recovery to begin their healing process during a lonely and difficult time.  This program benefits not only the individuals reentering the community but also the community as a whole.”

These new programs join the Parenting Plan, Adult Guardianship and Community-focused mediations the Center has been offering since 2005. On average, the Center holds more than 400 mediations each year.  Most mediations are facilitated by community members who have volunteered their time and skills to undergo professionally training in order to effectively facilitate conversations. Of all the situations brought to mediation, 8/10 achieve resolution through the process and, regardless of whether an agreement was reached, nearly 85% of mediation participants say they were able to express themselves and feel heard during mediation.

Mid Shore Community Mediation Center is a not-for-profit organization offering no-cost mediation for residents of Dorchester, Caroline, and Talbot counties. Community Mediation is voluntary, confidential, and non-judgmental.

To request mediation, become a volunteer mediator, or donate, visit www.midshoremediation.org or call (410)820-5553.

Organist Wesley Parrott to Play at Bill Wharton Memorial Service July 14

Wesley Parrott, a prominent Philadelphia organist and Easton native, will play at a memorial service for Dr. Bill Wharton on Sunday, July 14, at 4 pm.

The service and recital at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church will honor Dr. Wharton, who was the church’s organist for 52 years.

Dr. Wharton, who died May 19 at age 75, was beloved in the community. In addition to his long tenure at St. Mark’s, he also was a music teacher at Easton High School and Chesapeake College and participated in countless programs, workshops and performances throughout the community.

Parrott has served as organist in several Philadelphia churches, including St. Mark’s Episcopal and St. Mary’s Episcopal, where he collaborated on the design of the Patrick J. Murphy and Associates pipe organ.

Currently organist at Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, Parrott also is liturgical musician at St. Frances DeSales in West Philadelphia.

Parrott studied organ with prominent musicians at the Curtis Institute for Music, University of the South, the Eastman School of Music and University of Rochester.

While a student, Parrott won three national level competitions in organ playing and was a finalist in the Grand Prix de Chartres in France. His recordings are available through the Organ Historical Society.

Parrott has performed at the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts in Philadelphia, on the Wanamaker organ at Macy’s in Philadelphia and the National Cathedral in Washington and others. He has accompanied many choirs and soloists in the Philadelphia area and was accompanist for the Princeton Singers during their tour of England.

Parrott’s mother, Millie, is an Easton resident, and has been active member of St. Mark’s.

For further information, contact:
Scott Clausen, Director of Music & Worship
St. Mark’s UMC, 410-822-0001

CBMM to Host Free Sunday Funday

The public is invited to join the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum for a free Sunday Funday on July 21, from 1—4pm. This event will include an afternoon of music, lawn games, and friendly competition.

Bring your friends for a round of giant Jenga or cornhole, or perhaps test your balance on the slackline. Sailing and rowing small craft will be available for rent, and the Mt. LeConte Jug Band, a grassroots Americana group from Spring City, Tenn., will be playing from 2–4pm. Sunday Funday is a great way to connect with old friends and meet new ones, all while enjoying excellent music and games.

This event will take place on CBMM’s Fogg’s Landing, with participants welcome to bring their favorite food, beverage, or game. Grills, coolers, and ice will be available for use. No registration is required.

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to preserving and exploring the history, environment, and culture of the entire Chesapeake Bay region, and making this resource available to all. Every aspect of fulfilling this mission is driven by CBMM’s values of relevancy, authenticity, and stewardship, along with a commitment to providing engaging guest experiences and transformative educational programming, all while serving as a vital community partner. For more information, visit cbmm.org.

Harold Baines Hall of Fame Ceremony Induction Watch Party July 21

The St. Michaels Alumni Association is sponsoring a “Watch Party” for the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony of St. Michaels Graduate Harold Baines. The Community Party will be held in the high school auditorium, starting at 12:30. The Ceremony begins at 1:30 p.m. The Milestone will have pit beef and pulled pork platters for sale to benefit the Alumni Association. The Event is free of charge, seating for 500 is available. Please RSVP to info@smsaintsalumni.org

Upcoming Programming at the Library July 22 to 25

St. Michaels Library to Screen Animated Film

On Monday, July 22, at noon, the St. Michaels branch of the Talbot County Free Library will show an animated film, rated PG, on its big, professional screen.  All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register to attend this screening.  For more information (including the title of this film, which, due to licensing requirements, we cannot publish here), please call the library at 410-745-5877, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Easton Library to Host Drone Mapping Program (for ages 9-12)

On Tuesday, July 23, from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m., and repeating on Tuesday, July 30, again from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m., the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library will play host to a drone program, presented by Horn Point Lab, for youths aged 9 – 12.

Program participants will discover what it’s like to be a drone pilot and geospatial scientist, capture aerial photos to study water quality, and, finally, learn drone safety, manual flight skills, and coding for autonomous flight.  The program will be taught by Anna Windle, a Ph.D. student at Horn Point Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.

All library programs are free and open to the public, but space for this program is limited, so pre-registration is required.  Patrons my pre-register at http://www.tcfl.org/child/programreg/, or by calling 410-822-1626.  For more information, please call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Easton Library to Host New Moon Theater Production: Minwa

On Wednesday, July 24, at 10:30 a.m., the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library will host a highly interactive theatrical performance of three traditional Japanese tales by the New Moon Theater troop.  These tales highlight our shared values of kindness, generosity, acceptance, and community responsibility.  They also feature adventure, monsters, and a very large battle!

This program is sponsored by the Friends of the Talbot County Free Library and the Talbot County Arts Council, with funding from Talbot County and the Towns of Easton, Oxford, and St. Michaels.  All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register to attend this performance.  For more information, please call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit www.tcfl.org.

St. Michaels Library to Hold Japanese Cultural Celebration

Bill Peak

On Wednesday, July 24, from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m., the St. Michaels branch of the Talbot County Free Library will hold a Japanese cultural celebration for children 5 – 12 years of age (children 7 and under must be accompanied by an adult).  There will be a Japanese tea ceremony, Japanese crafts, professional storytelling, and a Japanese puppet show staged by New Moon Theater.  All library programs are free and open to the public, but patrons do need to pre-register (at 410-745-5877) to participate in this program.  For more information, please call the library at 410-745-5877, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Some Hints on Writing Your Memoirs from “Library Guy” Bill Peak

On Thursday, July 25, at 11:00 a.m., in the St. Michaels branch of the Talbot County Free Library, “library guy” and author Bill Peak will share some of the tricks he uses to turn memories into the kind of stories people like to read.  Learn how memory’s weaknesses can strengthen your storytelling.  Find out which of the senses has been shown to stimulate memories better than any other.   Discover the ways in which you can investigate a memory to add flavor to your writing.

In addition to serving as the Talbot County Free Library’s communications manager, Peak is the author of “The Oblate’s Confession,” a novel that won four national awards and was named to Kirkus Review’s Best Books of 2015 list.  Memory, its uses and flaws, is a sub-theme of the book.

All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register to attend this program.  For more information, please call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit www.tcfl.org.

St. Michaels Library to Host Family Games

On Thursday, July 25, at 3:30 p.m., the St. Michaels branch of the Talbot County Free Library will host an afternoon of board games and fun educational children’s games for all ages (children 5 and under must be accompanied by an adult).  All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register to attend this program.  For more information, please call the library at 410-745-5877, or visit www.tcfl.org.

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