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History Matters: Animal Science Research Farm planned for Rt. 175 25 years ago

8:00 AM EDT, October 24, 2012

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100 Years Ago

Lazy, but sane

A chuckle, compliments of the 1912 Times news briefs:

"A French doctor says that you are liable to bring on insanity unless you lay in bed fifteen or twenty minutes after you wake up. There is no need of special asylum out this way."

There was also an article about soft shell crabs: "Real Home of the Soft Shells: There may be persons who have never heard of Crisfield and who do not know that it is the greatest market in the world for soft-shell crabs. Some hotels in New York get their supplies of the delicious crustaceans direct from there and they have been shipped as far as Seattle.

"Crisfield is in Maryland, down on the lower part of the eastern shore. It is not a big place, but they do send out good things to eat from there — not only the soft shell crab, but the diamond-back terrapin, the Tangier oyster, which the gourmets of Baltimore think is to be classed among the most delicious of the species, and white shad, to which those same gourmets hold that no shad is equal. And so on. With which introduction, enter L.R. Carson.

"Mr. Carson was at the Imperial recently, says the New York Sun. He lives in Crisfield, is in the business there and had made a study of the crab scientifically and commercially.

" 'Crisfield,' said Mr. Carson, 'produces 90 percent of all the soft crabs consumed in this country. They are caught within a radius of ten miles of the town. The old part of Crisfield was built on oyster shells, but of recent years the town has expanded. It was only about twelve years ago that the discovery that the soft-shell crab could be popularized started a boom and the values of property in the last six years have trebled."

Though steamed crabs weren't mentioned in the article, hard crabs have been harvested in the Bay commercially since the mid-19th century. Crisfield is known as the "Seafood Capital of the World."

Gov. Milliard Tawes hailed from Crisfield, as well as the founder of Del Monte foods, and also Harry Byrd, once president of the University of Maryland. About this time, 1912, Crisfield was also the second largest city in Maryland.

Today, Maryland has two cities that can claim being Maryland's second largest. During the summer months it's Ocean City, the rest of the year it's Frederick.

75 Years Ago

Between church and state

"Homemakers Tour Annapolis And Naval Academy; Annual Education Tour Planned By Home Demonstration Agent Held Wednesday.

"Four buses carrying 129 women from the Howard County Homemaker Clubs left Ellicott City on Wednesday morning to make the eighth annual education tour. Upon arrival in Annapolis the group visited the recently remodeled Executive Mansion.

"After the lunch the women went to the State House, visiting the Senate Room, the House of Representatives and the governor's office.

"At St. Anne's Church, a history of the church was given by one of the members. The silver communion service given by King William of England was shown to the group. After leaving St. Anne's Church, the group went to the Naval Academy grounds, where they visited the chapel, Bancroft Hall, Dahlgren Hall and other interesting buildings on the grounds."

Today, St. Anne's silver 1692 King William communion cup is still used by the congregants. Also, if you go to Government House, a.k.aa the Executive Mansion or Governor's Mansion, their art collection includes paintings by Charles Wilson Peale and Alice Worthington Ball. The latter lived in Elkridge.

Travel tip: If you find ever yourself traveling 'round and 'round those circles in Annapolis, the trick is to remember the connection is "school." To get from Church Circle, the site of St. Anne's, to State Circle, the site of the State House, the short, conduit street is School Street.

50 Years Ago

Hog house

"The Directors of the Maryland Swine Producers Association made plan to sell the existing Swine Testing Station at Trappe, Maryland, and voted to build a new testing building on the Animal Science Research Farm located on route 175 between Waterloo and Ellicott City, announced James R. Ferguson, extension Specialist, Department of Animal Science, University of Maryland."