A Spesutie Island mystery solved in 1976

It had been a "mystery" for many years.

The riddle of the Spesutie Island "mystery monument" was finally solved, and the solution filled an important gap in the history of the area in 1976. Katherine Taylor, born in Perryman, refuted the false conjecture that the edifice constructed of assorted stones was the marker for the gravesite of a favorite hunting dog.


The facts of the matter were in a marked contrast to any erroneous idea. The monument evoked the memories of a very prolific and ubiquitous family who once occupied all of the early island – just as the Utie family of the original settlers to the area had.

The source of the information which attests to the fact that a branch of the Gallup family once occupied all of the island is a copy of the "Gallup genealogy," made available by Miss Taylor. The genealogy was printed by the Gallup Family Association in 1966. The family named Gallup was also know as Gallop, Galloupe and Galloupe, who settled in New England about 1660, and their descendants eventually arrived on Spesutie Island.

When the East Coast bankers and business men, among whom was the late J. Pierpont Morgan, acquired the 500 to 800 acres in 1885, for a Rod and Gun Club, there were members of the sportsman's organization who had a reverence for those departed.

When these men became aware that the headstones and foot markers of many of the Gallup family were consigned to oblivion, they acted to conserve at least those parts of the scattered and broken markers which were incorporated in what was referred to as the Morgan Manor Marker.

In a sense, then, Aberdeen Proving Ground is the repository of a second time capsule. So, it was candidate for recognition as a national historic site, although it was highly doubtful that sufficient documentation could be mustered to support an official designation.

Miss Taylor had a document entitled "A Short Sketch of that part of the Gallup family that come to this country."

It seems that a group of Gallups left Delaware and moved to the island. John Gallup, one of the two brothers of French descent, came to this country before the death of Oliver Cromwell, and some time before the restoration of Charles II to the throne of England. It seemed that a family strife developed, and many marriages, and came to Maryland in 1790.

The Gallup family lived on the island for many years, died and were buried there. The graveyard is on the upper island farm, and was always called the Gallups' Burying Ground. Thomas Gallup was the last of the Gallup family who inhabited Spesutie. He died on the island in 1822.

Edward Gallup, the writer of this little history, was the eldest Gallup living in Maryland. The author of the sketch resided in Havre de Grace, where he was known at Captain Ned Gallup.

The opening sentence to the prologue to the Gallup Genealogy states that "By nature the Gallups are a wandering family." So, the Gallups who wandered to Harford and Spesutie Island were merely upholding a strong tradition.

And, thanks to a "mystery monument" their memory lingers on-perhaps in perpetuity.