Tangier is really a cluster of marshy islands in the Chesapeake Bay about fifteen miles from the Eastern Shore. Tangier has been eroding away for years. The island now is only about a mile wide by three miles long. The land is flat and marshy with the highest point on the island at about seven feet above sea level. Island residents are clustered in three communities known as "ridges". The waterline of Tangier is very low lying and marshy and the edges of it are exposed at high tide.
Fondest memory: The lack of high buildings, mountains and trees does make it easier to see sunsets.
Favorite thing: Golf Cart rentals are available at the Sunset Inn, which is located near the beach. Highly recomended. They are a little pricey, but well worth the money. Get there early because they don't have that many available.
About two weeks before the blue crab sheds its hard shell, it becomes what local watermen call a 'peeler crab'. The men get up very early in the morning and search for peeler crabs. They bring the peeler's home and keep them alive in the soft crab farms until they shed their hard shells and are ready to sell.
The peeler crab goes through 3 stages before it actually sheds its hard shell. The first stage is called the Green Crab State. It changes color and become less spry. In the second stage the Rank Peeler Stage, the crab become deep red and the hard shell starts cracking under the pointers. The third stage is the Buster Crab Stage (no relation to the comedien). The crab bursts the shell and frees itself in a matter of minutes.
Fondest memory: There are many soft crab farms in Tangier.
This little sign tacked on the wall of the Double Six Sandwich Shop and Fisherman's Deli (which I'm not sure is a going concern at the moment) says:
"Michele Hass PA-C from White Stone Family Practice will be having clinic hours at the Family Center on August 2 and August 30. Call Cindy Parks 891-#### to schedule an appointment. Future dates to be announced".
The informational sign outside of the church on Tangier tells part of the story of the Rev. Joshua Thomas.
The Rev. Thomas was responsible in great part for the predominance of the Methodist church in Somerset County and Tangier Island. Rev. Adam Wallace's 1861 biography, "The Parson of the Islands" describes Joshua Thomas as being of a "natural roughness, a polished diamond of the first order, to whom lawyers, judges, doctors and preachers gave more heed than they would to the most cultured man in the community."
He was a fisherman, who was converted to Methodism in 1805. He became an official member of the circuit (which included Tangier Island) as an exhorter.
Fondest memory: When the British Fleet headquartered themselves here during the war of 1812 (occupying themselves in ravaging the Chesapeake Bay), Brother Thomas, as Joshua was now known, conferred with the British Admiral on several occasions. Brother Thomas influenced the Admiral to spare the trees around the Methodist camp ground and to use a vacant house as a headquarters rather than seizing a neighbor's home.
Before the fleet left Tangier (which was bigger then) to take Baltimore (Fort McHenry of "Star Spangled Banner" fame) Brother Thomas was asked to exhort the soldiers.
At the appointed hour, some twelve thousand men were lined up in columns to hear Joshua Thomas preach. He warned them of the danger and told them God told him they could not take Baltimore and would not succeed in their battle.
I don't know how much of the defeat of the British at Ft. McHenry was due to this 'pep talk' that the Rev. Thomas gave them, but I understand some of them came back to Tangier and asked for his absolution.
The Methodist church and parsonage are some of the biggest most prominent buildings on the island. This cross is next to the Tangier Sound side of the channel.
Favorite thing: It took me a couple of seconds to realize that this nice lighthouse model was really a trash can. I was even more surprised to see one out on the marshlands. There are a lot of trashcans around, and the island is very clean.
Favorite thing: The evening before I saw the people on one of the other sailboats in the marina feeding the ducks. So even though Bob said not to feed them, I threw them a few crumbs in the morning.