Eastern Shore Trivia
This section will contain Trivia informatin about The Eastern Shore
Did you know..........
- That Jennings Cropper Wise published a book in 1911,"YE KINGDOME
OF ACCAWMACKE" or theEastern Shore of Virginia in theSeventeenth
Century. He was Henry A. Wise's grandson.
- That Jennings Cropper Wise was Captain of the first football team that
VA TECH ever had.
- That in 1929 Parksley had four department stores, three general hardware
stores, two chain grocery stores, four ladies hat shops, two men's clothing
shops, six general grocery stores, a hotel, amd two restaurants.
- That in 1650 Colonel Daniel Jennifer was the first to obtain land grant
on Chincoteague. He was granted 1,500 acres.
- That in 1671 Chincoteague was given the name of "Land Across the
Waters" by the Gingo-Teague Tribe.
- That in 1671 The first record of white man's land quest of Gingo-Teague
is recorded on April 1.
- That in 1672 By 1672, large farm lands were in abundance, owned by
the first settlers, Mr. R.W. Bishop, the Jesters, the Bowdens, Tarrs
and many others.
- That in 1692 The first record of any religious history on the Island
was in April
- That in 1838 Thirty-six homes were on the Island
- That in 1840 First school on Chincoteague
- That in 1841 First Baptist Church was built and the first pastor was
Reverend William P. Thornton.
- That in 1853 Methodist Protestant Church was organized on Church Street
on land purchased from Evaline Sharpley.
- That in 1854 First postmaster, J.A.M. Whealton. Six letters arrived
from Horntown. At this time Horntown was the shipping center for early
settlers. James E. Matthews in the same year brought mail to Chincoteague
from the mainland.
- That in 1856 John W. Corbin was the postmaster.
- That in 1859 First doctor was Dr. Hudson from the mainland.
- That in 1860 Seafood was the chief occupation.
- That in 1861 Chincoteague voted 132-2 NOT to secede from the Union
and against slavery.
- That in 1865 First Sunday School was organized by the Baptist Church
and was led by Benjamin Scott.
- That in 1879 Captain John Buntng led in organizing Beulah Baptist Church.
- That in 1879 The R.R. line boat between Franklin CIty and Chincoteague
- That in 1881 On August 10, Pony Penning was held.
- That in 1883 J.A. Whealton enlarged his storehouse on June 7. It was
perhaps the largest business on the Eastern Shore.
- That in 1883 By June 21, William N. Conant was the great contractor
and builder on the Island.
- That in 1883 On July 12, steps were taken to organize a Masonic Lodge
on the Island. Among charter members were the following gentlemen C.F.W.
Hall, Frank Hollis, William J. Matthews, and E.W. Richardson.
- That in 1883 On October 11, another private school was opened by Mrs.
- That in 1883 On November 22, Mr. Pholey of Philadelphia and M.Horsey
of Pocomoke City, Maryland, purchased the old Hurley Hotel as a first
class bakery known as the Island Bakery.
- That in 1883 On December 6, early oyster companies were Conklin and
Jones, Reed and Hill and H. Nedab.
- That in 1885 On August 8, D.J. Whealton was appointed postmaster.
- That in 1885 There was tragedy in Chincoteague in June, when Tom Freeman
killed Jenny Hill and wounded her mother Zepporah Hill.
- That in 1885 A Pennsylvania Railroad Company placed one of their steamers
on route between Chincoteague and Franklin City.
- That in 1886 A black school was opened with a teacher and 20 students.
- That in 1887 Leo Disharoom was principal of Chincoteague School.
- That in 1890 A building boom continued despite the hard times. The
new steam mill of N.D. Gordy, was in operation and a bakery was established
by Mrs. Agustus Flemming and W.N. Conant was building the parsonage of
the Methodist Church.
- That in 1890 Oysters were sold at Chincoteague at the following prices
per barrel. Primes $1.40, Culls 10 cents, Cullenteens such as were known
to be sold before from 30 cents to 40 cents. The purchasers were from
the Northern and Eastern Markets.
- That in 1890 1000 barrels of oysters were shipped from Chincoteague
on the Steamer "Widgeon" and the average daily freight is about
500 barrels,and the price bring about $3.00 per barrel. Oysters were
in great demand then.
- That in 1891 Teachers of the school were Lottie Clayville, Lydia Disharoon,
Joshiah Scoarh, Nellie Harrison and Clarence Feddeman.
- That in 1891 Frank Townsend, Clerk of O.M. Jones Drug Store, became
- That in 1891 A Lodge of Red Men was organized with 66 members.
- That in 1891 A school was erected on Ridge Road and was called South
- That in 1891 The Christ's Sanctified Holy Church was organized on February
- That in 1892 T.P. Selvy founded a Retail Clothing Store in Chincoteague.
- That in 1894 A large bell has been put up by the town which is rung
promptly at 900 p.m., when all stores close.
- That in 1894 A newspaper known as the "Chincoteague Islander" was
started on December 1 with Editor, J.W. Fields and Frank Townsend.
- That in 1894 On Sunday, Reverend S.U. Grimsley preached his first sermon
and was called to be the pastor of Union Baptist Church.
- That in 1895 The last issue of the "Chincoteague Islander".
- That in 1896 Union Baptist Church was destroyed by fire on Thursday
morning, April 30.
- That in 1896 School erected near the present place known as "Turntable" North
Main Street. This school was known as "Up the Island" school.
- That in 1896 The bank building is completed and is one of the handsomest
south of Wilmington. It is a two story building, 20 feet long by 32 feet
wide, furnished and cost $3,000.
- That in 1896 Western Union has opened an office; and with messenger
service attached. The office is adjoining Dr. Smith's Drug Store. Twenty-five
messages were received and sent the opening day.
- That in 1898 First bank incorporated on Chincoteague.
- That in 1899 Joe Baker has built a large Blacksmith Shop.
- That in 1899 Every ice house on Chincoteague has been filled during
the freeze with the finest ice that was ever saved here.
- That in 1899 Colonel John A. Whealton was Clerk in the Boatsman Bank.
- That in 1900 First Barrel House was built.
- That in 1900 A petition is being circled asking the government to place
a lighthouse at the outer end of Chincoteague Shoals.
- That in 1900 The home of D.J. Whealton was built on Main Street
- That in 1900 Street Lamps arrived August 11, and streets were soon
lighted by gas lamps.
- That in 1900 The large modern store house of J.A.M. Whealton (24ft.x60ft.)
was built and opened on December 8. This store was called "Big Store" and
was destroyed by fire in 1927. It supplied the Islanders with furniture,
clothing, school books, coal, food, etc.
- That in 1901 August 17, The School Board appointed the following teachers
Principal of the grade school, William Gillespie; First Assistant, Mrs.
R.J. Whealton; Second Assistant, Miss Carrie Whealton; Third Assistant,
Louella Burton; "Up the Island," Miss Hallie M. Whealton; "Down
the Island," Edward Disharoon; Assateague, James E. Mears Colored
School Peter Wharton.
- That in 1902 A telephone office was established here. Miss Retta Smith
was the first telephone operator on the Island and was later succeeded
by Mrs. Alice Laws.
- That in 1902 On March 1, revival at Beulah Church, conduct by Reverend
Sanderlin, there were 100 professions of faith, and of that number, 44
have been Baptized into the Church.
- That in 1903 On November 7, the return from Chincoteague shows that
William N. Conant was elected supervisor; N.S. Smith, Jr., Constable;
Sidney Davis, William C. Bunting, and Burton Dennis, Justices of Peace.
- That in 1903 Mrs. Mary Hudson sold her dwelling on Main Street to Mrs.
Mary Ann Hill for $1,900 and will open up an Oyster Saloon.
- That in 1905 June 5, Chincoteague Rural mail delivery started with
4 mail boxes "Down and Up the Island." Alonzo Dennis was
the first carrier. Succeeding him for awhile was Mr. Reuben Bishop and
later his wife Mrs. Bishop. His salary per year was $540.00, $45.00 per
- That in 1905 On Saturday, March 11, received long distance services.
- That in 1906 The population was 3100.
- That in 1908 Chincoteague was incorporated.
- That in 1908 The town received its first Charter from the State of
- That in 1908 Mr. Frank Matthews was elected the town's first mayor.
- That in 1908 The first automobile was brought to the Island. The owner,
Mr. Archie Jones, purchased a Premier car in Baltimore, Maryland.
- That in 1909 Mr. Matthews and James Powell will erect a moving picture
building 20 feet by 80 feet.
- That in 1909 The bank of Chincoteague was established.
- That in 1916 Rev. Dr. O.W. Sawyer, preached his first sermon in Union
- That in 1918 Old Marine Bank was organized.
- That in 1918 The record ice in the Chesapeake Bay goes back to the
Winter of 1917-1918 when the temperature dropped to zero, and Chincoteague
Bay was frozen over for tow weeks. The supply of groceries and oil became
shore and it was necessary to bring food by sleds to the people.
- That in 1920 September, the town's first major fire. Destroyed were
the Atlantic Hotel, the homes of William Bunting, John T. Mears, and
several other buildings.
- That in 1920 The Chincoteague Bridge was being built.
- That in 1921 Old wooden building known as high school building was
moved back and a new brick high school was built in front of it (later
the old building was torn down). The elementary grades used the wooden
building, High school students used the new building.
- That in 1922 A crew estimated at over 300 persons journeyed to Chincoteague
from the mainland on November 15 for the opening of the toll road and
- That in 1924 The first Pony Penning held. This round up was called
- That in 1925 Mr. Eve Jones was the first fire Chief of the newly organized
volunteer Fire Department.
- That in 1927 A third fire occurred in the jail which was located on
Mumford street. One individual wa severely burned, and another lost his
life. After the fire, a modern fire proof jail was erected on Cropper
- That in 1928 On December 7, John Leonard Fish Company has a Big fish
catch amounting to $3,500.
- That in 1930 On February 19, the State took over the John B. Whealton
Memorial Causeway for the sum of $150,000 in June of the same year it
was opened to the public as a free road.
- That in 1930 Poultry Industry started on a large scale on Chincoteague.
- That in 1930 Plans to build a new Fire House on the corner of Main
and Cropper Street.
- That in 1933 Storm damaged a lot of property, but no lives were lost.
- That in 1939 June 23, the Coast Guard Auxillary was founded by an Act
of Congress, which was first called the Coast Guard Reserve.
- That in 1940 The bridge at Oueen Sound was carried away by ice in January.
- That in 1950 Voters of Chincoteague gave over-whelming support to the
purchase of a school site. The vote was 584 for and 87 against. The election
was for $20,000 issue for the pruchase of the Whealton tract of land
which contains approximately 115 acres, purchase price was $18000.
- That in 1954 Hurricane Hazel did much damage.
- That in 1958 New School building dedicated and opened to the students
- That in 1960 Hurricane Donna provided much devastation
- That in 1962 One of the worse storms that ever occurred on the Island;
property and animals were destroyed, and much of the debris went out
to sea. Many of the ponies died on Assateague Island.
- That in 1964 St. Andrews Roman Catholic Church established in the former
Methodist Protestant building on Church Street.
- That in 1968 Russell Hotel burned in September.
- That in 1972 Hurricane Agnes did some damage.
- That in 1973 August 11, at 3 p.m. Beulah Baptist Church burned. The
cause was unknown.
- The National Recorder was the first weekly on the ES of Virginia. Owned by A. S. Gootie and C. A. Cord. Ended in the Northern Invasion. The facilities were commandeered to publish "The Regimental Flag", the organ of the 2nd Regiment of Delaware Volunteers, Edited by T. M. Barr from 16 Jan 1862 to 6 Mar 1862. (Mentioned in Kirk Mariner's Off 13; also in an article in the Eastern Shore News in May of 1997 by Bessie R. Burgess).
If you have any trivia about the Eastern Shore, and would like to have the materials posted on this web site, please send it to Jack Burn