Blog

Joining the SRPT is EASY!

Joining the Society for the Restoration of Port Tobacco has never been easier!

Memberships can be purchased from our website or by attending an SRPT sponsored event (such as the upcoming Holiday Party).   We’re very excited to begin implementation of PayPal Here at the Party enabling us to accept memberships on the go by using a mobile credit card payment device plugged into a smart phone or tablet.  You don’t need to have a PayPal account to purchase a membership and the following major credit cards are accepted.

 

Speaker Spotlight: John R. Wennersten

Dr. John R. Wennersten is the author of nine books focusing on history and environmental studies including, “The Chesapeake: An Environmental Biography”, “Global Thirst: Water and Society in the 21st Century”, “Anacostia: The Death and Life of an American River” and “The Historic Waterfront of Washington, D.C.” published last year.

He is a professor emeritus of American History at the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore, and a member of the board of directors for the Anacostia Watershed Society.  Previously, Dr. Wennersten was a senior fellow in Environmental History at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History, a former participant in the Maryland Humanities Council Speakers Bureau, and a past associate editor for the Maryland Historical Magazine.  His book, and the subject of SRPT’s oyster program in October, “The Oyster Wars of the Chesapeake Bay” received the Maryland Writers Prize for nonfiction.

Author John Wennersten
Author John Wennersten

A resident of Washington, D. C. SRPT is delighted to host Dr. Wennersten on October 11th at the Port Tobacco Courthouse from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

This event has been canceled

SRPT Donates 4 “Almighty Oyster” Tickets for Silent Auction

silent auction

Are you attending the UM Charles Regional Medical Center’s 18th Annual Autumn Wine Tasting and Silent Auction on September 19th?  If so, keep an eye out for the opportunity to bid on a “four-pack” of tickets donated by SRPT for the auction.  The tickets are to our upcoming program “The Almighty Oyster: Food, Fighting and Sensibility” with author John Wennersten and include the tasting catered by Daniel Jefferson.

 

New Poster for “The Almighty Oyster”

The flyer for “The Almighty Oyster” is hot off the presses and ready for distribution!  For more information on this unique program, please see our Press Release for this program or click on the flyer below to purchase your tickets today.

The Almighty Oyster Poster

An Almighty Oyster Poster PDF version is also available.

Press Release

SRPT Presents “The Almighty Oyster: Food, Fighting and Sensibility”

Author John Wennersten
Author John Wennersten

Join the Society for the Restoration of Port Tobacco and author John Wennersten as we explore the rise of the oyster from a poor people’s food to a status delicacy on October 11th from 2:00-3:30 p.m. at the Port Tobacco Courthouse, 8430 Commerce Street, Port Tobacco.

Learn about the evolution of the oyster industry in Maryland from the colonial period to the mid-twentieth century. As the desirability of oyster rose, deadly violence broke out among watermen over access to oyster beds in the Chesapeake Bay and tributary rivers, leading to the notorious “Oyster Wars” of the late 19th century. Attendees will have the opportunity to taste for themselves why oysters were worth fighting over following the program.

Tickets, $15.00 per person for the lecture only, or $40.00 per person for members, $45.00 per person for non-members for the lecture and tasting are available online at http://srptalmightyoyster.eventbrite.com. SRPT members, don’t forget to use the promo from the Spring 2015 newsletter or from the recently sent event email.  For more information, contact Jennifer Pitts at restoreporttobacco@gmail.com.

Established in 1948, the Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing public interest in the heritage of Port Tobacco and Southern Maryland through educational and civic programs. For more information, please visit our website at www.restoreporttobacco.wordpress.com or call 301-934-4313.

Hot Off the Presses: “A Taste of Maryland” Flyer

The flyer for “A Taste of Maryland” is hot off the presses and ready for distribution!  For more information on this unique program, please see our post Guest Speakers or click on the flyer below to purchase your tickets today.

Taste of MD Flyer

A Taste of MD Flyer PDF version is also available.

Guest Speakers

SRPT is pleased to bring you two guest speakers for 2015

Culinary historian Joyce White preparing a historic recipe.

On June 28th from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. culinary historian Joyce White will share with us “A Taste of Maryland” featuring some of state’s iconic food traditions such as crab cakes and Maryland Beaten Biscuits.  We’ll also learn about some lesser foods such as Coodies (?) and Peach Fluff.   Joyce’s wealth of knowledge runs deep and she shares her efforts in recreating historical recipes on her blog “A Taste of History with Joyce White“.  A reason we’re very happy to have Joyce speak at the Port Tobacco Courthouse is that this will be an interactive experience.  Not only do you get to learn about Maryland’s food history but, you get to taste it too!  Tickets are on sale now until June 21st at www.srpttasteofmd.eventbrite.com.  SRPT members, don’t forget to use the discount code in the Spring newsletter.  Not a member? Join today!

Please note that foods are prepared where potential allergens, such wheat, gluten, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, and many other food products, are processed.

Author John Wennersten
Author John Wennersten

On October 11th from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. author John Wennersten will present “The Almighty Oyster: Food, Fighting and Sensibility.  This presentation traces the evolution of the oyster industry in Maryland from the colonial period to the mid-twentieth century.  John Wennersten details the rise of the oyster from a poor people’s food to a status delicacy. As the desirability of oysters rose, deadly violence broke out among watermen over access to the oyster beds in the Chesapeake Bay, Tangier Sound, and the tributary rivers, leading to the notorious “Oyster Wars.” Tragically, its national and international popularity led to over-harvesting and the demise of what had once been called the Almighty Oyster. The audience will consider how humans use, sensibly or not, the bounty of our natural resources.

Tickets, $15.00 for the lecture only or $40.00 for members / $45.00 for non-members, for the lecture and tasting are available online at http://srptalmightyoyster.eventbrite.com..

Market Day Thank You

SRPT’s 6th Annual Market Day has come and gone.  The sun shined down, a light breeze blew, and puffy white clouds dotted the sky.  We couldn’t have asked for a better, more perfectly beautiful spring day.  We would like to thank all of the wonderful vendors and volunteers, without whom one of SRPT’s biggest events of the year would not have been possible.

The Legend of Jenny’s Run

Our last poem in celebration of Poetry month was published in the Port Tobacco Times on September 27, 1860.

The Legend of Jenny’s Run*

In a far off valley deep,
Where the rushing wasters sweep,
And the snow white lilies peep
From their beds of green,

Wandering at the close of day,
Like some timid woodland fay,
O’er the tufts of new mown hay,
A maiden fair was seen.

Eyes she had of deepest blue
Vying e’en with Heaven’s hue,
Telling of the heart so true
That warmly beat below;

But upon her sweet young face
In which centered every grace,
One might plainly see the trace
Of joy destroying woe.

For a moment she stood on the soft moist sod,
But scorning to kiss affliction’s rod,
She silently prayed to the merciful God
And plunged into the stream.

And as her pure spirit fled to its rest,
And her body lay still on the stream’s cold breast,
The setting sun behind the hills in the west
Concealed his last lingering beam.

And when that sun with power and might
Again chased from the sky the dark shadows of
night
And filled the world with his golden light
There was dole at F____ly Hall:

In many an eye there gleamed a tear,
And many a heart was and drear,
For in “the beautiful valley” that maiden fair
Was honored and loved by all.

From the sparkling waves her form they took,
From her silken hair the water pearls shook,
And they marvelled not at her lifelike look
For she “trod where Christ hath trod.”

Above her head they have reared no tomb,
But around her grave the wild flowers bloom,
And her only requiem is the pheasant’s boom,
Her glory the forgiveness of God.

And now when the weary traveler craves
The name of the stream in whose limpid waves
His heated brow he joyfully laves
Scorched by the summer’s sun,

The dusky workman with hat in hand
And eyes uplift to the spirit land,
With quivering lip will reverently stand
And answer, ‘tis Jenny’s Run.’

Iwan Ullin.

*A small stream on the road from Port Tobacco to Washington, about two miles from the former place.

May 2, 2015 is Market Day

If you haven’t been to one of our Market Days in Port Tobacco, you’re in luck.  The 6th Annual Market Day is this weekend.  Here’s the latest commercial produced by Kim Hicks-Dye and her team at Charles County’s CCGTV along with the Charles County Office of Tourism.

A Birthday Poem from 1846

Another poem published in the Port Tobacco Times on April 2, 1846.  This time it’s a birthday poem from one reader to another.

To Miss N. G. H… of Charles County,

On her Birth-day:
Written in her Album, March 31, 1846.

Permit me on thy natal day
A few instructive words to say
That shall remember’d be;
They may not please thy gentle ear,
But Friendship prompts the line sincere
I dedicate to thee.

May each returning birth-day find
My youthful friend improv’d in mind,
In form, and graces too!
And should this Album’s well-filled page,
In years to come, thine eye engage,
These sentiments review.

For on its leaves will Flat’ry breathe,
And Love, in specious numbers, wreathe
His sweet romantic line;
Thy manners gentle and refined
No cynic will deny.

But pride and self-importance come
Thro’ Flat’ry’s soft and specious tone,
And Love itself deceive;
Then let a stranger minstrel dare
To breath upon this leaf – Beware!
Nor all thy credence give.

As I have seen so thou mayst see,
Thy fairest acts may question’d be,
And friends belov’d may frown’
But if thy conscience still is pure,
Their malice thou canst well endure
And live their slander down.

‘Tis well that trials here should come,
We would forget ‘twas not our home,
That we must pass away:
‘Tis well the world is not too fair,
Our heart and treasure being there,
We’d cease to watch and pray.

Then, tho’ the world each moment claim,
Let virtue be thy surest aim,
Tho’ fashion may entice’
Tho’ gems of earth may glitter round,
Stay not, sweet girl, till thou has found
The “pearl of greater price.”

H. C.