Eastern Shore Photo Album Collection - PP83

Collection finding aids of Photograph Collections in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Maryland Historical Society Library

ca. 1890-1900

Prints and Photographs Division, Maryland Historical Society
201 W. Monument St.
Baltimore, MD 21201

Finding aid created by Katherine Cowan with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, September 1999



Maryland’s Eastern Shore peninsula comprises nine counties of Maryland, the entire State of Delaware, and two counties of Virginia, with Pennsylvania directly to the north of the penninsula. The names of Maryland’s Eastern Shore counties reflect the early English settlers of the region: for example, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Caroline, Dorchester, and Worcester; while the rivers in the region frequently have names taken from Native American languages: Choptank, Nanticoke, Wicomico, and Pocomoke. The creators of these photograph albums had a home in Millington on the Chester River in Kent Co., Md. at the border of Queen Anne’s Co.

Prior to the days of highway automobile travel and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, the connection of this portion of Maryland was strong toward Delaware and Pennsylvania towns in close proximity, and the history of the region shows interconnection among these three present-day states. The early history of Delaware includes Dutch exploration and a settlement at the town of Lewes on what is now Cape Henlopen in the 1630s. In 1638, Swedes arrived to establish a colony at present-day Wilmington, but Dutch control was imposed on this settlement with the arrival of Peter Styvesant to the continent in 1655, ending Swedish rule of Delaware. In the period from 1681 until the Revolutionary War, the region saw a struggle for control among William Penn of Pennsylvania and Lord Baltimore of Maryland. Having been granted the Province of Pennsylvania by Britain, Penn sought to control, as well, the lands on either side of the Delaware Bay. Penn and Lord Baltimore and their heirs struggled over the boundaries of Penn’s domain, which dispute continued until the Revolutionary War. In 1776, simultaneous with the Declaration of Independence from Britain, Delaware established itself as a state independent from Pennsylvania, with boundaries as surveyed by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon during years 1763-1768.

In the 19th century, the Delaware Railroad ran straight down the center of the penninsula known as the Maryland Eastern Shore, from Wilmington, Del. to Crisfield, Md., with branch lines making stops at Centreville, Chestertown, Oxford, Cambridge, Crisfield, Salisbury, Berlin, and Lewes, Del. The region was largely agricultural, with colonial estates which were often large, slave-holding plantations. The Sassafras River, a branch of the Chesapeake Bay, borders Kent and Cecil Counties, with its mouth one mile northwest of Betterton, Md.

Wissahickon Creek flows from the area near Lansdale in Montgomery Co., Pa. approx. 40 miles south to join the Schuylkill River within Fairmont Park in Philadelphia. The river was once the site of many mills, run-off from which contributed to the pollution of the Shuylkill which was a source of drinking water for Philadelphia; 23 mills on the Wissahickon were forced to close in 1869 in an effort to improve the quality of the city’s water supply.

Collection Origin

Gift of Edward P. Thatcher, 1983 (000279).

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of 1 box with 2 albums containing, respectively, 37 and 103 photoprints; a total of 140. The photos depict the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey in the years ca. 1890s. There are many images of rivers and old mills and churches in Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania, including Unicorn Mills and the Sassafras River in Maryland, a mill and historic site at Gulph Mills, Pa., and scenes on Wissahickon Creek in or near Philadelphia. A number of images document ocean resort life at Rehobeth, Del., and others depict people engaged in recreational activities including boating, crabbing, picnics, skating, or visits to parks. There are also images of African Americans in Maryland.


The photographs remain in the albums.

Container List

1 Box

Box 1: 2 Albums

19 x 30 cm. 37 photoprints. Photographs are undated unless otherwise noted.

Shattered by the storm, Smyrna, Del.

Water and path, Smyrna, Del.

Water, Smyrna, Del.

Ripples on Lake Denney, Smyrna, Del.

Grist Mill, Smyrna, Del.

Ruins of an old mill, which ground grain for Washington’s army, built 1747, Gulph Mills, Pa.

Old mill at the Gulph, built 1747, destroyed by fire 1895, Gulph Mills, Pa.

Old mill mansion, people in doorway, 1 person outside fence, Gulph Mills, Pa.

Site of Washington’s encampment at Gulph Mills, with bicycle riders, Gulph Mills, Pa.

Deserted Village, 2 men seated on ground, Valley Forge, Pa.

Overlooking the Schuykill above Port Kennedy, with bicycle riders.

"Relics of the Stone Age": banner stones, knives, spear, and arrow points. Found on "Ring’s End", Chester River, Queen Anne’s Co., Md.

Old mill on the Wissahickon, 2 men standing.

Ruins of an old ice house on the Wissahickon, 2 men standing.

"Old mansion of the last century", containing group in marble inserted in stone wall, man with bicycle, 2 girls standing, Conshocken Pike.

Old dam on the Wisahiccon, with man kneeling.

Long-distance view, ten miles up the Wissahickon, Winter 1896.

Falling waters, ten miles up the Wissahickon, Winter 1896.

Double archway, Wissahickon, Winter 1896.

Single archway, Valley Green, Wissahickon, Dec. 1896.

Old Dunkard Church, Germantown, built 1770, person standing in snow-covered graveyard.

Old Chew House, Germantown, where British and Americans fought, boy in snow-covered yard.

"Waiting for a bite", New Lisbon, N.J., 1898.

"Three in a swing", New Lisbon, N.J., 1898.

Maryland Scenery, June 1898.

Old Elburn Mill, Maryland, 1898.

Old Brinton Mansion, Queen Anne’s Co., Md., 1898.

17 x 26 cm. (loose pages). 103 photoprints. Photographs are undated unless otherwise noted.

Three women by shed on stream bank.

3 women and child by a house.

4 people outside a house.

African American woman outside a house.

Old Dunkard Church, Germantown. (same image is in Album 1)

Old Chew House, Germantown. (same image is in Album 2)

The Sassafras, Md. (shoreline, boat, and birds), 1896.

Wharves and ships, Fredericktown, Md., 1896.

Family in snow, girl on sled.

Single archway, Wissahickon, 1896. (same image is in Album 1)

Ross Homestead, 2 children in yard, Seaford, Del.

The Sussex (hotel), African American boy posing, Seaford, Del.

"Our home", Millington, Md.

Bryan and Sewall, 2 horses pulling carriage, 1896.

Lighthouse, Cape Henlopen, Del.

Nanticoke River, Seaford, Del.

Old Sweep well, African American woman.

Episcopal Church, woman with parasol standing in graveyard, Seaford, Del.

McKee cottage, with group of people, Rehobeth, Del.

Avery cottage, with group of people, Rehobeth, Del.

Rehobeth Bay, Del., 1896.

Life saving station, Rehobeth, Del., 1896.

The Douglas (hotel).


Lake Henlopen.

Yacht Dory.

Old fisherman, Rehobeth, Del.

Buried wreck, Rehobeth, Del.

The Henlopen (hotel), Rehobeth, Del., 1896.

Crabbing, Rehobeth Bay, Del., 1896.

Mallalieu’s Mills on the Unicorn, 1896.

Spring on hillside, Mallalieu’s Mills, 1896.

All Saint’s P.E. Church, Rehobeth, Del., 1896.

Bathing hour at Rehobeth, Del., 1896.

"Our doctor’s home in the village", with group of people, 1895.

Snowballing on the schoolground, group of children, 1896.

Empty pond, Unicorn Mills, Md.

Old Mallalieu homestead, Unicorn Mills, Md.

"Resting by the old mill stream", 1896.

"At anchor at the bridge", 1896.

Jarrell’s saw mill, Chesterville, Md.

Shrewsbury Church, Md.

"Away for the Winter", 1896.

View of the Chester from Riverside, 1896.

"Our neighbors", group in yard, Millington, Md., 1896.

Twin calves, 1896.

Old mill gates at Unicorn Mills, water and people.

Fisherman’s home, floating houseboat.

Oakdale, house with people, servant at rear.

Sheep pasture at Oakdale, sheep and house in distance.

American Strawboard Factory, Chestertown, Md.

Old grist mill, Millington, Md.

The Rectory from the Kent R. Road, Massey, Md.

Site of Old St. Clements, with people.

Locust Hill, house with family, 1898.

"On the Other Side of Paradise", stream, fence and woman.

The Rectory, Massey, Md.

St. Clement’s Church, Massey, Md.

Ford’s Hill, "scene of the murder", man in road, 1892.

Old Sycamore tree, "scene of the plot", 1895.

Under the railroad bridge, woman seated by bridge, 1895.

"Studying photography", cows looking into lens.

P. Episcopal Church, Chestertown, Md.

Stam’s Hull, Chestertown, Md.

"A day in the country", family by house, bicycle, 1895.

"Our village chapel", lady in foreground, Millington, Md.

"Scenes of my childhood", horse and people.

Crabbing party at Ford’s.

Sea lion at zoo.

Autumn of ’94, river scene.

Summer of ’95, horses "waiting for water".

Winter of ’95, skaters on the pond.

Aunt Louisa, aged 96 (African American woman in front of house).

"Negro life in Maryland (African American family in front of house, same image is in Album 1).

New St. Anne’s Church, Middletown, Del.

Brady threshing machine, in field.

"The lock up".

Old homestead on the Chester.

Boating on Silver Lake, woman in boat.

Picnic party at the piers, with people including an African American woman.

St. Anne’s Church, woman in graveyard.

Silver Lake.

Under the willows, 2 women.

Cows in the orchard.

Sacred cows of India, at zoo.

Drawyer’s Church.

Resting at the Fountain (zoo? Fairmount Park?)

Caged lions.

Swans on the lake.

Lincoln’s Monument, also boy on pony.

"Last of the prairie kings", bison/buffalo.

Roadway, woman on bicycle, Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, Pa.

"The happy family", in city.

"Posing for pictures".

Castle at Fairmount.

Fairmount S[ ], waterworks.

The Glen at Fairmount.

Laurel Hill (overlook on Schuykill?). © 2001 Maryland Historical Society - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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