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					                                                                                          April 2008

                                The Oxford Historian
                                                                                    The Oxford Museum
                                                                        100 S. Morris Street, PO Box 131
          1683                                                           Oxford, MD 21654 410-226-0191

AHOY! Launching a New Generation of
Model Boat Builders
What do a 12-year old, a 10-year old, a couple 7-year olds,
and a 71-year old have in common? They boast a passion and
talent for building model boats.
As soon as Jennifer Stanley, founder and director of Oxford’s
After-School Program, realized that some of her students
were interested in building model boats, she knew what had
to be done and she did it. She contacted Ed Thieler, pre-
eminent Eastern Shore model boat builder. In no time,
Thieler and the kids, Kurt, Von, Emma and Claire were busy
at work. With great pride, they will display a number of their
boat models at the Oxford Museum, beginning Oxford Day,
April 26.                                                        (Back) Ed Thieler and Jennifer Stanley.
                                                                 (Front) Von Kirchoff , 10; Kurt Knost,
“They’d run -- and I mean run! -- into the Community Center 12; Emma Knost, 7. Missing from
after school each day and immediately get to work,” brags        photograph, Claire Kearns, 7
Thieler about his enthusiastic young protégés. They learned
and sometimes had to relearn to take accurate measurements, to use tools and wood more
efficiently, and to consider alternative ways of approaching a goal. And there was always lots of
chit-chat about boats.
As to their favorite boats, Von and Kurt are both exhibiting their models of the WW II Japanese
battleship Yamato. “It had the largest naval rifles -- 18 inch guns! -- and 142 anti-aircraft turrets
that sent up a storm of bullets,” Kurt emphasizes. Von nods in agreement, adding the final note
about the Yamato, “It was the largest battleship in the world and it lost about 1200 souls when
the Americans sank it.” (Con’t on page 5)

                           New Display Cases Installed
                           Thanks to Ned (at left) and Mary Crabb of Crabb & Company, the
                           Museum now has three beautiful new display cases for exhibits. Ned
                           used his cabinet makers skills to duplicate the existing cases to create
                           a uniform look. In addition to this lovely and generous gift from them,
                           the painting work was generously donated by Bateman’s Painting.
                           We can’t thank them enough.
                           Please stop by the Museum for an up close and personal look at Ned’s
                           work. Crabb & Company are custom builders and offer design as well
                           as new construction and remodeling services. They are located here in
                           town at 104 Oxford Road. If you would like further information and
                           would like to see examples of the quality residential design, cabinetry
                           and millwork they provide, please call the office, 410-226-0372.
       PAGE 2                                                                     T H E O X F O R D H I S T O R IA N

BOARD OF DIRECTORS            Museum’s Collection Database Project Gets Underway
Pat Jessup,
Kathleen Kurtz
                              Leo Nollmeyer, volunteer curator, has been hard at
Vice President                work updating the Museum’s database. Soon he will
Dorette Murray,               be assisted by Emily Miller, a summer intern from
Secretary                     Washington College. They face a Herculean effort –
Bob Valliant                  photographing and classifying by category over 2,000
Don Duvall                    artifacts. Actually it’s more like 4,000 pieces if you
Jeanne Foster                 include documents, postcards, receipts, news
Rebecca Gaffney               articles, and photographs. Along with physical
Gordon Graves                 location and condition, they will also record an
Bob Hopler                    artifact’s provenance, i.e., its known and documented
Bill MacFarland
                              history such as when it was made, who owned it, how,
Larry Myers
Tot O’Mara
                              when and where it was used and who donated it.
Carol Patterson               That’s a lot of data entry! When completed, the
John Proctor                  database will be a valuable resource for searching any Curator Leo Nollmeyer
Doreatha Rasin                artifact in the collection. Eventually it will be
Beth Schucker                 integrated with a user- friendly computer in the
Richard Toombs                Museum, allowing members and visitors to do
Ellen Anderson                archival research on artifacts, historic houses and
Executive Director            family genealogies.
Leo Nollmeyer
Curator                       It’s not surprising that Leo is eager for Emily to add
                              her expertise, and she’s raring to go. She sees her
The Oxford Historian
                              summer in Oxford as a great opportunity for hands-on
Editors: Rebecca Gaffney,
Beth Schucker                 practical experience, and besides, the thought of
Contributors: Ellen           learning about Oxford through its artifacts intrigues
Anderson, David Foster, Pat   her. Thank you, Leo and Emily!
Jessup, Kathleen Kurtz
Photography: Robert
Hopler, Pat Jessup, Leo                                Emily Miller, summer intern, a junior at Washington College

                                    On Sunday, June 22, at 2:00 pm to a “Wedding in the Park”
                                    fundraiser in Town Park, recreating the 1909 nuptials of Oxfordians
                                    Finette Longfield and Casper Voorhis. Following the ceremony,
                                    guests are invited to share light refreshments.
                                    The wedding dress worn by Ms. Longfield is shown on the cover of the
                                    Museum’s brochure. It is a blue-gray silk garment, hand-stitched,
                                    and reputed to have been made in France. Her hat of the same color
                                    is adorned with a dyed-to-match ostrich feather. Part of the proceeds
                                    from this fundraiser will be used to complete the restoration of this
                                    garment and fund the cost of displaying it on an archival cotton form
                                    especially designed to fit the dress. In lieu of wedding gifts, guests’
                                    contributions to the Museum’s “money tree” would be most

                                    Wedding gown worn by Finette Longfield
APRIL 2008
      T H E O X F O R D H I S T O R IA N                                                       PAGE 3

UPDATE: Events and Exhibits
                   Valliant Window Display:           Got a Favorite Fig Recipe? As many in town
                   Organizing the Valliant window     know, the Museum has several prolific fig trees
                   display is going to take           out back. Joanne Bougher gave us a great idea
                   significantly more time than we    that involves figs. Details will be revealed in our
                   anticipated. Of course we should   summer issue. Until then if you have a favorite
                   have figured any family here       fig recipe (jam, jelly, tart, sauce, appetizer???) to
                   since the 1600s would have a lot   share, please send it to Ellen (mail P.O. Box 131
of history to sort through! Although not              or email to: No,
undaunted by the task, Larry Myers’ full-time job     it’s not another cookbook.
(yes, he does all this in addition to!) involves      Plantation Talk: As mentioned in the last
travel commitments in May so he will be working       newsletter, Tot O’Mara and Cindy Reed will
through June on this display.                         share their knowledge and memories about
Oxford Day: Despite best plans and all                Plimhimmon and Otwell plantations
that……native American Daniel Firehawk                 respectively. The talk is scheduled for May 8 at
recently informed us that he is unable to join us     Holy Trinity Parish House from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
as planned on Oxford Day with his program about       Cindy promises everyone attending a piece of
the area’s first citizens. We are sorely              cake from a famed Goldsborough family recipe.
disappointed and apologize that this anticipated
program will not be held.

Oxford Relives Civil War, April 25
                                                      the recruitment of former slaves into the Union
                                                      Army. David Webster, local raconteur, will share
                                                      love letters written by William Hall, then living in
                                                      Oxford, to his wife in Baltimore. Re-enactor Rob
On the eve of Oxford Day 2008, historians, re-        Griesbach will describe "What Johnny Reb and
enactors and Civil War buffs will gather at the       Billy Yank Marched On: Civil War Rations." The
historic Waters United Methodist Church on            one-hour program will close with Rev. Bunting
Market Street at 7 p.m. for an hour of lively and     returning to restage the dramatic announcement
entertaining discussion of "Oxford and the Civil      of the South's surrender, as it was made to the
War." Chairing the session is oft-published Civil     gathered congregation in the church.
War writer Tom Wheeler, followed by five              Following the presentations, the audience and
panelists, each briefly delineating some aspect of    participants are invited to join a group of
our Nation's deepest conflict. The evening has        Confederate re-enactors at their encampment at
been planned and organized by the Oxford              Hels Half Acre for refreshments around the
Museum and is free and open to the public.            campfire. For further information, call the
Oxford's Larry Denton will set the stage, dealing     Museum at 410-226-0191.
with the Secession Crisis. David Foster, amateur      Be sure to check out the Civil War exhibit in the
historian and storyteller, will talk about the        Museum’s window. Another outstanding
Tilghman family's adventures, followed by a           achievement by
retelling of the Third Day at Gettysburg when         Larry Myers.
Talbot County troops met in bloody combat.
Reverend Jay Bunting, pastor of the Oxford
United Methodist Church and sometime re-
enactor, will tell the story of "The Zarvona," and

                                                                                                      APRIL 2008
        PAGE 4                                                                T H E O X F O R D H I S T O R IA N

IN OUR COLLECTION                    Matthews, accompanied hymns
                                     in the Oxford Methodist Church
Abracadabra! A sudden solution       a long time ago, when it was still
to a vexing problem. How can         a wooden structure, long before
the Museum adequately display        it was replaced in 1945 by the
its collection when two-thirds of    brick building we’re familiar
it is crammed into a climate-        with today. What we do know
controlled storage building on       about the Bilhorn Brothers
Route 50? Through “virtual           Organ Company is that it was
exhibits” was the brilliant          founded in Chicago in 1885 and
suggestion from a Board              continued operations through
member. Thus the idea for a new      1941. In 1902, it made organs for
column was born. And what            Sears Roebuck, with an
better way to inaugurate the         estimated sale price of about $5.
column than by introducing a         Reverend Jay Bunting, minister
musical note in Oxford’s history -   at Oxford United Methodist,
- a Style W portable reed organ      explains that early itinerant
made by the Bilhorn Brothers         ministers used Bilhorn organs as
Organ Company.                       they moved from place to place,
This small organ, donated to the     and more recently the organs         operates by moving his or her
Museum by Mrs. H. Spencer            have been used at missions and       knees to open and shut. The
                                     by army chaplains conducting         best thing about the organ is
                                     field services. Bunting, himself a   that, depending on who’s
                                     history and music lover,             playing, it has a grand range of
                                     emphasizes the instrument’s          sound. As Bunting sums it up,
                                     portability. He also notes that      “You’d swear you were listening
                                     legs can be attached to              to a much larger organ.”
                                     accommodate a musician sitting
                                     in a chair in front of it, and the
                                     pedals drop from the case, as do
                                     swell leavers which the player

                         2007 Annual Giving Exceeds Expectations
                          The 2007 annual giving campaign has been a huge
                           success! Contributors names were printed in our
                         January Newsletter, but since then we also received
                                 support from the followings friends:
                            Florence and Richard Bank
                            Cheri J. Fisher
                            Barbara and Elden Hartshorn
                            Mignonne LaChapelle and William Brashares
                            Sandra and John Seifarth
                            Debbie and Cy Smith
                            Jennifer and Ted Stanley

APRIL 2008
      T HE O X FOR D HI ST OR I AN                                                        PAGE 5

                                                   access to all the necessary mechanics behind.
                                                   Thanks to Lawrie Jessup for the construction
                 In the summer issue:
                                                   effort, to Arlene Bickel, Joyce Buttner and
     An article about Museum support received      Mignonne LaChapelle for their artistic work, and
       from many friends over the last year.
                                                   Steve Clyburn for map design.
       We hope it will inspire and encourage
                 others. Maybe you?
                                                   Museum Gift Shop Offers
                                                   Peter Hanks Print
New “Map” Display Unveiled on                     We hope you visit Pope's Tavern soon and admire
Oxford Day                                        the Peter Hanks' Oxford original, on the back wall
In the last issue we reported a visit from Museum in the bar area - a cozy corner perspective, a
exhibit expert Laura Greenberg. Her suggestions favorite view for many of us of the porch and
combined with a need to “hide but keep            picket fence at the Oxford Inn & Pope's Tavern.
accessible” the outlets and light switches on the Richard Marks gave the original watercolor along
back wall have led to a new display which will be with 25 high-quality prints to his friends, Lisa
unveiled on Oxford Day. A wall size map (12’ long MacDougal and Dan Zimbelman, the Inn's owners
and 5’ high) of Oxford will feature historic      and proprietors. They in turn gave the prints to
buildings and monuments throughout the town       the Museum, to be used as a fundraiser. After all,
and show where they are located. The map will     they opined, not many non-profits in town are
also give viewers a perspective of Oxford as a    struggling with a mortgage to pay. Wow! And if
peninsula surrounded by water, including the      that wasn't enough, Peter Hanks is helping us
Tred Avon River view seen from the Museum.        display the prints, which will be available framed
                                                  and unframed at the Museum gift shop.
The map was constructed of two separate panels
which slide like “closet doors,” thus allowing

AHOY! Launching a New Generation of Model Boat Builders
(Con’t from page 1)                                tombs of ancient Egyptians at the
As to her small sailboat, Emma, her brow           Franklin Institute.” Casting his vote
furrowed and lips pursed, remembers its sail, “It for the Chesapeake Bay Maritime
was so hard tying those little knots.” Claire      Museum, Von says, “There are lots
named her cruiser Friendship. Asked why, she       of boats there and we ate lunch in
replied, “It started when I first learned about a  the light house.” And finally Kurt
real Friendship when I was with my grandfather describes his hands-on-learning
and father in Maine. I saw boats like mine called experience in a water exhibit at
Friendship. My grandfather makes them.” Both       the Indianapolis Children’s
boys will also display the skipjack-in-a-bottle    Museum, “You get to build
models they made while participating in a recent your own paper boat and let
program at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime             it go down stream in the
Museum.                                            currents, even through
The kids say they’ve never been featured in a      aqueducts.”
museum, but they each have a favorite. Emma        Please stop by on Oxford Day.
liked her school trip to the Baltimore Science     Admire our newest collection of model boats. We
Museum. She grins, “I got the furthest in my class extend thanks to Jennifer Stanley and Ed Thieler
when I sat in a chair and had to pull on a rope to “for nurturing” and to our young boat builders “for
see how far I could raise myself.” Claire’s        continuing the model boat building tradition in
preference is a little more exotic, “I liked the   our maritime community.”
                                                                                              APRIL 2008
      P AGE 6                                                                  T H E O X F O R D H I S T O R IA N

Did You Know?
Do you know if your building                                                 1870 and 1910. A copy of the
is one of the contributing                                                   full submission, including
structures in the Oxford                                                     the list of contributing
Historic District? The Oxford                                                properties, is available in the
Historic District was listed on                                              Town Office for review.
the National Register of                                                     There are honorific and
Historic Places in December,                                                 possible financial benefits to
2005, thanks to the efforts of                                               being part of a listed historic
the Oxford Historic District                                                 district. Owners of
Commission. The Commission                                                   contributing properties are
successfully obtained a grant                                                entitled to receive a
that enabled the hiring of                                                   complimentary certificate
architectural historian, Paul                                                from the Maryland
Touart, to assist in                                                         Historical Trust and may
preparation of the                                                           order a plaque for exterior
architectural study and                                display from private vendors, several of which can
nomination submission. The nomination was              be found on the internet. Under the Heritage
first submitted to a state panel which in turn         Preservation Tax Credit Program administered by
recommended the district to the National Park          the Maryland Historical Trust, Maryland income
Service for placement on the National Register.        tax credits are available for substantial
The Register is the nation’s official list of          rehabilitation of both owner-occupied residential
properties and sites with significance in              properties and income-producing properties.
American history and culture.
                                                       Other individual National Register listings in the
The boundaries of the Oxford Historic District         Oxford area are Jena located on the Oxford Road,
are the Tred Avon River, Town Creek, and the           the Barnaby House in town, Otwell (ref: Museum
south side of Caroline Street. In addition to          exhibit), and two log canoes: Billie P. Hall and
having been one of Maryland’s earliest towns, the      S.C. Dobson.
district is significant, quoting Paul Touart, “as an
                                                       Visit for more
exceptionally cohesive and well-preserved
                                                       information on the Tax Credit Program, to read
collection of domestic, commercial, and
                                                       more of the Oxford District nomination, and to
ecclesiastical properties primarily dating from
                                                       learn about the other districts and buildings in
the town’s principal period of growth, i.e., the
                                                       Talbot County. Visit for
last quarter of the 19th century through the
                                                       more information about the National Register.
World War I era.” Over 90% of the buildings that
define the historic district were erected between

    Museum Submits Grant Applications
    Christmas in July just may come true for the Museum. The Museum has
    submitted two grant applications and anticipates a decision by the awarding
    authorities in late July.
    The first grant was submitted to the “Stories of the Chesapeake” Heritage Area
    for the Museum’s oral history project, “The Way We Were” by Pat Jessup. The
    second grant, written by Board member Don Duvall, went to the Maryland
    Historical Trust for the collection database project mentioned on page 2.
    Cross your fingers. We’ve certainly crossed ours!

APRIL 2008
     T HE O X FOR D H IST OR I AN                                                       PAGE 7

Annual Membership Meeting                           In the Next (Summer) Issue
The Annual Membership Meeting and Election of          Feature on the Old Counting House at
new Board members and officers will be held on         Bonfield
Thursday, May 15, at 5:30 p.m. at Holy Trinity
                                                       Regular columns: “Did You Know?” and
Parish House. The third annual Douglas Hanks
                                                       “In Our Collection”
Jr. Preservation Award will also be presented,
along with the promised report on last year’s          Report on Annual Membership Meeting
community survey.                                      The Douglas Hanks Jr. Award Recipients

 Thanks to our members who have renewed memberships for 2008-2009. Current memberships
 expire April 30. If you need another renewal form or an application for new membership, please
 call the office at 226-0191 and leave your name and address.

         If you know who the people are in this photograph, please call the Oxford Museum
         at 410-226-0191 and let us know. Photograph from the Norman Harrington
         collection. Date unknown.
                                                                                                 APRIL 2008
                                                                                                  NON-PROFIT ORG.
                                                                                                    U.S. POSTAGE
                                                                                                     Permit No. 6
                                                                                                     Oxford, MD

                                           TO OXFORD AREA FRIENDS

100 South Morris Street
PO Box 131
Oxford, MD 21654

Phone: 410-226-0191

                The Oxford
                Museum is
                reopening on
                April 26,
                OXFORD DAY.

                Friday and
                Saturday 10 to 4;
                Sunday, 1 to 4      Joyce Buttner and Arlene Bickel have been pains-
                                    takingly painting (for days) the details of historic houses
                                    and buildings in Oxford on the new wall mural map.

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