Monday, October 20, 2008

Elkton Eclipse Fall to Rivals from Brooklyn in Final in 19th Century Base Ball


Elkton, MD— The Brooklyn Atlantics downed the Eclipse Base Ball Club of Elkton in the 19th Century Base Ball Eastern Championship on Saturday, October 18 at Elk Landing, Maryland as the 1864 townspeople of Elkton looked on. After Elkton took a 3-0 lead in the first inning, things started to unravel for the Maryland State Champs. After going up 4-2 in the 4th inning, the Eclipse let the Atlantics back in to the match by giving up 2 unearned runs. The Eclipse ran out of gas by the 6th inning, and the final score was Brooklyn 17 and Elkton 6. It was the 13th straight loss to the Atlantics in a span of three years.

In the semi-final, the Maryland champs defeated the legendary New York Mutuals 14-13 after coming back with 8 runs in the 7th frame to take the lead from the New Yorkers to go up 13-11. After adding one talley in the 8th inning, the Eclipse held on for dear life giving up 2 in the ninth before holding on to reach the finals.

In the other semi final, the Atlantics who were the champions from New York downed the New Jersey State Champion, Flemington Neshanock 28-10 to advance to the championship. In the 3rd place match, the Neshanock stunned the Mutuals 11-10.

Just about the entire 1864 population of Elkton was in attendance as the ladies in town were there catching up on the gossip of the day in their best attire. There were even women their protesting that they should have the right to vote. Of course the few gentlemen who were still left in town and not in the War, told them to go back to the kitchen. In addition to the townsfolk, about 80 on lookers were in attendance to see the fortunes of all four clubs.

The Eclipse finished with their best record ever at 17 wins and 12 loses. This included the regular season Maryland Championship as well as the Maryland State Championship Tournament. The Eclipse will start their 2009 season in early April next year. New clubs in the region include the Diamond State BBC of Delaware, the Havre de Grace Dauntless, the Williamsburg (VA) Pastimes, and the Gettysburg Sentinels. They will be in the mix next year along with the Potomac BBC of Washington, the Talbot Fair Plays and the Chesapeake Nine of Baltimore. Anyone who is interested in playing 19th century base ball with the Eclipse or any of the other clubs in the region, please contact the Eclipse at or The Eclipse is also looking for volunteers to help with the program as well as sponsors. See our website at for more details.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

New Blog Site Examines School Integration in Cecil, Kent & Queen Anne's counties

The Society is pleased to welcome the latest blogger to join the Cecil County crowd. Check out the road-to-compromise at This one focuses on studying an aspect of our 20th century history by comparing how school integration developed in Cecil, Kent, and Queen Annes counties. Check it out. We’re always glad when a new local blog sprouts up and we hope to see many more.

Bringing History Online, One Newspaper at a Time

The nature of historical research with newspaper is changing as more of these important sources are digitized. We've clipped this announcement from Google about an initaitve that the web search engine is working on since it will be of interest to our readers.


9/08/2008 09:33:00 AM For more than 200 years, matters of local and national significance have been conveyed in newsprint -- from revolutions and politics to fashion to local weather or high school football scores. Around the globe, we estimate that there are billions of news pages containing every story ever written. And it's our goal to help readers find all of them, from the smallest local weekly paper up to the largest national daily.The problem is that most of these newspapers are not available online. We want to change that.Today, we're launching an initiative to make more old newspapers accessible and searchable online by partnering with newspaper publishers to digitize millions of pages of news archives. Let's say you want to learn more about the landing on the Moon. Try a search for [Americans walk on moon] on Google News Archive Search, and you'll be able to find and read an original article from a 1969 edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.Not only will you be able to search these newspapers, you'll also be able to browse through them exactly as they were printed -- photographs, headlines, articles, advertisements and all.This effort expands on the contributions of others who've already begun digitizing historical newspapers. In 2006, we started working with publications like the New York Times and the Washington Post to index existing digital archives and make them searchable via the Google News Archive. Now, this effort will enable us to help you find an even greater range of material from newspapers large and small, in conjunction with partners such as ProQuest and Heritage, who've joined in this initiative. One of our partners, the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph, is actually the oldest newspaper in North America—history buffs, take note: it has been publishing continuously for more than 244 years.You’ll be able to explore this historical treasure trove by searching the Google News Archive or by using the timeline feature after searching Google News. Not every search will trigger this new content, but you can start by trying queries like [Nixon space shuttle] or [Titanic located]. Stories we've scanned under this initiative will appear alongside already-digitized material from publications like the New York Times as well as from archive aggregators, and are marked "Google News Archive." Over time, as we scan more articles and our index grows, we'll also start blending these archives into our main search results so that when you search, you'll be searching the full text of these newspapers as well.This effort is just the beginning. As we work with more and more publishers, we'll move closer towards our goal of making those billions of pages of newsprint from around the world searchable, discoverable, and accessible online.Posted by Punit Soni, Product Manager

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Cemetery Walk - Sat., Oct. 18

As the Halloween season gets underway, hear about things that go bump in the night and listen to tales of the unknown as The Historical Society of Cecil County brings the popular cemetery walk to Elkton on Saturday, October 18. While shadows lengthen on the Big Elk Creek and a cool fall darkness descends over an ancient churchyard, stories of legends, ghosts, and history will intrigue you. Join in on this fun tour, which combines tales of the paranormal and history. Storyteller Ed Okonowicz tells the tall tales, stories of hauntings and unexplained happenings at the top of the Chesapeake. Historian Mike Dixon weaves in fascinating historical facts about the area.

Held for the first time in several years in Elkton, the Society has arranged for one tour of the cemetery on Saturday, Oct. 18. The walk steps off from the Society’s headquarters at 135 E. Main Street at 5 p.m. The cost is $8 or $5 for children under 15 years of age. For additional details or reservations phone 410.398.1790 or e-mail history@cchistory.

On a space available basis, walk-ups are welcome on the day of the tour, but to assure your spot reservations are encouraged. You will want to hear about haunts, graves, spirits, and history at the top of the Chesapeake, a place where the past is present so don’t miss it.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Wilmington & Salisbury Papers Note Award Winning MD History Day Projects by Cecil County High School Students

The Wilmington News Journal and Salisbury Daily Times carried a piece on Society Volunteer Kyle Dixon's award winning Maryland History Day Project. For the project Kyle developed a prize-winning web site, which involved a study of desegregation on the three upper Shore counties. At the state contest he award awarded the African-American history prize by the Maryland Commission on African-American History and Culture. Also, Tyler Haines and Andrew Nguyen from Rising Sun High School were honored with a senior prize for their cryptology study, "The Molotov-Rippentrop Pact."

---- Wilmington News Journal - Oct. 2, 2008

Modern View of Maryland history
Cecil student develops prize-winning Web site
By PAULA F. KELLY • Special to The News Journal • October 2, 2008

ELKTON, Md. -- Maryland History Day challenges students to ask questions about and to research significant historical events. While complacency could have directed Kyle Dixon to learn about desegregation from print for his entry, he sought primary sources that lived it.

Dixon's efforts were rewarded. His Web site submission, "School Integration: The Long Difficult Road to Compromise," about desegregation in Cecil, Kent and Queen Anne's counties, received first place at the county level and also garnered an honor on April 26 at the state contest, where more than 400 students competed.

A senior at Bohemia Manor High School, Dixon received the senior prize from the Maryland Commission on African-American History and Culture at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. The Maryland Humanities Council sponsors the event.
Tyler Haines and Andrew Nguyen from Rising Sun High School also were honored with a senior prize for their cryptology study, "The Molotov-Rippentrop Pact."
Entry options included a paper, exhibit, one-act play or Web site on any topic with the theme of Conflict and Compromise. Dixon chose the Internet -- a new approach in the contest this year -- and it's at
Kyle focused on having as many primary sources as possible," said Michael Means, Dixon's history teacher. "He got much more depth and went out into the field. The site he put together is gorgeous. Ninety percent of the public would not know a high school student did it."
Desegregation always held Dixon's interest, but it was the death of John Andrews, a vice principal at Queen Anne's County High School in Centreville, Md., that inspired the history buff to explore the issue further.
Dixon, also a theatre enthusiast, frequently visited the Queen Anne's school to enjoy its plays. He always noticed Andrews, dressed in coat and tie, for whom everyone held an obvious respect.
After Andrews was killed on Aug. 23, 2007, in a car accident, Dixon learned that the 71-year-old man had come to Queen Anne's County when desegregation was being implemented.
Months later, Means mandated that his Advanced Placement U.S. History class participate in Maryland History Day. Dixon immediately thought about Andrews. "I never knew him," he said, "but he was still part of that inspiration for the project."
The three upper Eastern Shore counties chose different routes to integration, Dixon discovered.
In 1966, Susan Boone was a senior at the newly built Queen Anne's County High School, where she now is the media specialist and was a colleague of Andrews.
"Kyle pried me with well-structured questions," Boone said.
The yearlong preparation for the new high school, she said, was a comprehensive and well-organized and involved representatives from each of the four county high schools, including the all-black Kennard. Everyone involved decided upon details such as school color and mascot. The opening year went smoothly, Boone said.
As a fifth-grader at Galena Elementary, Ellen Cook's first day at school was frightening. She and six other youngsters traveled from Millington to the small town as part of the Freedom of Choice plan to introduce integration, but only because the county was in danger of losing its federal funding for not complying with the 1954 Supreme Court ruling.
In Cecil County, a lawsuit filed by the NAACP on behalf of a black naval family in Port Deposit prompted desegregation in the mid-1950s. By 1964, all the black schools were closed in the county, and integration was complete.
Like other schools nationwide, Delaware schools were to become desegregated following the 1954 Supreme Court decision of Brown v. The Board of Education. But few did. In 1958, the Supreme Court said it would no longer review desegregation cases; Delaware schools began a system of voluntary registration for blacks beginning in the first grade. Still, racial equality was not achieved as most blacks lived in Wilmington and in the New Castle area. In the 1976 U.S. District Court decision of Evans v. Buchanan, New Castle County was to become one school district. Students would be bused to the Wilmington and New Castle areas and vice versa for several years during their education to achieve a racially balanced education.
Dixon's interest in the past comes as no surprise; he is a chip right off the old history block. His father, Mike Dixon, has been a history enthusiast since the age of 14 when he joined the Historical Society of Cecil County. He has served as society president, historian and board member. Kyle credits his father for fostering his pursuit through family trips to spots such as Gettysburg, Fort Delaware and Williamsburg. Mike Dixon countered that his son showed interest at age 5. Like his father, Kyle volunteers at the historical society, where he started a local high school yearbook collection that includes one from George Washington Carver, the all-black school that closed in 1964.
In the future, Kyle plans to teach high school history. Meanwhile, chronicling the past suits him fine. "It's an important era of U.S. history that needs to be documented."