Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Chesapeake Bay

There was a query on the Chesapeake Bay Bloggers Facebook page and in their blog the other day that required me do some research.  When I browse the Internet, I always get side-tracked or find more new sites that I hadn't seen before.  Sometimes I forget what I was originally looking for.  Oh sure, you've never done that.  Anyway, here's the post that was on FB.  I misunderstood the question, I think, but it opened doors and I learned a lot about the Chesapeake Bay and the rivers that feed it.

Play the Chesapeake History Game

Landing From Deep Landing on the Chester River and Kingston Landing on the Choptank to Leedstown on the Rappahannock and Walkerton on the Mattaponi, many of the sites of seventeenth-century Indian villages, eighteenth-century colonial towns, and nineteenth-century steamboat wharves lie on the outsides of curves in the Chesapeake's tidal rivers.  What is the reason for this consistent pattern?  The first reader to enter the correct answer as a comment below will win a free Chesapeake Bay Foundation T-Shirt.  Rattle your keyboards...go!

The photograph above shows the launch ramp and dock at the Clyde Watson Boating Area of the Patuxent River Park, in southeastern Prince George’s County, Maryland. But a quick look through the Chesapeake’s rivers on Google Earth will reveal a hundred or more sites like this one in both Maryland and Virginia.
In his 1612 map, Captain John Smith showed the Indian village of Pecatamough here.  In colonial times, many a hogshead of tobacco got shipped to England from here, and Samuel Magruder’s Ferry carried people and goods across the Patuxent to Lower Marlboro.  In the early twentieth century, Clyde Watson’s father served as the steamboat agent for the commercial wharf whose ruins lie fifty yards upriver from here.  This public launch facility now honors Clyde, a longtime farmer, waterman, community leader, and advocate for the park who died in 1994.
Through the centuries, sites like Magruder’s Ferry on the outsides of curves in the Chesapeake’s rivers have served human needs very well.  What is the reason for this?
By John Page Williams
Bay Daily - Blog of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation

I thought John meant, "Why did the rivers flow the way they do ?"  ( I blamed it on a meteor that landed in the Bay many years ago.  I don't think anybody took me seriously.)  He might have meant, "Why were the villages on the outside curve of the river ?"  What ever the question was, here are some links with a lot of information on the Chesapeake Bay that you probably never knew.  I was enlightened.

Impact Crater Study