This Blog

Welcome to Refletions on Delmarva’s Past. On this blog, I will post articles on the history of the Peninsula,  both old and modern, and the personal stories of its people, first and secondhand. Installments may include pieces on folkways, places, events, the built environment, people and about any aspect of our past that catches my attention. Additionally, I may periodically contemplate current happenings, as I investigate the convergence of dynamics that are changing the region in the 21st century. History, after all, is a continuum and understanding what happened in the past provides context for current developments.

Delmarva’s history has fascinated me since 1968 when I started volunteering at the Historical Society of Cecil County as a teenager. For nearly a half-century now, all of my adult life, I’ve had a wonderful time discovering historical traces in photographs, oral histories, documents, and the material culture. In addition to rummaging through old books, documents, and crumbling newspapers as a way of investigating our past I had the privilege of learning so much from many knowledgeable people during those rapidly passing decades. I hope to share some of those insights here. As I search for windows on the past and post entries, I hope you will find them interesting since the area has so many stories waiting to be told.

Thanks for reading this piece and feel free to post comments.


My name is Mike Dixon, and I am the publisher of this blog. I live in Cecil County with my family, and for nearly fifty years I have enjoyed studying the region’s past and chronicling historical insights on the area. I started volunteering at the Historical Society as a teenager in 1968 and I continue to volunteer with that organization. I hope you enjoy visiting and find the entries informative.



14 Responses to About

  1. Dick Dykes says:

    I just discovered your blog. I was looking at Delnar Dustpan and clicked on the link.
    I’m located in Dover, DE, was born in Salisbury and lived just out side Tampa, FL for 30 years.
    But had to come back to the Good Ol Eastern Shore! I’ll be checking you out now that I know you on. I hace a blog myself, http://www.dickdykes.blogspot.com, check it out.
    Tha thanks. Dick Dykes

  2. Mike says:


    Thanks and I’m glad you enjoyed the site. I tried clicking on your weblog but couldn’t get it to go through. I’ll give it a try again later.

    By-the-way, I just posted a piece on President Kennedy dedicating I-95 in November 1963 on http://cecilcounty.wordpress.com

    You probably have some interesting recollectiions about Salisbury. There was a newspaper editor down that way, Mel Toadvine. I always enjoyed reading his columns. He covered his beat, Salisbury, every well and wrote great material about the communitiy.

    thanks for checking in.

  3. Andy Rokita says:

    Good morning Professor Dixon. Haven’t spoken to you in a while, hope everything is going well. I read in your blog that you did a presentation in December concerning the upcoming bicentennal of the War of 1812. I attempted to email you using the email address on the site however it was returned as undeliverable. I am curious if you have resources concerning the upcoming celebrations, such as lecture circuits, presentations and the like. Also, I would love to know whether you have any public lectures yourself coming up, either on the war or on one of your regular public lectures. I have always been fascinated by the War of 1812; I believe that America really declared independence after Fort McHenry and New Orleans!

    I am doing allright now for the most part, working alot because I bought a new condo last year so it has been difficult to get out to the museums and historical sites, much to my chagrin. Just to let you know, the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia is currently hosting an exhibition called, “America and the Roman Empire,” until August 1. The exhibition discusses parallels between the US of today and Ancient Rome; hopefully I can make the trip in March or early April, as long as old man winter retreats….

    Hope to hear from you soon!

    Andy (UD class of 05)

  4. Mike says:

    Andy: Good to hear from you. There are some great War of 1812 events being planned for the 200th anniversary of the war. I’ll email you some links and they include a few interesting conferences.

    I’ll get you some info on some of my lectures too.


  5. Great description of the Attack on HdG, Mike.
    I’m so glad I came upon your blog and found it. You captured the feeling that was in the air — history, education, and general good times.
    And the pics were terrific. Can I include it in our website?
    Thanks again for all your support!

  6. Mike says:

    Thanks Charlie. Please feel free to use any of them for any purpose. I’ll send you a few more by email.

  7. Joe Perdue says:

    I just got around to reading you blog and I really enjoy your articles. I too am a history buff and most of my blog is in that venue. (http://salisburysoapbox.blogspot.com/) Please stop by my site and check it out. May I please add a link to your blog address on my site? I do not generate a great deal of traffic but it may send a few readers your way. Thanks in advance!


    • Mike says:

      Joe: Please do and thank you. I’ll add a link to my various history blogs too. Enjoyed reading your material since I wasn’t aware of your site before. Isn’t this a great way to share ones interest and make things available to people? One I discovered a few years ago, Delmar Dutpan, does an excellent job on covering that area and I check it out often. Another one is Falmanac out of Harford Co but they cover a wide range of subjects. I’ll start reading your work regularly. Thanks

  8. Scott Palmer says:

    Mike, this is a wonderful site here. Thank you for sharing these great stories. I love finding sites like this, especially when I’m familiar with the author. Far too often, people are unaware of the rich history lying right in their own backyards (sometimes literaly).

    To try to help alleviate that a bit in my area, I’ve started a little blog of my own, focusing on the Mill Creek Hundred area. It’s a little north and east of your home base, but if you’re looking for something new to check out, feel free to take a look. Thanks, and keep on digging!


    • Mike says:

      Thanks Scott. I enjoyed reading your Mill Creek Hundred History blog also and look forward to seeing lots more as you get time to post them. I’ll add a link here too.

      I have a few weblogs, one focusing just on Cecil County and the other on Old Delmarva Photos, which you might find of interest. You’ll find the links to those in the blogroll on the sidebar, as well as a number of other excellent local history blogs in the region.

      Blogs provide an easy way for people with interests like ours to share local history pieces, which often wouldn’t get published otherwise. Looking forward to seeing more informative pieces up your way.

  9. Reader says:

    I think you have mentioned some very interesting details, thank you for the post.

  10. Leah Chandler says:

    Professor Dixon,

    My name is Leah Chandler, years ago I took a class with you at the Georgetown UD site. I got so much out of your class, it has truly come in handy in my profession. I work for the State of Delaware as a law librarian and occassionaly the topic of historical crime and punishemnt comes up during the course of the converstaion. Recently, one attorney, Karl Haller and I were talking about the histroy of the whipping post on the Georgetown Circle and I told him that I had this awesome class/tecaher but couldn’t remmber your name. So after scouring through my old collgee papers I found your name! We are delighted!!! Mr. Haller is the program dircetor of tthe Georgetwon Histrorical Society and would love to speak to you regarding your vast knowledge of the whipping post and other forms of punishment because the historical Georgtwon Courthouse is now giving tours . We would love for you to come and speak one day at the historical society so our tour conductors can really do teh courthouse/whipping post tours justice! Please contact Mr. Haller at hallerk@juno.com or myslef at leah.chandler@state.de.us

    • Mike Dixon says:

      Leah very good to hear from you and I’m pleased to hear that the History of Criminal Justice course has had an applied application in your work. BTW, the position of the Law Librarian for the State of Delaware sounds most interesting. Are you involved with the Georgetown Historical Society? I’d be pleased to help both of you with that. That subject of the Whipping Post in Delaware, when it comes up in the course almost always fascinates students, as there are some real unique stories on that matter and they’re so reflective of political considerations in Delaware. I’d be most pleased to help the Georgetown HIstorical Society flush that subject out for the tours. In fact, one of the things, we always look for as we travel around are walking tours of the towns. It’s a great way to get to know a place. I’ll have to look for that tour. I’ll email both of you privately. Good to hear from you.

  11. Leah Chandler says:

    So sorry the above post is sooo messy and filled with typos. I was typing in a hurry and clicked send before I spell-checked!!

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