Old Wye Mill Presents Speakers
Topics in Eastern Shore History
How did the Eastern Shore of Maryland emerge from its English colonial roots and play critical roles in America’s industrial revolution and the underground railroad? Explore these fascinating questions through the five-part virtual Spring Speaker Series just announced by Old Wye Mill. The historic grist mill, located in both Talbot and Queen Anne’s counties, is the oldest continuously operated water-powered mill in America, and Maryland’s oldest continuously operating business.
Starting in April, five experts will present perspectives on historical eras and themes related to the Mill. The vibrant talks, live-streamed on Zoom, will take place at 7:30 on Thursday evenings between April 8 and May 6. Each talk will last about 45 minutes, with time for questions from participants. Register for the talks through the OWM website [oldwyemill.org].
The line-up of speakers is:
Nevin Crouse, professor of humanities at Chesapeake College, will discuss how the Tidewater region’s social and economic structure emerged in the 1600s and early 1700s.
In the talk by historian and preservationist Sherri Marsh Johns, "One Vast Cousinage: Family Networks and the Emergence of the Eastern Shore's Rural Elite,” participants will learn about the interlocking clans who owned vast plantations, as well as Old Wye Mill, in the eighteenth century.
Steve Childers, a specialist in historic mills and blogger, will present the work of Oliver Evans, America’s first great inventor, whose continuous milling process was installed at Old Wye Mill around 1800.
Author and historian Anthony Cohen will speak about “Great Escapes: Journeys on Maryland’s Underground Railroad.” He will focus on the areas surrounding Old Wye Mill.
In her talk, Kate Livie, a Chesapeake educator and writer, will explore the ways that Chesapeake dams—for mills and for power—have transformed the environment and shaped the region's culture, from the 17th century to today.
Old Wye Mill is open on weekends from May through October, and by appointment at other times. Please save the date for the Mill’s Opening Day, Saturday, May 1, 2021. Old Wye Mill is located at 900 Wye Mills Road (Route 662), in the town of Wye Mills.
The Spring Speaker Series is also an opportunity for new volunteers, docents (historical interpreters), millers, and Mill Shop assistants to join the Old Wye Mill family. Please visit oldwyemill.org for more information, or contact Old Wye Mill Administrator Rhonda Corder by telephone at 410-827-3850 or by email .
This program is made possible by a grant from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, with Maryland State funds, through the Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area. The contents do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority.