A Book Report from the Fifth Grade Class at Mayo Elementary School
A Mayo Elementary book report from the kids of Mayo, 1952
Transcribed to MS Word 8.0 document by Martin O'Callaghan, April 12 1999
This is an old book report that I recently found while organizing and filing some old SCA files. It is a report that appears to be from the entire fifth grade class of MayoElementary School in the 1952-53 school year. I wonder how many kids were in the fifth grade class and who they were? Most of them probably still live around here. I think Mrs. Taylor was principal at Mayo when my brother Kevin and I attended in the late 1960's.
- Martin O'Callaghan
DISCOVERING OUR SCHOOL COMMUNITY
By GRADE V 1952-1953
Mrs. Emily Taylor/ Teacher
Mrs. Margaret Johnson/ Principal
Mrs. Dorothy Kirkley/ Supervisor
DISCOVERING OUR COMMUNITY
Table of Contents
II. Historical Background
III. People from Early Settlers to Present Population
IV. People at Work
V. Transportation and Communication
VII. Community Services
VIII. Development of Religion
IX. Educational Opportunities
X. Recreational Facilities
XI. Civic Groups and Government
XII. Our Community Looks at the Future
XIII. Strange Discoveries - "Believe It or Not"
Mayo is located on a peninsula on the western shore of Maryland between RhodeRiver on the southwest and South River on the northeast, and bordering the Chesapeake Bay. It is on Maryland Route 214, eleven miles southeast of Annapolis, the Capital of Maryland. It is convenient to the capital of the United States, Washington, D.C., which is twenty-nine miles to the southwest, and to the largest city in Maryland, Baltimore, which is thirty-five miles to the north.
According to the 1950 census, the population of Mayo is nine hundred people 1 .Mayo is not incorporated and has no set boundary by land. The approximate area is one thousand two hundred seventy-five acres, or two and one-half square miles.tab The average temperature for Mayo in the month of January is 35.3o . The average temperature for July is 77.5 o. The temperature has been as high as 106 o and as low as 6 o below zero during the past forty years.
The annual precipitation for this vicinity is 44.72 inches and statistics show that during the past forty years the heaviest rainfall is during the month of August 2.
Footnotes: 1 World Book M by Field Enterprises 2 Climate of the States - Maryland and Delaware - Agricultural Yearbook Separate No. 1839 - U.S. Department of Commerce - Weather Bureau
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In the summer our area is cooled by the "bay breeze." Our class feels that in winter the warm air of the bay causes our precipitation to be mostly rain when other areas in nearby Maryland are having snow.
Mayo has a growing season of two hundred and five days. The last day of frost occurs about April 10th and the first frost in the fall comes about November 1st.
Mayo has always depended upon her natural resources. In the rivers and bays that wash her shores are caught hardhead, rock, perch, spot, flounder, eel, sunfish, bluefish, pike, carp, catfish, herring, shad, oysters, manoes, crabs and turtles. In the lowlands around the shores are found many muskrat homes.
During the winter many waterfowl feed at our shores and provide food during the hunting season. In the fields and wooded area rabbits, squirrels, pheasants, quail, opossums, raccoons and foxes are hunted during the open seasons.
The soil of Mayo is the sandy clay type and has proved especially good for growing tobacco.
Mayo was once covered by trees and even now has stretches of spruce, pine, gum, oak and maple trees. There are also holly, dogwood, cedar, hickory, walnut and chestnut trees.
II. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
Settlement began in Mayo on July 26, 1658 when Cecilus Calvert, Lord Baltimore, granted a tract of four hundred ninety
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acres of land between South River and RhodeRiver to Captain Edward Selby, which the captain named "Selby's Marsh."
Captain Selby kept two hundred sixty acres for his own plantation and put the rest of the land out on rent roll for nineteen schooling a year.1 In 1665 and again in 1688 he added more tracts of land to his estate until he had acquired something like one thousand four hundred acres. With his wealth from tobacco and his prominence in public affairs, Captain Selby became one of the most successful and important gentlemen of the RhodeRiver area. It is for him that the present shore development, which is part of Mayo, gets its name. He died in 1688 and, by his last will and testament, left his plantation to his only son and heir, Edward Selby, Jr. Young Selby had several financial reverses and in 1693 he sold to William Cotter, who had just recently arrived upon the Maryland scene.
Legends have come down to us that the dashing William Cotter made quite a favorable impression upon the social life in the RhodeRiver area. Within two years of his august arrival, he married Jane Gassaway, a leader and one of the political bosses of AnneArundelCounty. He died a short time before his daughter's marriage.
Footnotes: 1 From an interview with Mrs. Genevieve Von Aschenberg, Gresham Farm, Edgewater, Maryland.
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In 1696 a vessel arrived unexpectedly from England and anchored at the Port of Annapolis, which is now a part of near-by WoodlandBeach, with an agent of the King of England on board. Secret conferences were held with certain provincial officials and it soon leaked out that one-time pirates were reported living in the RhodeRiver area. Excitement ran high.\par The pirates, much to the surprise of everyone, turned out to be none other than William Cotter and his fellow countryman, John Blackmore. They were immediately placed under bond and "to be of good behavior as to Acts of Pyracy." Richard Beard, the surveyor who laid out the port of Annapolis, was then High Sheriff for AnneArundelCounty. It was his duty to tell the officials "that by virtue of His Excellency's proclamation for suppressing Pyrates, he has taken into custody Mr. John Blackmore and William Cotter, who went out from the Isle of Jamaica in the West Indies under the command of one George Rainer, returning two years later."
They were released "To stand and be indebted unto our Sovereign Lord William, the third, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland in the sum of five hundred pounds sterling each. That they, the said John Blackmore and William Cotter shall personally appear and be forthcoming whenever His Majesty's pleasure is known concerning them; in the meantime to be of good behavior as to any acts of Pyracy."
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William Cotter lived only four years after his pledge of good behavior, for he died the latter part of March 1702 and was buried on March 28. At the burial the clergy spoke of him as a "good housekeeper of this Parish."
The elder cotter son died unmarried and the younger son, William , fell heir to the entire estate. After a gay bachelor life at his plantation home and adding further to the Cotter wealth, he died in 1749, leaving his estate to his nephews, William, Henry and Thomas, sons of his sister, Sarah. Sarah had married her cousin, Captain John Gassaway, a grandson of "Old Rough-and-Ready" Nicholas Gassaway.\par In the following year of 1750, Captain John Gassaway had a resurvey made of their entire estate and named it "Cotter's Desire" in memory of either his father-in-law, the old pirate, or his brother-in-law who had made his sons heirs to the Cotter's fortune.
Captain John Gassaway followed in the footsteps of his grandfather and became quite an important political figure in the county. He was High Sheriff and Keeper of the Public Goal at Annapolis, and in 1753 he was elected to the Lower House of the General Assembly to represent AnneArundelCounty.
Cotter's Desire remained in the Cotter and Gassaway families for one hundred twenty-one years or until 1814 when William Stewart was appointed by the court as trustee to sell the property of Dr. John Gassaway, deceased. The property
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was transferred to various individuals between July 1814 and January 1835, at which time Cotter's Desire was deeded to Commodore Isaac Mayo, U.S.N., for whom the community of Mayo and Mayo Road are named.
Cotter's Desire continued in the Mayo family for about eighty years. On June 29, 1915, Thomas H. Gaither, grandson of Commodore Mayo, conveyed Cotter's Desire to Oscar Keys for a valuable consideration.
In 1916 or two hundred twenty-three years after Edward Selby sold his domain to the ex-pirate, William Cotter, Cotter's Desire was first divided when Mr. Keys sold about eight acres on Mayo Road to Albert bull, Leander Jackson and John Evans.
About four years later, Mr. Keys sold the remainder of Cotter's desire to Mr. Maurice Ogle who received the title on December 1, 1920. Mr. Ogle is from an old Maryland family, a descendent of Samuel Ogle, colonial governor of Maryland.
In 1950 Mr. Paul Crandall of Washington bought about one hundred two acres of Cotter's Desire and is developing it as a shore colony named Ponder Cove.1 There are no remains of the Cotter home.
Footnotes: 1 Ponder Cove - pamphlet by Paul D. Crandall, present owner of Ponder Cove, who gave us permission to reprint this material.
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Of those who rented land from Captain Selby, we have record of John Gresham II, who was attorney to Captain Selby and who rented 80 acres. His father, John Gresham I had come to this country from England in 1640 and had settled on the island of Kent. Gresham I was the nephew of Sir Thomas Gresham who had founded a college in England. Due to religious troubles, the first John Gresham's land was taken away from him and he fled to Virginia. Later his lands were restored and he returned to Kent Island.\par \tab John Gresham II built a house in 1686 on his "50 and 30 acres" which was then called Selby's Marsh. This house is still in use and, as far as we can find, is the oldest house in Mayo. Gresham II died in this house in 1713 and left it to his son, John Gresham III. In 1723 John Gresham III made a will leaving to his wife the home which he calls "my father's late dwelling."
In 1765 Joseph Mayo bought six hundred and twenty-two acres of what was still called Selby's Marsh. This included the Gresham property. He paid ten thousand dollars in "Philadelphia money," which was the term given to silver money at that time. However, it was not until 1810 that the boundaries were finally set because of the rent roll property which was involved. The name was changed to Gresham.1
Footnotes: 1 From an interview with Mrs. Von Aschenberg, present owner of Gresham Farm, Edgewater, Maryland.
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During the nineteenth century, Gresham was the home of Commodore Isaac Mayo, who served in the United Stated Navy for more than fifty years. It was during his cruises on the seven seas that he collected the trophies which he used to decorate the grounds of Gresham - broken segments of two marble columns, one inscribed with the words, "From the Temple of Apollo, the Grecian Island of Delos", the other inscribed with the words, "From the Temple of Diana"; an old iron urn placed on a square of marble and marked "From the Island of Delos"; iron guns and an iron cannon.
Commodore Mayo was a descendent of Joshua Mayo of South River. In 1809, as a midshipman, he joined the sloop-of-war, Wasp, and for three years served under the command of Captain James Lawrence. During the War of 1812 he was placed on board an English vessel taken as a prize by the U.S. Navy. During the voyage home he defended her from soldiers who boarded the vessel in the harbor of San Salvadore, where Commodore Mayo had put in to get supplies. Later in the same war he volunteered for service under command of Stephen Decatur in defense of Washington, our capital city.
He served with Commodore Stewart in the Pacific and was sent home by way of Panama with dispatches in April 1823. He relates that he was "chased into Campechy by a pirate and narrowly escaped capture."1
Footnotes: 1 American Motorist Magazine - Gresham on South River\par July 1931 - Pages 11-13.
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In 1830 he sailed on the U.S.S. Brandywine, frigate flagship of Commodore Morris, with "good Lafayette on board." On the Brandywine, he cruised in the Mediterranean.
Commodore Mayo was married in 1835 to Miss Sarah Bland, daughter of Chancellor Bland, consul to Brazil.
In 1840 he was in command of the steamer Poinsett and a squadron of gunboats during the Seminole War. He captured "Mad Tiger" and ten Indian warriors. Three years later, he was in command of the U.S.S. Macedonian, frigate flagship of Commodore M.C. Perry, U.S. Navy.
While he was serving on the Macedonian, Commodore Mayo was sent to protect a schooner which was returning freed slaves to a settlement on the coast of Africa established by the American Colonization Society. One native tribe, the Berribees, had captured and put to death by torture the crew of another schooner, Mary Carver, returning freed slaves. While with a landing party, Commodore Mayo had an encounter with King Crako, the leader of the Berribees, and was severely burned on the face by a discharge of Berribian muskets.
In 1845 the question of a naval school similar to West PointMilitaryAcademy was before the Secretary of the Navy. To determine the best site for the school for naval cadets, the Secretary appointed a commission of officers, among them Commodore Mayo. Two sites were especially favored, 1
Footnotes: 1 American Motorist Magazine - Gresham on South River, July 1931 - Pages 11-13.
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one at the Naval Asylum at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the other at FortSevern in Annapolis, Maryland. It was because of Commodore Mayo's influence that FortSevern was finally selected for the establishment of the NavalAcademy.
During the Mexican War, Commodore Mayo was in command of the naval battery near Vera Cruz when that city surrendered. Later he was appointed Governor of Alvarado. It was during this time that he sent home to Gresham the old guns and cannon balls, engraved with the name of "San Juan de Ulloa" the palace at Vera Cruz, where the American forces had their headquarters after the fall of that city. The guns and one cannon ball can still be found at the entrance of Gresham. That is why the farm has been called "Cannon Ball Gates" by its neighbors.
In 1850 Commodore Mayo was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the United States naval forces in the Mediterranean and on the west coast of Africa. His flagship was the Constitution. At the beginning of the Civil War, Commodore Mayo was at Gresham on leave. He wrote to President Lincoln offering his resignation as an officer of the United States Navy, saying: "In adopting the policy of coercion, you have denied to millions of freeman the rights of the Constitution and in its stead you have placed the will of a sectional party and 1
Footnotes: 1 American Motorist Magazine - Gresham on South River, July 1931 - Pages 11-13.
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now demand submission in the name of an armed force! As one of the oldest soldiers in America, I protest in the name of humanity against this war against brethern'. I cannot fight against the Constitution while pretending to fight for it."
Commodore Mayo's resignation was not accepted by the President and he was dismissed with six other officers of his rank for their sympathy with the cause of the Confederate States. Soon after this Commodore Mayo died, leaving Gresham to his daughter, Mrs. Thomas H. Gaither. He also left her the sword that had been given to him by the State of Maryland and the Medal of Valor given to him by the Congress of the United States.1
At Mrs. Gaither's death, the estate was left to her daughter, Mrs. Georgie Mayo Bailliere, of Baltimore, Maryland, and she rented Gresham to a family who cultivated its many acres. It was from Mrs. Bailliere that Mrs. Von Aschenberg, its present owner, bought the farm.
Driving in to Gresham from Mayo Road, one turns at the "Cannon Ball Gates" and goes up a lane bordered by cedar trees and fruit trees. The lane continues past the house and goes down to SelbyBay, a small body of water off South River near the point where the river meets the Chesapeake Bay. The long frame house has dormer windows and two old brick chimneys.
Footnotes: 1 American Motorist Magazine - Gresham on South River, July 1931 - Pages 11-13.
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Around it are a few old trees, veterans from Gresham's early days. Cottonwoods and sycamores shade the broad lawn, and a large walnut tree stands near the old well in the rear of the house.
The interior of the house was changed as the years passed. The central part is the oldest and to it additions were made on both sides. On entering the house, one is attracted by the old grandfather clock made by Jacob Gardner in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1776. It is understood that Mrs. Von Aschenberg its owner, that there are only two of its kind in existence today, the location of the other clock being unknown. 1
The neighborhood folk tell an old legend handed down about Gresham. It seems that pirates were connected with the farm and are supposed to have buried treasure there. During the full moon a rider on a white horse is supposed to enter "Cannon Ball Gates" evidently in search of the treasure. Some folks say that while hunting through the woods of Gresham they have found holes shaped like a chest, as though treasure had been removed. 2
Footnotes: 1 From an interview with Mrs. Genevieve Von Aschenberg, Gresham Farm, Edgewater, Maryland. 2 A report by Harry Alvey, Fifth Grade Pupil, Selby, Edgewater, Maryland.
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III. PEOPLE FROM EARLY SETTLERS TO PRESENT POPULATION
Mayo was inhabited by the Susquehanna Indians before the white settlers came. Many arrowheads, spearheads and bone knives have been plowed up and even now some Indian relic is occasionally uncovered. The development of shore property in this area has uncovered many buried oyster heaps that were possibly accumulated by the Indians.
The early white settlers came from England and were very few. As far as we can tell there are only two houses in this area that date back to pre-Revolutionary days. One is the Gresham Farm and the other is the Brick House Farm, near the entrance of what is now ShorehamBeach. The house at Brick House Farm was built by a bachelor. He had the bricks brought over from England. He died before he was able to live in the house. A number of families have owned the house. It has been remodeled and additions have been made to the original structure.
From this small beginning, several other estates grew. There was Birch Manor, located about one-half mile from Gresham near SelbyBay, which was built by Judge Tuck. There were Old 96 Farm, near what is now ShorehamBeach; Stiener's Farm; Cloverlea; and Ivy Neck, which was not in Mayo Proper but just across RhodeRiver.
The earliest records of Ivy Neck go back to 1688 when a grant of six hundred ninety acres of land was made to John
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Watkins. Also belonging to the estate was a little island called Bachelor's Retreat which was granted to John Ridout by Governor Sharpe in 1762. This little island covering about an acre of ground, was sold to Mr. Cheston in 1790 by the owner. 1
Ivy Neck was well documented. It held the original contract, dated 1787, made by James Cheston, wealthy planter, with Leonard Harbaugh, a carpenter of Annapolis, and Andrew Green, bricklayer, for the construction of Ivy Neck. The house contained furniture and silver brought from England. There was a wharf at the foot of the bluff on which Ivy Neck was built, at which all the steamboats that ran from Baltimore to WestRiver stopped. Unfortunately, was destroyed by fire a few years ago and all the documents, furniture, silver and a fine collection of old portraits went with it. 2
In its early years, Mayo was strictly a farming community, but with its growth the seafood industry became equally important. With the growing population, the farms became smaller in order to provide land on which to build houses. The occupation of most of the people was in the seafood industry. This provided year round work. Oysters were caught during the winter and sold. Crabs and fish were caught during the summer.
Footnotes: 1 Tercentenary Edition of the Maryland Gazette - 1949 2Baltimore News Post - "Day by Day" - Carroll Dulaney
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In the early 1920's began the development of shore property in Mayo. This has continued up to the present time and has changed Mayo into a resort community. The shore property has brought many people from the Washington area and some from Baltimore. These residents live at Mayo and commute to their places of employment in Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis. A very small per cent of the present population is employed in the Mayo area.
IV. PEOPLE AT WORK
Today Mayo has a variety of work for the few people who earn their living in this area. There are three farms in the community on which the owners earn their living raising tobacco and some corn.
In February the farmer begins his tobacco bed. He hoes and rakes a small portion of ground in a sunny and protected part of his farm. He mixes fertilizer in the ground and plants the tobacco seeds. He puts logs or boards around the bed and covers it with thin white cotton cloth. While the young tobacco is growing, the farmer plows and discs his field and gets it ready for planting. In May the tobacco plants are taken out of the bed and planted in the open field. A tobacco planter does the planting. Two men sit on either side of the planter, which is pulled by either tractor or horses. The machine digs a hole for each plant and fills it with water. The men put a tobacco plant in the hole and
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the machine covers it up. While the tobacco is growing, the farmer cultivates it either by cultivator or by hand.
During the summer, after the tobacco blooms, it is topped by cutting the bloom from the top of the tobacco. The largest blooms are saved for seed for the next year. Late in the summer the tobacco is cut. The plant is with a big knife and put on tobacco sticks. It is taken to a tobacco barn and hung to dry. After it is dried, the leaves are stripped and assorted as to the size and color and put into bundles. The bundles are packed into baskets or barrels and taken to the tobacco market in Upper Marlboro, Prince George County, Maryland.
Although tobacco is the money crop, the farmers raise corn, mainly for the animals and poultry, and raise vegetables for their own use.
There are two oyster houses in Mayo. One is owned by Mr. John Collison and has been in operation for more than fifty years. It was owned by Mr. Collison's father before him. The other oyster house was built by Mr. Lawrence Blair in 1912 for tomato canning. He operated it for about two years and sold it to William Numson of Baltimore. He enlarged the business to the canning of string beans, pears, blackberries, peaches, apples and, later steamed oysters. In 1935 it was bought by Mr. William Dawson, a local resident, for an oyster house.
Oysters in this area are caught with tongs, The handles or shafts, of the tongs are from twelve to twenty-six feet
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long, depending on the depth of water where the oysters are being caught. At the bottom of these shafts are the tongs that are shaped somewhat like two garden rakes that fit together and hold about a peck of oysters, depending upon the size of the oysters. The oystermen go to the oyster beds in their boats which are about forty feet long. Near the stern of the boat is a small cabin that houses the engine and steering wheel. Oystermen lower their tongs into the water and sound the bottom for oysters. The tongs are worked back and forth until they are filled. As much mud is washed from the oysters as can be before they are dumped on a culling board, which is about two feet wide with sides built so the oysters will not fall into the boat. This board is placed across the width of the boat. On this board the oysters are culled or separated, the small oysters and shells being thrown back overboard and the oysters of legal size being dropped into the boat.\par The oysters are now taken to the oyster house where they are measured into half-bushel baskets and wheeled into the first room. From here they are taken to the shucking room where people remove the oyster from the shell by opening it with an oyster knife. This process is known as shucking. The oyster is put into one of two cans, depending on its size; the selects, or large ones, are put in the one can and the standards, or small ones, are put in the other cans.
After being shucked, they are taken to the skimming room where they are dumped on a washing table and sprayed with cold
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water. The oysters are then put in an electric blower where they are washed again. Soon after this operation, the oysters are scooped up and put on a draining table; later to be placed into cans, sealed, packed in ice and made ready for market.
Oysters are caught from September to the middle of April. During the rest of the year, fish and crabs are caught. A few men in the neighborhood fish during the whole year, weather permitting, by using fishnets, called seines. These seines have corks at the top and sinkers at the bottom and are pulled through the water to catch the fish. This kind of fishing is done in shallow water.
Another kind of fishing that begins in early spring and lasts until late fall is hook and line fishing. Some men with small cabin cruisers take out fishing parties who come from the surrounding cities. They go out in the Chesapeake Bay and catch fish for a day's recreation. The fishing party takes home fish and pays the boat owner a certain rate for the day. Since Mayo has become a resort community, this business is growing.
Hard shell crabs are caught during the summer with trotlines and hand lines. A trotline is rope whatever length desired, with an anchor at each end. A few feet from the anchor an empty bottle is tied to mark the beginning and end of the line. Baits of salt eel, horsemeat or chicken feet are tied at spaces of two feet over the entire rope between
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the floats. After the trotline is left in the water a few minutes, it is slowly pulled to the surface and the crabs, clinging to the baits, are dipped up with a net. A hand line uses the same principal as a trotline, except there is only one line with bait instead of many.
Soft-shell crabs are caught in very shallow water by dipping them up with a net.
Another kind of employment in Mayo is provided by the three beaches, Beverley, Triton and Mayo. These beaches charge admission for parking and swimming. Many people are employed to prepare and sell food, collect admissions, take care of the bathhouses and game rooms, park cars, sell souvenirs, etc. There are nurses and lifeguards employed for the safety of the visitors. These beaches open the week before Memorial Day and close the week after Labor Day. On any hot Sunday during the summer about thirty-five hundred cars come down Mayo Road headed for the beaches.
Beverley Bach was organized in 1924 by Mr. Edgar Kolb. In addition to the public beach, it is a summer colony for private residents who are given free privileges to the beach itself. In 1942 Mr. Kolb bought adjoining Ford's beach and built what is now TritonBeach. Together they form the largest summer resort on the Chesapeake Bay.
MayoBeach started in 1939 when Mr. Charles Trabing of Baltimore bought the waterfront property at the point where the South River meets the Chesapeake Bay. During the few years
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that it has been in operation, it has grown to be a favorite resort of many Washington residents.
Mayo has six general stores, five of which are open the year round. They sell a great variety of merchandise. The stores do most of their business in the summer season when people from the cities come to their summer homes and to the beaches.
Four restaurants are in Mayo, two of which are open the year round. Thee, too, do most of their business in the summer, serving meals to visitors at the beaches.
Mayo has a third class post office which serves about a third of the community. The rest of the area is served by Rural Free Delivery from the Edgewater Post Office.
The first postmaster in Mayo was Mr. John Tucker. The post office was in his home on Little Island in the year 1883. Later he moved to Mayo Road, built a store and house combination, and the post office was located there.
The next postmaster was Thomas J. Jackson who owned a store on Cadle Creek. He was postmaster in 1900.
H.F. Himburg was the next postmaster appointed on June 1, 1914. He had the post office in his store on Mayo Road. Later he sold the store to Mr. Parks and built a small post office on an adjoining lot. During all this time the post office was fourth class. On January 3, 1940 Golda Himburg was appointed in her father's place and is the present postmistress.
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On July 1, 1943 Mayo Post Office became third class. 1
Four Marine Railways are in Mayo; one at Dawson's Oyster House; one on RhodeRiver and two on Cadle Creek. Any repairs to boats which cannot be made while the boats are in the water are done at the railway. These include such things as painting, caulking, removing barnacles and any carpentry work needed.
There is one garage in Mayo. At Bert's Garage any repairs on cars, bicycles, outboard motors and any kind of welding can be made.
V. TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATION
Before the white settlers came to Mayo, the Indians traveled by canoe and on foot. With the coming of the white man, another method of transportation was added, that of horseback travel. Because of the lack of roads and the rivers that had to be crossed, travel by coach developed slowly. The people in this area depended mostly on boats to travel any distances. During the winters when the Bay and the rivers were frozen, the people walked to Annapolis when necessary to go there on business. With the building of a bridge across the South River in the early 1800's, travel by horse and carriage became more extensive. Roads became wider, but travel
Footnotes: 1 From an interview with Miss Golda Himburg, postmistress, Mayo, Maryland
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was extremely rough. In the winter only necessary trips were made because the freezing and thawing of the ground made travel almost impossible. The trip to Annapolis took approximately two hours.
After steamboats became numerous on the Bay, travel to and from Baltimore and Annapolis was easier for Mayo residents. A steamer, the most well known being the Emma Giles, came from Baltimore and stopped at two wharves in Mayo; Carr's Wharf in Rhode River and Birch's Wharf in Selby's Bay. Freight and passengers were both carried. Trips were made three times a week. The steamer made stops at Annapolis and WestRiver also. Gradually, with the coming of automobiles and trucks, the number of trips decreased, until finally in the 1920's service was discontinued.\par \tab Automobiles came to Mayo in the early 1900's. The first automobile was bought by Leander Jackson in March 1915. It was a black Model T Ford with a brass front. It costs three hundred and sixty dollars. Two months later another car of the same make was purchased by Mr. David Collison. In cases of emergency or of business, the neighbors felt free to call on Mr. Jackson or Mr. Collison for the use of their cars. During the next year Mr. Thomas Dawson bought a Ford. His was a newer model with a black front. By 1927 one out of every ten families in Mayo owned a car.
The roads were greatly improved when the state took over the main road in Mayo and hard-surfaced it. This was in 1930.
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With the improvements in the roads and the growth of the community, ninety eight percent of the residents today own automobiles.
During the summer when the beaches are open, buses travel between Washington and Beverley Beach. They pick up passengers along the route. They travel on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.\par \tab As yet there are no airplanes in Mayo.
All the houses of Mayo are the individual type. Most of them are built of wood. Some of the newer homes are of brick or cinder block. Houses in the past were built on the two-story plan, but now the trend in building seems to favor the one-story plan. Most of the houses have good size porches. A few have basements, but the present practice seems to be that of building a utility room adjoining the house. The houses are heated with either oil space heaters or furnaces. Some houses have fireplaces, but these are not depended upon as the main source of heat in cold weather.
All the homes are equipped with electricity and many of them have telephones.
Most of the houses have modern plumbing facilities. The water is piped into the houses from driven wells. The kitchens are equipped with either gas or electric stoves for cooking.
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Most of the homes are owned, but there are a few shore homes that are rented to different families during the summer.
In Mayo there is one housing project going on at the present. Mr. T.E. Collison has brought a strip of land on Carr's Road, and is building a number of one-story frame houses for sale. There is a housing project completed on the road to ShorehamBeach. These brick houses are built by Mr. Hedin and are for rent. At the present, all the houses are occupied.
One of the most pleasant features of all the houses in the Mayo area are the roomy lawns which enable the residents to enjoy the outdoors.
VII. COMMUNITY SERVICES
In the middle of the nineteenth century there were two doctors who served Mayo, but who did not live in the immediate vicinity. They were Dr. Weems and the elder Dr. Collison who lived at what is now known as GlebeHeights. These doctors had their offices at their residences and came down to Mayo by "horse and buggy." The elder Dr. Collison had a son who studied medicine. When his father passed away, he inherited his practice and he also took over Dr. Weem's patients. For a number of years he was the doctor in this area and continued living at his father's residence. After the death of Dr. John Collison there was no doctor near Mayo, but Dr. Hay's
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from Davidsonville became the principal doctor. During Dr. Hay's practice automobiles became more plentiful and some of the people began to go to Annapolis for professional service.
Dr. Vincent Gould opened the first doctor's office in Mayo in 1950. He serves this area and is associated with AnneArundel GeneralHospital. Dr. Gould has his office at his home.
Some doctors from Annapolis also come to Mayo.
We have no local dentist. The people in Mayo go to Annapolis, Washington or Baltimore for dental service.
The closest hospital is the AnneArundel GeneralHospital in Annapolis. Although we have no local ambulance service, we are fortunate to be able to use the Woodland Beach Ambulance which is stationed about five miles distant. The ambulance from the U.S. Naval Academy Hospital is on call for the Navy personnel who live in Mayo.
Although the health center is not located here, our community enjoys the services of the Davidsonville-MayoHealthCenter located in Davidsonville. This center has the services of the Anne Arundel County Public Health Organization.
The HealthCenter was first started in 1939 and was sponsored by the Davidsonville P.T.A. Miss Katherine Watkins, principal of the DavidsonvilleSchool, was the first president. A building on the main road in Davidsonville was rented. Much remodeling was done in order to make it suitable for a clinic.
During the years that followed, many Mayo residents became interested in the services of the center and gave their
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support. On November 6, 1947, on a notion by Mrs. Nick Bottner, and in recognition of the help Mayo had given, the name was changed to the Davidsonville-MayoHealthCenter.
The services of the Center have expanded until the area now covered extends from South RiverBridge to Birdsville, and from Chesapeake Bay to the Prince George's County line. Miss Arlene Duval is the nurse in charge of the clinics and Mrs. Benjamin Popham, a Mayo resident is president.
With the growth of the Center, there is great need for a larger and more centrally located building. Mr. James Stuart has offered to donate a piece of ground on Mayo Road in WoodlandBeach and funds are being raised to erect a permanent center. On the building committee are Mrs. St. George Barber and Mrs. Ben Hundley of Davidsonville, Rev. Mrs. Orra Brant and Mrs. George Villenuve of Woodland Beach and Mrs. Z. Garner Jones, Mrs. Robert Nimon and Mrs. Popham of Mayo. 1
Anne Arundel County has charge of the garbage disposal in Mayo, except in the case of people living on private roads. The collectors come for garbage every Monday and Thursday. The bill for this collection is added to each person's property tax.
Although Mayo has no fire department of its own, it has the services of the Galesville Volunteer Fire Department,
Footnotes: 1 From an interview with Mr. Benjamin Popham, Mayo, Maryland.
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which is about eight miles distant. If the fire is serious enough the WoodlandBeach and Riva Fire Departments can also be called.
The nearest police station is in Edgewater, which is about six miles away. These police patrol this area and also furnish road protection for the school. The police are employed by AnneArundelCounty.
VIII. DEVELOPMENT OF RELIGION
Until after the Civil War the people of Mayo attended church at Hope Chapel, which was a Methodist Church about three miles from Mayo on the road leading to Annapolis. This church had a slave balcony so that plantation owners could take their slaves there.
After the Civil War a small wooden building was erected on the old county road that led to BigIsland, now known as Turkey Point. This building served as both a church on Sundays and a school during the week. It was also used as a meeting house and a place to hold social affairs.
In 1878 the congregation had grown so that a new MethodistChurch was built on the main Mayo Road. This was a small one-room building which seated about sixty people. The Reverend D.B. Winstead was pastor. He also served the following churches: Davidsonville, Birdsville, Taylorsville and Edgewater. The church was called the Mayo Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church.
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In 1892 the building was enlarged to its present size. In 1921 remodeling on the interior was done. Stained glass windows were donated by members of the congregation, and a Delco system, which generated electricity for the lighting of the church , was installed. In 1941 an electric organ was purchased. In 1948, during a heavy wind, one of the drafts in the two oil heaters caused the interior of the church to be ruined with smoke. Services were interrupted and moved to Mayo Hall while the interior was completely refinished. New broadloom carpet was laid inside the pulpit and around the altar rail. Tile was laid on the rest of the sanctuary.
In 1950, due to the growth of the Sunday school, there was a great need for enlarging the church. It was decided to raise it and built a basement underneath, to be used as Sunday school rooms and a place to hold social affairs. This was done and one large room, two small rooms, two lavatories and a kitchen were made. A new central oil heating plant was installed. The Reverend Paul Cummins was pastor at this time. He also served the Davidsonville and Edgewater churches, Hope Chapel and Birdsville having long since discontinued. Today in addition to all church affairs, the Boy Scouts, the 4-H Club and the Homemakers Club use the church basement for meetings.
In 9152 the congregation of the church had grown, along with the growth of the whole community, and the need was felt for a pastor to serve Mayo alone, instead of one connected with
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a circuit. Ground for a parsonage was donated by Theodore Entwisle and Mr. Earl Brashears. A furnace for the parsonage was donated by Mr. Brennaman of Baltimore, who is a summer resident at Turkey Point. The parsonage was built on the Turkey Point Road a short distance in back of the church.
In June 1952 MayoMemorialMethodistChurch withdrew the South River circuit and became a station church. The Reverend Robert C. Nimon was sent as first pastor. In November 1952 Reverend Nimon and his family occupied the new parsonage.
At present there are two hundred and six active church members, an active Women's Society of Christian Service, a large Sunday school and a Methodist Youth Fellowship. A burial ground is adjacent to the churchyard and recently more ground has been added to enlarge it to twice the original size.
The only other church in Mayo was the Church of St. Andrew. It was built during the rectorship of the Reverend C. J. Curtis of All Hallows Episcopal Parish (1892-1899). It was built with finds contributed by both former and present residents of Mayo and was aided by the Episcopal Church Building Commission.
The first structure was merely an outside shell with the inside left unfinished. It cost five hundred dollars. The opening service was held about 1895, conducted by the Reverend Curtis, Archdeacon Gambrill and Reverend Dr. W.L. DeVries.
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The congregation, though small, finished the interior of the church and added many improvements. A Sunday school was regularly held. The successive rectors of All Hallows Parish continued to serve the church, generally giving the fifth Sunday (when it occurred) for a morning service. For a number of years a layman, Mr. Norris, worked faithfully as a lay missionary, conducting public worship, visiting among the people and teaching and training the children.
In 1935, due to a faulty electrical wiring, St. AndrewsChurch burned to the ground. The burial ground adjoining the church is still being used for deceased members and is given perpetual care by the living.
Plans are now being made among the Mayo members of All Hallows Episcopal Church to build another chapel on the old site.\
IX. EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
Shortly after the close of the Civil War, a small wooden building was erected on the old county road leading to BigIsland at a place called "Schoolhouse Field." The structure served, as previously stated, both as a place of worship and as a school. After the MethodistChurch was built in 1878, the other building was used exclusively as a school. It was the only one in Mayo at that time and children had to walk two or more miles to get there. Mr. Frank Owens was the first teacher of whom we have record. He was succeeded by Mr. Henry Jones in 1879.
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By 1891 the enrollment had increased to a daily attendance of fifty children, and a new one-room school was built in the lower part of Mayo to accommodate the children in that section. Miss Mary Ford was appointed first teacher in the new school.
About 1907 a new three-room building was constructed midway between the two one-room schools and they were consolidated. Mr. Jackson bought the building at "Schoolhouse Field" and moved it to become part of his store. Mr. D.W. Collison bought the structure in lower Mayo and converted it into a dwelling. Both are in existence today. Miss Sedonia Collison was the first principal and Miss Lillian Carr was assistant. There were just two teachers. In January or February of 1911 a third teacher, Miss Isabel Harvey, was added to the faculty.
In 1922 the building was enlarged by combining two of the small rooms and adding a new room. It had outside water facilities and was heated by large coal stoves.
The nearest high school was in Annapolis and those wishing to attend were compelled to board away from home. In 1925 the first high school bus, driven by Mr. Howerton Alvey, began service from Mayo to Annapolis.
The beginning of s steady growth at Mayo school came when No.11 School at WoodlandBeach was closed and those children were transported by bus to Mayo. This was in 1928 and Mr. Edward Owens drove the bus. This consolidation was the beginning
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of bus service to the school.
In 1939 a new brick building was constructed across Mayo Road from the old building, which was sold to Mr. Bradley Alvey. The new school is modern, with three large classrooms that have adjoining cloakrooms, and a small auditorium with a stage. This auditorium was made so that it could be easily converted into a classroom if the need arose. There is an office for the principal, two large lavatories and a basement in which is a central heating plant. There are drinking fountains in the hall and an electric bell. In each classroom is a built-in bookcase, much blackboard space and a bulletin board. Miss Mildred Kolb was the first principal with Miss Helen Dawson and Mrs. Emily Taylor as assistants. Mr. Howard Porter was the first janitor at the new school.
In September 1942, due to increased enrollment, the auditorium was converted into a fourth classroom.
When the county initiated the Junior High system the seventh grade was taken from Mayo and sent to Annapolis, leaving the school with six elementary grades.
Even with one less grade the school continued to grow by "leaps and bounds" and by 1948 it was necessary to rent the wooden school building, which had been sold to Mr. Alvey, to provide classroom space for the children. One room was used in 1948, another was used in 1949 and the third room was occupied in 1950, the building reaching full capacity at that time.
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In 1951 Miss Mildred Kolb retired from the school system after thirty-five years of service at Mayo. The principalship was changed to that of supervisory principal, and Mrs. Margaret Johnson was appointed in that capacity. There were seven assistants. In this year playground equipment consisting of two giant slides and two senior horizontal ladders and a duplicating machine were given by the P.T.A. Bus service also increased, the Woodland beach bus making two trips instead of one.
Because of the steady growth in enrollment, plans were begun for the building of a new school in the WoodlandBeach area as this seemed to be the center of the greatest growth.
At the opening of a school in September 1952 the stage at Mayo was converted into a classroom and a fifth-grade class was taken to a vacant room in the school at Galesville. Two teachers were added to the staff and a secretary was employed.
In this year an electric clock was installed to operate the bells.
The P.T.A. save a Bell and Howell Movie Sound Projector and large screen to the school.
The present staff of Mayo School is as follows: Mrs. Margaret Johnson, principal, Mrs. Mary Jane Coker, secretary, Mrs. Lelia Alvey, primary teacher, Mrs. Ruth Brennan, primary teacher, Mrs. Mable Zumwalt, primary teacher, Mrs. Emma Burgess, primary, Mrs. Eloise Glenn, primary, Mrs. Lydia Gass, primary, Mrs. Emily Taylor, intermediate, Mrs. Ida Dixon, intermediate, and Mrs. Jean Willard, intermediate. Mrs.
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Dorothy Kirkley is supervisor of the elementary schools in this area.
The Parent-Teacher Association, which was organized in 1923, has always rendered invaluable service to the school. Mrs. Katherine Collison was the first president of whom we have record. The P.T.A., over a period of thirty years, has done much toward bringing the home and school into closer relationship. It has provided social activity for the children, it has given many materials for enrichment of the program for students and it comes to the aid of any needy causes in the community. The present officers are: Mrs. Bowers Coker, president, Mr. John Eisenhart, vice president, Mrs. John Eisenhart, secretary and Mrs. James Riley, treasurer.
X. RECREATIONAL FACILITIES
The girls' 4-H Club of Mayo was organized on April 30, 1948 with Mrs. Isabel Brashears as the local leader. It was given the name of the Mayo Hustle Bustle Club. There were eleven members. Mrs. Bernice Cummins is the present local leader and there are now eighteen members. The club meets twice a month in the basement of the church. 1
On March 6, 1953 a boys' 4-H Club was begun with nine boys joining under the leadership of Mrs. Frances Witt. It, too, meets at the church twice a month.
Footnotes:\par 1 From an interview with Mrs. Bernise Cummings, Mayo, Maryland.
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In 1949 a Boy Scout Troop was organized under the leadership of John Barge. There were eight boys who joined. The club has grown to a membership of twenty-three and meets in the church basement every Friday night. Mr. Eugene Lofgren is the present leader. The Troop number is 453 and it is divided into two patrols, the Eagle and the Wolf.
The Bookmobile from the Public Library in Annapolis comes once every two weeks. It stops at eight different places in Mayo including the school.
The Selby Bay Yacht Club was organized in August 1947 and incorporated in that year at Selby-on-the-Bay, a short distance from Annapolis. Mr. Walter Podrog of Washington, D.C. was founder of the club. Mr. F. S. Crismond gave the club its home when he offered his pier and dockage facilities. There were seven boat owners who became charter members the first set of officers elected was Walter Podrog, Commodore; L. H. Johnson, Vice Commodore; Walter Wilson, Rear Commodore, F. S. Crismond, Fleet Captain and Arthur B. Cook, Secretary-Treasurer. Alvin Dickinson and L. J. Johnson were elected trustees. The club holds dinner dances, oyster roasts and cruises. The official flag of the club is a blue field with a red border and a white comet star. 1
Footnotes: 1 Tercentenary Edition of Maryland Gazette, 1949.
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The club has now grown to a membership of twenty. The same men hold office.
The Beverley Ski Club was founded in 1950 by Raymond Jennings, Tom Emrich and Harry Smith, Jr. for the purpose of making water skiing and sailing possible to a select group, without having to purchase the expensive equipment necessary. The club originates from a similar club consisting of a small group of international airline pilots who flew during and after the war. They used the club as a means of keeping in excellent physical condition and for recreational enjoyment. This sport was introduced to them while they were on the French Riviera.
Comprehensive courses of instruction have been set up in line with the requirement of the American Water Ski Association, in view of eventually sponsoring a National Water Ski Meet at the club, by putting am water ski shows with members participating. This department of the club is known as the ParkerSkiSchool. The cost of instruction for a complete season is one hundred eighty dollars.
There are overnight accommodations and meals available to members at extra cost.
The club is called upon from time to time by various chambers of commerce to put on water shows celebrating certain occasions. The membership has proven itself quite capable of putting on a thrilling two-hour show. During the Galesville
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Tercentenary the performance was excellent. Raymond Jennings is president of the club. 1
XI. CIVIC GROUPS AND GOVERNMENT
Mayo has no local government. Its leaders are those who actively participate in the affairs of the church, school and community organizations.
The American Legion Post was organized in October 1947 with fifteen members. Mr. M. D. Schaumlaffle was the first commander. The post was named the Bernard H. and Howard E. Cummings Post 226 in honor of two native boys, who gave their lives in World War II. In 1950 the name was changed to the Cummings-Behlke Post 226 in order to honor Ellsworth Behlke, another native son who was killed in World War II.
At present there are fifty members in the post. This is the largest membership up to this time. It was incorporated in1953 under the leadership of Mr. C. R. Bennett, present post commander. 2
The American Legion, with the auxiliary, sponsors a party for the community children at Christmas-time. It has also collected toys and clothing and sent then overseas for war orphans.
Footnotes: 1 From a pamphlet published by the Beverly Beach Ski Club. 2 From an interview with Mr. Lester Jackson, Mayo, Maryland.
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The auxiliary was organized March 2, 1949 with Mrs. Lucille Jackson as first president. There were eleven members in the group. At the present time the membership has grown to twenty-one. Mrs. Gelene Melchoir is now president. 1
Mayo has a local lodge, the Mayo Beneficial Association. It was organized in 1896 to benefit members who were sick and unable to work, and to give the widows of members who died a sum to help they defray burial expenses. The M.B.A. Hall was built in 1898 by the lodge as a place to hold meetings and social affairs. The lodge is still active, but the membership has decreased with the death of the older members and the lack of interest on the part of the younger people. We feel this is because of the many health benefits and insurance's that are available today, together with the retirement plans and social security program of the government. At this writing, the future of the M.B.A. is uncertain.
XIII. OUR COMMUNITY LOOKS AT THE FUTUREThe future of Mayo seems to toward an expanded residential shore community. In fact, during the summer months Mayo becomes almost a suburb of Washington, as the residents
Footnotes: 1 From an interview with Mrs. Lucille Jackson, Mayo, Maryland.
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from that city move to their own summer homes or rent beach cottages. On weekends or holidays the public beaches are filled with day visitors. However, we do not know whether or not the Chesapeake BayBridge will divert vacationers to the Eastern Shore. When the bridge opened last July there was a decided decrease at the public beaches in this vicinity. Whether or not this will be just a temporary trend, because of the newness of the bridge, remains to be seen.
The seafood industry, which once played a big part in the economy of Mayo, is on the decline. There is, at present, a scarcity of fish, oysters and crabs; therefore, people are unable to earn a living from this work alone.
The church and the school are growing rapidly along with the increase of new residents. Th church, which has recently doubled its capacity, already is feeling the need for still more space. Plans are also going forward to build a new church of another denomination.
At present, all indications point toward Mayo growing as a residential center with most of the people earning their living elsewhere in nearby towns and cities.
There are no indications at present that Mayo will become an industrialized area.
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XIII. STRANGE DISCOVERIES - "BELIEVE OT OR NOT"When Mrs. Von Aschenberg brought Gresham she found, at the back door, a stone slab used as a step. Upon investigating she discovered that it was the tombstone of Colonel Nicholas Gassaway. She contacted some descendants of "Old Rough-and-Ready" and they moved the tombstone to St. Anne's Churchyard in Annapolis, where it can be seen today. 1
Colonel Gassaway was buried somewhere on the vast estate of Gresham. 2
No one knows how the slab came to be Gresham's doorstep.
Footnotes: 1 From an interview with Mrs. Von Aschenberg, Gresham Farm, Edgewater, Maryland. 2 American Motorist Magazine - Gresham on South River, July 1931 - Pages 11-13.
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