Bay Journal

T.F. Sayles

Old Wye Grist Mill still grinding after all these years

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It was 1682, the year that Delaware and Philadelphia were founded, and the year that French explorer Robert Cavelier de La Salle canoed into the lower Mississippi River basin, claimed the land for his king (Louis XIV), named it accordingly (Louisiana).

It was also the year that a new grist mill was built at the end of a 50-acre pond on what is now the upper Wye East River on...

Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse illuminates life in a screwpile

For a number of reasons, all of which are profoundly uninteresting, in 30-some years of exploring and writing about the Chesapeake, I had until recently visited only three of Maryland’s four surviving “screwpile” lighthouses:

Thomas Point Light near Annapolis, check; Drum Point Light on Solomons Island, check; Hooper Straight Light in St. Michaels, check.

But the oldest of them...

Western Maryland railroad turns on charm at every bend

I’ve always been fascinated by the influence of topography on where humans have decided to set up camp over the millennia.

Here in the Chesapeake Bay region, as recently as a few centuries ago, settlements in coastal areas were all about water: The best place to live was along a navigable river or creek, so that canoes and rafts and boats and ships could bring you stuff and...

London Town and Gardens rising from its roots

It’s embarrassing to admit this, but I worked in Annapolis for nearly 20 years — and lived there much of that time — but never once visited Historic London Town and Gardens in nearby Edgewater, about three miles away on the opposite shore of the South River.

Well, wait, that’s not exactly true. There was the time I was looking for a bar on Londontown Road, but drove past it and...

C&O Canal quarters are locked in a time warp

As I clawed my way west on the traffic-jammed outer loop of the Washington Beltway, it occurred to me that I should have scheduled my tour of the C&O Canal’s Lockhouse 10 at noon or so. Not at 10 a.m., which, in this neck of the woods, is still rush hour.

It also occurred to me that I never really knew there were lockhouses along the C&O Canal. As fascinated as I’ve always been...

Set sail to turn back in time at Spocott Windmill Village

Little known fact: On the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, in the days before fossil fuel, there were dozens and dozens of wind-powered gristmills.

Maryland’s Dorchester County alone, by some accounts, had 20 of them. That makes sense when you think about it. The Eastern Shore, with hundreds of square miles of mostly pancake-flat topography, has little fast-moving water, but...

Catoctin adventures invoke the (inner) child in visitors

In the 1980s and 1990s, my family and I lived at the very edge of the Atlantic Coastal Plain, a mere five miles from the northern reaches of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

In Walkersville, MD, just outside Frederick, we were close enough to a portion of the Blue Ridge — Catoctin Mountain — that we could see it in gaps between the neighbors’ houses across the street. And from the roof...

Franklin Point’s beauty plain as the eye can see

In Walter Neitzey’s four decades as a flight instructor and operator of Deep Creek Airport on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay 10 miles south of Annapolis, he probably never once looked down from his cockpit at the bucolic airfield below and thought it might some day be part of a nice state park.

About T.F. Sayles

T.F. Sayles's avatar

Bay Journal News Service managing editor Tim Sayles served as editor of Chesapeake Bay Magazine for 18 years and before that as editor of Mid-Atlantic Country magazine from 1989 to 1996. His work has covered everything from oyster aquaculture and crab harvests to dead zones and the lives of waterman. Chesapeake Bay Magazine‘s annual “State of Our Bay” feature in the 1990s was a perennial winner of Best Environmental Feature in the International Regional Magazine Association’s annual awards. A graduate of the University of Maryland’s College of Journalism, Tim lives in Annapolis and has a son, two daughters, three grandchildren and two cats.

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