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Author Topic: Tangier, Virginia and Smith Island, Maryland  (Read 4368 times)

cpzilliacus

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Tangier, Virginia and Smith Island, Maryland
« on: September 11, 2016, 03:03:57 PM »

The island of Tangier, in the Chesapeake Bay and part of Accomack County, Virginia is also an incorporated town, and roads there are maintained by the Virginia Department of Transportation. 

I assume that Tangier is probably the most-isolated place on the VDOT maintained highway network. 

Mike Tantillo and I recently visited there, and [hosted on Facebook, you do not have to be a member to see the pictures] here are some of the pictures I took (not all pictures are about the road infrastructure, but many are).

EDIT: Have also added images taken later from Smith Island, Maryland in Somerset County, located due north of Tangier.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2016, 03:47:57 AM by cpzilliacus »
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Re: Tangier, Virginia
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2016, 10:54:39 PM »

I remember there was a National Geographic article about the island and town when I was a kid. I have always wanted to go there
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Tangier, Virginia
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2016, 10:40:23 AM »

I remember there was a National Geographic article about the island and town when I was a kid. I have always wanted to go there

It is quite possible that a trip to Tangier will be included in a 2017 meet.
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Rothman

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Re: Tangier, Virginia
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2016, 01:00:13 PM »

I'd rather go to Smith Island on the MD side.  I've had the cake, but never stepped foot on the island itself.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Tangier, Virginia
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2016, 09:25:26 AM »

I'd rather go to Smith Island on the MD side.  I've had the cake, but never stepped foot on the island itself.

I have it in my plans to take the ferry to Smith Island too.

That would be to consider it as a possible meet destination, which may not be practical in one day because of the schedules that the ferries adhere to (unless you own or charter a boat or aircraft, it is not really possible to visit Tangier and Smith Island in one day).
« Last Edit: September 13, 2016, 10:54:16 AM by cpzilliacus »
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Alps

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Re: Tangier, Virginia
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2016, 06:42:53 PM »

I'd rather go to Smith Island on the MD side.  I've had the cake, but never stepped foot on the island itself.

I have it in my plans to take the ferry to Smith Island too.

That would be to consider it as a possible meet destination, which may not be practical in one day because of the schedules that the ferries adhere to (unless you own or charter a boat or aircraft, it is not really possible to visit Tangier and Smith Island in one day).

"Captain Jason II Smith Island Cruises
Captain Larry Laird
410-425-4471 home, 410-251-4954 cell
PO Box 205, Tylerton, MD 21866
Available for regularly scheduled trips to and from Smith Island and special charters, including sunset cruises and trips from Smith Island to Tangier Island, VA. Also carries freight. Kayak groups welcomed.
$25 round trip on same day. $20 one way, or $40 for round trip on separate days. No reservation required. Pay on board."

Sounds like there are ways.

cpzilliacus

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Re: Tangier, Virginia
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2016, 11:51:38 PM »

I'd rather go to Smith Island on the MD side.  I've had the cake, but never stepped foot on the island itself.

I have it in my plans to take the ferry to Smith Island too.

That would be to consider it as a possible meet destination, which may not be practical in one day because of the schedules that the ferries adhere to (unless you own or charter a boat or aircraft, it is not really possible to visit Tangier and Smith Island in one day).

"Captain Jason II Smith Island Cruises
Captain Larry Laird
410-425-4471 home, 410-251-4954 cell
PO Box 205, Tylerton, MD 21866
Available for regularly scheduled trips to and from Smith Island and special charters, including sunset cruises and trips from Smith Island to Tangier Island, VA. Also carries freight. Kayak groups welcomed.
$25 round trip on same day. $20 one way, or $40 for round trip on separate days. No reservation required. Pay on board."

Sounds like there are ways.

There are indeed ways.  But in order to visit both, the meet would need to charter his vessel (or a vessel belonging to someone else), from what I have been told (prices above are for regularly-scheduled trips). 

Chartering a boat is not supposed to be cheap, but I may give Captain Larry Laird a call and discuss anyway, because I think at least some participants in meet would be interested in visiting both islands (also keep in mind that Smith Island has two "towns," Ewell and Tylerton (Ewell is considered the larger of the two), which are not connected to each other by bridge or dry land), even though both are considered Smith Island.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2016, 11:55:08 PM by cpzilliacus »
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ixnay

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Re: Tangier, Virginia
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2016, 07:20:55 AM »

I'd rather go to Smith Island on the MD side.  I've had the cake, but never stepped foot on the island itself.

I'm the opposite of you (been on Smith Island, but not had the cake).  I've been on Tangier, too.

BTW the southern tip of Smith Island is in VA.

ixnay
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Alps

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Re: Tangier, Virginia
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2016, 10:40:16 PM »

I'd rather go to Smith Island on the MD side.  I've had the cake, but never stepped foot on the island itself.

I have it in my plans to take the ferry to Smith Island too.

That would be to consider it as a possible meet destination, which may not be practical in one day because of the schedules that the ferries adhere to (unless you own or charter a boat or aircraft, it is not really possible to visit Tangier and Smith Island in one day).

"Captain Jason II Smith Island Cruises
Captain Larry Laird
410-425-4471 home, 410-251-4954 cell
PO Box 205, Tylerton, MD 21866
Available for regularly scheduled trips to and from Smith Island and special charters, including sunset cruises and trips from Smith Island to Tangier Island, VA. Also carries freight. Kayak groups welcomed.
$25 round trip on same day. $20 one way, or $40 for round trip on separate days. No reservation required. Pay on board."

Sounds like there are ways.

There are indeed ways.  But in order to visit both, the meet would need to charter his vessel (or a vessel belonging to someone else), from what I have been told (prices above are for regularly-scheduled trips). 

Chartering a boat is not supposed to be cheap, but I may give Captain Larry Laird a call and discuss anyway, because I think at least some participants in meet would be interested in visiting both islands (also keep in mind that Smith Island has two "towns," Ewell and Tylerton (Ewell is considered the larger of the two), which are not connected to each other by bridge or dry land), even though both are considered Smith Island.
I would totally be interested for a double-digit price.

cpzilliacus

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Re: Tangier, Virginia
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2016, 11:57:40 AM »

I would totally be interested for a double-digit price.

That is useful.  Thank you.
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Avalanchez71

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Re: Tangier, Virginia
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2016, 12:14:59 PM »

Single digits sound nicer. :awesomeface:
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Tangier, Virginia
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2016, 04:23:57 PM »

Single digits sound nicer. :awesomeface:

Not likely to happen.  The round-trip one-day fare to either island is over $20.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Tangier, Virginia
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2016, 04:26:39 PM »

BTW the southern tip of Smith Island is in VA.

ixnay

You are correct.  There appears to be nobody actually living on the Virginia part of Smith Island.

The way that the state line between Maryland and Virginia crosses the Chesapeake Bay is very strange, and I think it may date back to before 1776, in colonial times, which would imply that it was drawn by the British government in London.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Tangier, Virginia and Smith Island, Maryland
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2016, 03:50:45 AM »

Have added images from Smith Island, Maryland in addition to Tangier, Virginia to the Facebook album.
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The Nature Boy

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Re: Tangier, Virginia
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2016, 09:03:08 AM »

BTW the southern tip of Smith Island is in VA.

ixnay

You are correct.  There appears to be nobody actually living on the Virginia part of Smith Island.

The way that the state line between Maryland and Virginia crosses the Chesapeake Bay is very strange, and I think it may date back to before 1776, in colonial times, which would imply that it was drawn by the British government in London.

It's likely a quirk of the original charter issued to Lord Baltimore in 1632 that established the Maryland colony. Given how poorly surveyed (and virtually unknown) North America was to the Europeans at the time, the charter likely just designated some arbitrary point as the VA/MD border and just continued that line east without regard for what that line ran through.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Tangier, Virginia and Smith Island, Maryland
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2016, 06:52:42 PM »

It's likely a quirk of the original charter issued to Lord Baltimore in 1632 that established the Maryland colony. Given how poorly surveyed (and virtually unknown) North America was to the Europeans at the time, the charter likely just designated some arbitrary point as the VA/MD border and just continued that line east without regard for what that line ran through.

The "low water mark" of the Potomac River to its "first fountain" (most-distant headwaters) was logical enough, but they  got that wrong too, since the most-distant headwaters of the Potomac are in Highland County, Virginia (a stream called the Laurel Fork of the North Fork South Branch of the Potomac is farther west than Fairfax Stone, generally accepted as the most-distant headwaters of the Potomac and used for determining Maryland's southern and western borders).  There's a Maryland Historical Society Magazine that discusses this in some detail that I will post later.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2016, 03:32:15 PM by cpzilliacus »
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ixnay

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Re: Tangier, Virginia and Smith Island, Maryland
« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2016, 07:23:26 PM »

It's likely a quirk of the original charter issued to Lord Baltimore in 1632 that established the Maryland colony. Given how poorly surveyed (and virtually unknown) North America was to the Europeans at the time, the charter likely just designated some arbitrary point as the VA/MD border and just continued that line east without regard for what that line ran through.

The "low water mark" of the Potomac River to its "first fountain" (most-distant headwaters) was logical enough, but they  got that wrong too, since the most-distant headwaters of the Potomac are in Highland County, Virginia (a stream called the Laurel Fork of the South Branch of the Potomac is farther west than Fairfax Stone, generally accepted as the most-distant headwaters of the Potomac).  There's a Maryland Historical Society Magazine that discusses this in some detail that I will post later.

"How Two (or Three) States Got Their Shapes" :D (The "Three" refers to West Virginia which was carved from Virginia under much different circumstances)

ixnay
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Tangier, Virginia and Smith Island, Maryland
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2016, 12:15:24 PM »

"How Two (or Three) States Got Their Shapes" :D (The "Three" refers to West Virginia which was carved from Virginia under much different circumstances)

ixnay

Were Maryland to demand and get the land north of the real "first fountain" of the Potomac (as the southwest corner of the state (not going to happen, BTW)), it would cut West Virginia (as it currently exists) in two.

Baltimore Sun article from the 1990's: here.

Longer scholarly article about Maryland's border along the Potomac River:
The Potomac River and Maryland's Boundaries (.pdf, from 1985).
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Alps

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Re: Tangier, Virginia and Smith Island, Maryland
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2016, 04:55:55 PM »

"How Two (or Three) States Got Their Shapes" :D (The "Three" refers to West Virginia which was carved from Virginia under much different circumstances)

ixnay

Were Maryland to demand and get the land north of the real "first fountain" of the Potomac (as the southwest corner of the state (not going to happen, BTW)), it would cut West Virginia (as it currently exists) in two.

Baltimore Sun article from the 1990's: here.

Longer scholarly article about Maryland's border along the Potomac River:
The Potomac River and Maryland's Boundaries (.pdf, from 1985).
Not seeing a great map, but it looks like the Potomac doesn't quite bisect the panhandle. If I look at a very large scale map.

cpzilliacus

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Re: Tangier, Virginia and Smith Island, Maryland
« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2016, 07:41:44 PM »

"How Two (or Three) States Got Their Shapes" :D (The "Three" refers to West Virginia which was carved from Virginia under much different circumstances)

ixnay

Were Maryland to demand and get the land north of the real "first fountain" of the Potomac (as the southwest corner of the state (not going to happen, BTW)), it would cut West Virginia (as it currently exists) in two.

Baltimore Sun article from the 1990's: here.

Longer scholarly article about Maryland's border along the Potomac River:
The Potomac River and Maryland's Boundaries (.pdf, from 1985).
Not seeing a great map, but it looks like the Potomac doesn't quite bisect the panhandle. If I look at a very large scale map.

It does.  The headwaters of the Laurel Fork of the North Fork South Branch Potomac River are in Highland County, Virginia, south of U.S. 250 near the West Virginia/Virginia border (3826'16.0"N 7941'15.0"W). There is at least one other tributary of the South Branch of the Potomac that has its headwaters in Highland County as well.

Compare and contrast with the "accepted" source of the North Branch of the Potomac River at Fairfax Stone (3911'42.0"N 7929'15.0"W).

Everything west of the Potomac River's tributary streams (but east of a line drawn straight north from the headwaters of the Laurel Fork to Pennsylvania) should have been Maryland (had this been known when the Crown granted those lands to Lord Baltimore, or had Maryland pressed their claim that this was the true "first fountain" of the Potomac River watershed, which it apparently is).
« Last Edit: September 28, 2016, 07:45:37 PM by cpzilliacus »
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Re: Tangier, Virginia and Smith Island, Maryland
« Reply #20 on: September 28, 2016, 08:49:57 PM »

Quote
It does.  The headwaters of the Laurel Fork of the North Fork South Branch Potomac River are in Highland County, Virginia, south of U.S. 250 near the West Virginia/Virginia border (3826'16.0"N 7941'15.0"W). There is at least one other tributary of the South Branch of the Potomac that has its headwaters in Highland County as well.

The main leg of the South Branch does...just east of Hightown.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Tangier, Virginia and Smith Island, Maryland
« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2016, 08:30:52 AM »

The main leg of the South Branch does...just east of Hightown.

Its headwaters appear to be here, which Google says is Blue Grass, Virginia.
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Re: Tangier, Virginia and Smith Island, Maryland
« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2016, 08:45:40 AM »

If you follow the topography (as I have in the field), it actually gets just southeast of US 250.  And Hightown is much closer than Blue Grass.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Tangier, Virginia and Smith Island, Maryland
« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2016, 02:26:23 PM »

If you follow the topography (as I have in the field), it actually gets just southeast of US 250.  And Hightown is much closer than Blue Grass.

Agreed regarding topography.  There does seem to be at least a part-time stream that runs south of the point that I marked.  Though at some point South of U.S. 250 you get to a stream that is clearly part of the James River watershed.

The Laurel Fork definitely goes south of U.S. 250 (and I find it amusing that between the South Branch and the Laurel Fork are two tributaries of the James River) - and when the road crosses the West Virginia/Virginia line (and the Eastern Continental Divide), there's the Ohio River/Mississippi River watershed.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2016, 02:30:15 PM by cpzilliacus »
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