The Written History of the Upper Eastern Shore of Maryland for Talbot, Kent, Queen Anne's and Caroline Counties.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Preserving the Name

The Wye Oak
Everyone in the area knew this ole tree well. In our memory it has always been there, always really big, always special and always called The Wye Oak. 

How many of our ancestors walked by this ole tree, which is on the old Indian path now known as Rt. 662, how many travelers passed by it before Rt. 50 was established?  Most likely if your roots are on the Eastern Shore, your ancestors have viewed this same tree, stopped for a rest, chatted with the villagers, or neighbors who had also brought their wheat to the Wye Mill or gathered its acorns. 

What has been forgotten over time is what they used to call the tree.

The Bachelors Oak

When the oak was only about 100 to 150 years old, area landowners even made deals under this tree.  One specific time, Robert Noble, Richard Woolman, Henry Hawkins, Nathaniel Cleeve, William Jones, Henry Costin and others sat and drank a case of spirits together. 

The spirits were payment from Henry Hawkins to Nathaniel Cleeve for a piece of land called Nathaniel’s Point lying in Wye River, a deal they hashed out under the Bachelor’s Oak.  I guess Nathaniel gathered his spirits under his arm, shook hands with Henry, but before he could get a way, others had gathered.  After a lot of conversation and laughter, they must have needed a drink and Nathaniel decided to share. 

No pub in the vicinity, the Bachelor’s Oak was the social gathering place for those without wives awaiting them. 

Hmmm..... wonder if that conveyance was recorded in the Court?

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