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Haunted Eastern Shore: Ghostly Tales

Richardson Maritime Museum - Cambridge, Dorchester County


The Richardson Maritime museum is housed in the former Eastern Shore Trust Company bank building at 401 High Street, in downtown Cambridge. The first story of the bank was built in 1889, and it is believed to be the oldest bank building currently standing in Cambridge, which was and still is the hub of commerce for Dorchester County.

The seafood industry created great wealth in the Dorchester region and packing plants began springing up. As businesses prospered, banks were formed to help with capital expenditures for business expansion. The Eastern Shore Trust Company (which had formerly been Dorchester National Bank) was one of the banks born during this economic boom.

George Woolford, a prominent member of the Cambridge community, was an oyster packer - the second oldest packer of oysters in Cambridge in 1908. He owned several boats and packed under the name “Goose Creek.” His involvement with Levi Phillips, Albanus Phillips, and Ivy Leonard led to the establishment of the Phillips packing company, which dominated Dorchester’s economy for 50 years. George also served as President of Eastern Shore Trust, partner in George W. Woolford Company (a coal and wood yard), President of Cambridge Water Company (supplied ice and water to the community), and was a local agent for the Standard Oil Company.

We know that George died in October 1929 - the year of the great crash. And though it was not printed in the newspaper (it seldom was), the locals say that George ended his own life. The local oral tradition states that he committed suicide by hanging himself from the raters in the attic of the bank building, though there are some that claim he ended his life in his Locust Street home. However, the attic is quite filled with a spooky aura and unexplained noises, movements and general "feeling of a presence" have been experienced by museum volunteers.

A portrait of George W. Woolford hangs in the old bank boardroom (now Museum board meeting room) on the second floor. During renovations a museum volunteer retired George's portrait to the attic, but she was quickly urged to return him to his prominent spot on the boardroom wall when uneasiness by the board and museum volunteers was felt.

When our Haunted Heritage Tour of Dorchester came to the Maritime Museum to hear the story of the ghost of George W. Woolford, several examined the attic including our psychic, Lisa. She took a photo of the rafters and picked up a few orbs. Is the attic or the museum haunted by the unrestful spirit of George Woolford? Who knows? We can only keep looking, asking and experiencing - and as with all haunted stories - everything is speculative. But there was enough personal testimony regarding this site to consider it as a haunted possibility.

Today the Richardson Maritime Museum may share its space with a ghost, but it's evidently a friendly presence and doesn't hamper progress one bit. The museum is "...dedicated to preserving and promoting the boat building heritage of Dorchester County and the Chesapeake Bay area of Maryland, including its influence on U. S. maritime history through research, preservation and exhibition of artifacts and archives, and the promotion of the wooden boat building industry and related skills. Visit the museum's website at http://www.richardsonmuseum.org/Default.htm

The exhibits are beautiful and the interpretation of heritage among the finest on the Eastern Shore.

More tales can be found in
Haunted Eastern Shore: Ghostly Tales East of the Chesapeake ... be sure to get a copy.

Big Lizz | Capt. Leonard Tawes  |  Crisfield Tales   |  Hanging Tree  |  Hope House  | Kitty Knight House  |   Patty Cannon  |  Richardson Maritime Museum   |  Marshall Price -Murder of Sallie Dean  |  Shoal Creek Manor  |  St Paul's Cemetery - Rock Hall   |  Tales From Down Below, Lower Dorchester  |  Two Haunted Tales from Somerset  |  Whitemarsh Cemetery  |  Willson's Chance - Ghost of Annie Belle Carter  |  Wish Sheppard - Caroline Jail

Haunted Eastern Shore by Mindie Burgoyne

Haunted Eastern Shore
Ghostly Tales from East of the Chesapeake
by Mindie Burgoyne

ISBN: 1596297204
PRICE: $17.99
160 Pages
Published by History Press
Haunted America series

Order Your Copy Today
BECOME A FAN of Haunted Eastern Shore

Book Description:

They walk beside the murky waters of the Chesapeake Bay, linger among the fetid swamps and roam the manor halls. These are the tormented souls who refuse to leave the sites of their demise. From pitiless smugglers to reluctant brides, the ghostly figures of the Eastern Shore are at once terrifying and tragic. Mindie Burgoyne takes readers on a spine-tingling journey as she recounts the grisly events at the Cosden Murder Farm and the infamous legend of Patty Cannon. Tread the foggy lanes of Kent Manor Inn and linger among Revolutionary War dead to discover the otherworldly occupants of Maryland's most haunted shore.

Haunted sites mentioned in the book include:

  • Cecil County - Holly Hall, Old Bohemia, Mitchell House

  • Kent County - Cosden Murder Farm, White House Farm, St. Paul's Cemetery & Bridge, Kitty Knight House

  • Queen Anne's County - Bloomingdale, Kent Manor Inn

  • Caroline County - The Tale of Wish Shepherd, The Murder Sallie Dean, Athol - a Child's Ghost in Henderson, Willson's Chance

  • Talbot County - The Lost City of Dover, Whitemarsh Cemetery, The Wilderness, Tunis Mills Hanging Tree

  • Dorchester County - Shoal Creek Manor, Patty Cannon's Trail of Tears, Suicide Bridge, Green Briar Swamp & Big Lizz, Tales From Down Below

  • Wicomico County - The Ghost Light Road

  • Worcester County - Cellar House, the Snow Hill Inn

  • Somerset County - Ananias Crockett's House, Holland's Island, Vance Miles House.

Tales include narratives given to Salisbury University Folklore students thirty years ago, describing hauntings, ghosts and legends of the Eastern Shore.

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Discuss Eastern Shore ghosts on the
Haunted Eastern Shore Facebook Fan Page.

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Copyright 2006 -2011 by Mindie Burgoyne  All Rights Reserved. 
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