First Friday: Historical Society of Kent County Presents the “Old Chester River Bridge” 


Bayly Ellen Janson-La Palme shares her research on the history ice cream in Chestertown at a previous First Friday Lecture.

Join us at the Bordley History Center (301 High Street), on November 3rd at 4 pm, to hear Dr. Bayly Janson-La Palme speak about the history of the “Old Chester River Bridge.” The history of the bridge contains many “ups & downs” and perils along the way. A toll ferry connected Chestertown and what is today Kingstown beginning in 1800.  The crossing was slow — up to an hour — and sometimes dangerous. Work on replacing the ferry with a bridge across the Chester began in 1805; however, the bridge was not fully operational until 1821. To hear the whole story of our beautiful bridge and its predecessors stop in for our First Friday lecture (and enjoy some wine while you are here!)

For more information, visit the Historical Society of Kent County’s website or call 410-778-3499

The current Chester River Bridge at Chestertown on Rt 213. Note the small guard house where the bridgekeeper used to raise the draw bridge.  It is not the first bridge across the Chester at this location.


Prestigious William L. Marbury Outstanding Advocate Award Goes to Sandy Brown of Mid-Shore Pro Bono


Sandy Brown, Executive Director of Mid-Shore Pro Bono, is a 2017 recipient of the William L. Marbury Outstanding Advocate Award from the Maryland Legal Services Corporation.

October 26, 2017 – Easton, Md. – Mid-Shore Pro Bono Executive, Director, Sandy Brown, is a 2017 recipient of the William L. Marbury Outstanding Advocate Award from the Maryland Legal Services Corporation. The annual award is presented to a “non-attorney who has demonstrated outstanding service representing the civil legal needs of low-income Marylanders or by expanding access to justice.”

The organization serves citizens across 2,000 square miles in Kent, Queen Anne’s, Caroline, Talbot and Dorchester counties.

“I am honored and deeply touched to have been selected for this award,” Brown said. “It is a reflection of the progress our staff, volunteer attorney network and community partners are making to improve access to justice for the most vulnerable populations of the Eastern Shore. Mid-Shore Pro Bono is often overlooked simply because we aren’t in the mainstream. I feel the most important part of my job is to be an advocate for residents of this great community.”

Brown has served as the Executive Director of Mid-Shore Pro-Bono since 2008, and has grown the organization and its impact during her tenure. Under her leadership, Mid-Shore Pro Bono was awarded Non-Profit of the Year in 2014 by the Talbot County Chamber Commerce, and in 2015 received the same recognition by the Caroline County Chamber of Commerce. In 2012, she was selected to participate in the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Fellows Program. Brown has been nationally recognized by the American Bar Association and serves as a trainer to assist new Legal Services Pro Bono Program Managers for Rural Areas.

Brown will receive the award on Monday, December 4th at the Lord Baltimore Hotel in Baltimore, Md. For more information about the award and the Maryland Legal Services Corporation, visit

About Mid-Shore Pro Bono

Mid-Shore Pro Bono Mid-Shore Pro Bono connects low-income individuals and families who need civil legal services with volunteer attorneys and community resources. The organization serves citizens across 2,000 square miles in Kent, Queen Anne’s, Caroline, Talbot and Dorchester counties. For more information or to make a donation, call Mid-Shore Pro Bono at 410-690-8128 or visit


Executive Round Table for Kent County Nonprofit Leaders


Bulllitt House, Easton – headquarters of Mid-Shore Community Foundation

Buck Duncan, President of Mid-Shore Community Foundation, announced it will sponsor and host a series of collaborative and interactive discussions and seminars for executive directors and other nonprofit leaders, regardless of title, employed by Kent County nonprofit charitable organizations.

The round table will be held on November 16, 2017, 8:30 a.m,.at the Chestertown Town Hall – 2nd Floor Meeting Room (118 North Cross Street, Chestertown).  Breakfast and networking will begin at 8:30 a.m, followed by a 90-minute interactive round table.  The event will be facilitated by Rob Levit, award winning nonprofit executive director and licensed consultant with the Standards for Excellence Institute.

This event is open to all executives and leaders employed by Kent County nonprofit charitable organizations.  There is no charge to attend.  The goal is for all Kent County nonprofit executive directors and leaders, regardless of title, to come together, meet, discuss and let us know how and what we can do to further your professional goals and aspirations and help your organization meet its mission.  Anyone interested in participating should register online here   or here.


Council Candidates Forum at Heron Point Nov. 2


Chestertown Town Hall

Chestertown voters will have the opportunity to vote for the Mayor and two Town Council members Tuesday, Nov. 7. The polling place will be at the Chestertown Volunteer Fire Department, 211 Maple Avenue. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Residents who need to cast an absentee ballot must make their request  in writing to the town office, 118 N. Cross St., by 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2.

All registered voters are eligible to vote in the mayoral election, in which incumbent Mayor Chris Cerino is running unopposed. Ward 1 voters have a choice among three candidates: Owen Bailey, David Foster and Robert Miller. In Ward 3, the Rev. Ellsworth Tolliver is running unopposed. Ward boundaries can be found online or by calling the Town Office, 410-778-0500. Write-in votes are not accepted in municipal elections.

The League of Women Voters of Kent County will sponsor a Candidate Forum for the Ward 1 Council Seat Wednesday, November 1, 2017 in Wesley Hall at Heron Point from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. The three candidates, Robert Miller, David Foster, and Owen Bailey, will present opening statements and respond to three questions from the League.  Audience members will have an opportunity to ask questions of each of the candidates.  For more information call: 410-810-1883.

Look for profiles of all the candidates, and a candidates’ question-and-answer feature, in an upcoming edition of the Chestertown Spy.

Town Council Meeting: WAC Students to Clean Up Rail Trail


Gilchrest Rail Trail in Chesterown

Washington College students will conduct their annual cleanup of the Gilchrest Rail Trail this coming Sunday, Oct. 22,

Arianna Hall, the secretary of service and community relations for the college’s Student Government Association, told the Chestertown Mayor and Council at their Oct. 16 meeting that students will gather at the Dixon Valve parking lot at 1 p.m. Sunday  She said the students invited community members as well as college faculty and staff members to join in the effort. Hall said it is important for the campus to be more involved with the community, “We want the event to serve as an opportunity for all of us to come together,” she said.

Mayor Chris Cerino said the town welcomes the effort. He said he would be on hand with his pickup truck to help haul away bags of trash collected by the students. He said previous cleanups had gotten “incredible turnout,” He said his truck could carry as many as 25 bags of trash.

Town Manager Bill Ingersoll said the town has in the past supplied trash bags and gloves to students working to clean the trails. He said town crews may need to do some pre-cleaning, removing fallen limbs and cutting back weeds so cleanup crews can see the trash along the trail.

Hall said the SGA would like to know other ways student volunteers could help out around town — “big or small things,” such as raking leaves or shoveling snow.

Police Chief Adrian Baker promoted Reynolds Peele (front) to Patrolman First Class

Councilwoman Linda Kuiper invited students to volunteer for the Chestertown Tea Party Festival committee, which has been short of members. She said she knew most students would be away from campus on Memorial Day weekend, when the festival takes place, but there is plenty of work to be done before the weekend. She said the committee would especially welcome students who could help with marketing or social media.

Also at the meeting, the council appointed Robety Ortiz to fill a vacancy on the Board of Supervisors of  Elections. Ingersoll said the vacancy arose after Don Cantor asked to be removed from the board to deal with hurricane damage to his Florida vacation home. The council unanimously approved the appointment.

Police Chief Adrian Baker promoted Reynolds Peele to Patrolman First Class. Peele has completed two years of service with the department and met proficiency requirements. He recently returned to duty after completing a year’s deployment with the U.S. Army Reserve in Guantanamo, Cuba.


Talkin’ Baseball at the Historical Society


the Eastern Shore Baseball Hall of Fame

The Historical Society is pleased to announce a special lecture, Hot Air and Hubris: Baseball and the Rural Culture of the Eastern Shore”, that will coordinate with our window exhibit  “When Hometown Baseball Was King.” Marty Payne and Donnie Davidson, both representing the Eastern Shore Baseball Hall of Fame, will be with us to discuss baseball and just what it means to this area. The talk will focus on how technology brought baseball to the Eastern Shore, the social and economic impact that this had on the region, and the quality of players and teams.

Payne is a member of the Society of American Baseball Research and has presented his findings to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Davidson is one of the premier collectors of Eastern Shore baseball historical items and is the historian for the Eastern Shore Baseball Hall of Fame.

The talk is at 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, in the Bordley Building. We hope to see you there! Ifor more information, call 410-778-3499 or email


Join the Kent Island Running Group and the QA’s Family YMCA for the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot


The Queen Anne’s County Family YMCA and the Kent Island Running Group are excited to announce their partnership on the Thanksgiving Day Charity Turkey Trot 5K. The Kent Island Running Group has successfully run the Great Turkey Chase at Hunters Oak Golf Course with over 400 runners for the past 6 years with proceeds benefitting Queen Anne’s County not-for-profit organizations.

This year, the Kent Island Running Group and the Y have joined forces to participate in the state-wide Y Charity Turkey Trot 5 K, with 14 Thanksgiving Day Run sites and over 15,000 runners across the state. “When you run on Thanksgiving morning, you are supporting not only the Y, who doesn’t turn anyone away due to inability to pay, but other not-for-profit work throughout the community,” said Robbie Gill, CEO for the YMCA of the Chesapeake. The 5-K Turkey Trot starts at 8:30am, Thanksgiving Day, at Hunters Oak Golf Course.

“We’re excited to work alongside the Y to engage their 2,500 members in Queen Anne’s County and the hundreds of community members we’ve traditionally served on Thanksgiving morning. What better way to kick off Thanksgiving, than giving back and having fun in the process,” said Susan Lamont, Kent Island Running President. Proceeds raised from the Charity Turkey Trot 5K will go to local not-for-profits in Queen Anne’s County and support youth programs at the Queen Anne’s County Family YMCA.

Improvements to this year’s race include a timed 5K course, awards for the top 3 male and female per age group, and the ability to run with your dog! The race is open to all ages and abilities, everyone (including your pooch) can walk, run or leisurely stroll the 3.1-mile course and soak in the feel-good vibes! Your participation deeply benefits children and families in your local community, so whether you’re trotting solo, on a team or with your family, register now and be surrounded by a community of goodwill Thanksgiving morning. Gobble, gobble!

You can register today at


Clare “Pat” Ingersoll


Clare “Pat” Stevens Ingersoll

Clare Stevens “Pat” Ingersoll (92), a devoted Christian, wife, mother, business owner, scholar and community supporter, died on Saturday, Sept.23, 2017, from complications of pneumonia. She was surrounded by her family, a team of care givers and Hospice at the time.

Born in New York City on March 17, 1925, Clare was the first child of Byam Kirby and Clare Reynders Stevens. Because of her Saint Patrick’s Day birth, Clare was soon and forevermore dubbed as “Pat.” In her earliest years, Pat was raised in Cedarhurst, Long Island and attended the Lawrence School then Greenvale Schools. She chose St. Timothy’s in Catonsville for prep school and enrolled in Bryn Mawr College as a freshman in 1942. However, Pat would only attend Bryn Mawr for a year before falling in love with Daniel Winthrop Ingersoll and marrying him on June 19, 1943. Finishing college would have to wait for Pat as four sons were born.

In the decades of the late 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, Pat raised her four sons while co-operating both a farm and a marine business on the farm. The marine business was known as Silver Hill Shop and stayed open from 1953-1982. Pat did all the financial, billing and inventory work that that the business required. During that same time period, Pat ensured that her children were receiving good educations by supporting the local public schools and helping create the first public library in Kent County. She was a Kent County Public Library trustee from 1961-1977 and a Kent County PTA president and supporter from 1950-1967. Additionally, Pat had the distinction of performing as a Kent County judge of elections from 1946-2006. She never missed an election during those 60 years.

During all the years her boys were growing, the idea of returning to college never left Pat’s mind. In 1965, she began taking University of Maryland courses at the Army Nike Base in Tolchester. By 1967, enough of the children were out of the house and Pat continued her education at Washington College, earning a B.A. in 1971. She did not stop there, receiving her Master’s in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1974 and was A.B.D (all but dissertation) in sociology at the University of Pennsylvania in 1980.

Pat’s hobbies and interests included knitting, needle point (won a First at the Timonium Fair), Jeopardy (was a contestant), traveling, often with grandchildren (Ireland, France, the Soviet Union), languages (French, Latin, German, Greek). Before Google, Pat was the source for information and a fount of knowledge, aka “Mrs. Webster” and “CompuMom.”

In the past few decades Pat devoted her attention to serving her college, church and community. She served on the Board of Visitors & Governors for Washington College from 1987-2001 and on the Women’s League of Washington College. At St. Paul’s Church she was a lay reader, eucharistic minister and member of the choir, in which she continued to sing for as long as she could. In the local community, she supported the Mid-Shore Symphony and the National Music Foundation, sang in the Kent County Chorale and donated to almost any charity that asked for her help. She will be missed by her family and friends, including a group of her friends who met on Tuesdays for lunch over several decades.

Pat was predeceased by her husband, Daniel Winthrop, and sister, Evelena Stevens Kenworthy Oakes. She is survived by her brother, Byam Kirby Stevens Jr.; her four sons, Daniel W. Jr., (Kathleen), Robert H. (Gayle), William S. (Susan) and Jared W. (Elizabeth); her grandchildren, Kristen Stevens Ingersoll, Brian Carswell Ingersoll, Daniel Winthrop Ingersoll IV, Erica Lynn Ingersoll Arnold Semler, Abigail Leigh Ingersoll-Gilbertson, Nathanael Evan Ingersoll, Joseph Henry Mills, Katherine Mills, Clare Kelly Ingersoll and Lila Kipling Ingersoll; and her great-grandchildren, Grady West Ingersoll, Audrey Sophia Gilbertson, Kirk Dean Arnold, Lyndsay Arnold, Eleanor Carroll Ingersoll and Alice Clarke Ingersoll.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Washington College or St. Paul’s Kent.
There will be a memorial service at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 28 at St. Paul’s Kent, immediately followed by a reception at the Parish House.

Arrangements by Fellows, Helfenbein & Newnam Funeral Home, Chestertown.

“Dickens of a Christmas” Weekend to Fill Downtown Chestertown with Victorian Fun


© 2017 Granger – Historical Picture Archive. The Granger Collection. All rights reserved.

Chestertown’s first “Dickens of a Christmas” event will bring the excitement of Victorian London and the spirit of Charles Dickens’ timeless tale A Christmas Carol to the downtown district Dec. 1-3, 2017.  Sponsored by the nonprofit Main Street Historic Chestertown organization, in partnership with the Downtown Chestertown Association, the weekend promises themed entertainment, food and music, along with craft workshops, spirits tastings and talks by Dickens experts.

A ticketed preview party Thursday evening, Nov. 30, will be hosted by Washington College President Kurt Landgraf and his wife, Rita, and will benefit the Main Street program. Other proceeds collected over the weekend will benefit the Kent County Food Pantry.

The Thursday night benefit at the Hynson-Ringgold House will mimic the world’s best-known office Christmas party—the festive bash thrown by young Scrooge’s employers Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig and revisited by the Ghost of Christmas Past. In addition to fiddle music and a cocktail buffet, the event will include a special performance by The Levins, whose “Raise a Glass to Charles Dickens” is a lively musical tribute to the author. Tickets to the party are $75 and will be available online by mid-October at or by calling 410-778-2991.

The weekend officially kicks off with an extra-festive First Friday, Dec. 1 from 5 to 8 p.m. Firepits and strolling carolers will provide the backdrop for gallery openings and extended shopping hours throughout downtown.  The fun continues Saturday morning with a Victorian version of the award-winning farmer’s market in Fountain Park and extends through the day with live music, performances, food vendors, a house tour, Victorian Tea, a Sweet Shop and gingerbread house display, and wine and ale tastings.

Plans also include a Sunday morning “Run Like the Dickens” 5K race and a “Dickens Dash” fun run.

“This event builds on the Winterfest weekend the Town and Downtown Chestertown Association sponsored the past two years,” says Chestertown economic development coordinator Kay MacIntosh, who is co-chairing the event with graphic designer and marketer Kathleen King. “We have a great planning team but we welcome more volunteers, both for advance preparations and in staffing activities during the weekend.” To learn more about Chestertown’s “Dickens of a Christmas,” inquire about sponsorships or volunteer, call Kay MacIntosh at 410-778-2991 or email