Tangier Island - Monday, February 1, 2016

You've been waiting for it - well, wait no longer!  Omrod's Giant World of Miniatures is taking center stage again here at the American Treasure Tour blog.  Think of it as our way of introducing you to February - warm, green, sunny, beautiful February.  When you first see OGWoM from a distance, it looks a little crazy.  But once you get close, you can see the wonderful details that make it fascinating.  Countless stories all created and displayed.  Today, we are going to talk about an upturned boat that is visible when you're standing right in front, near where the above photograph was taken.  On the hull of the boat are the words "Tangier Island."  That's it.  Nothing else to explain why this fascinating place is worthy of dedicating a blog entry to.  Frankly, it's worth more than that, but that's all we have today.

Tangier Island had been inhabited by the Pocomoke Native American tribe for possibly hundreds of years prior to its settlement by immigrants from Southwest England around 1670.  The island is fairly secluded, located in Chesapeake Bay and considered part of Virginia.  During the War of 1812, British forces used Tangier as a staging area.  It was perfect.  Isolated and strategically located, its population remained separate from those on the mainland. They remained loyal to the Union during the Civil War.  But isolation is the key word to describe the island, to this day.  Passenger ferries take visitors there, generally once a day.  Helicopters go there.  But there is only one schoolhouse, with an estimated ten students per grade.  And they have cable.  But the dialect of English spoken on Tangier is considered closest to that of Victorian English in the world today.  Locally, the accent is called "hoi toider," because locals say that instead of the more conventional "high tider."

If you decide you want to visit Tangier Island, you may want to plan ahead.  There are only two bed and breakfasts on the island and no hotels.  You may not want to ask the locals if they're from England, though.  They may not like that.
QUESTION:  What fact about Tangier Island may be useful to know in advance prior to taking your bachelor/bachelorette party there?
A)  There are no restrictions on open containers
B)  There are no docks for private boats
C)  There are no campgrounds at which to stay
D)  The island is dry

BLACK MARIA.  No, that is not the name of a person, but the name of a place.  A thing.  A movie studio, to be exact.  The first in the world designed for that purpose.  And Thomas Edison had it made at his West Orange, New Jersey laboratory so that he could make movies in a controlled environment.  It was completed on this day in 1893, beginning the American movie industry.  If you have the opportunity to, we strongly recommend you visit the Edison National Park and visit their reconstruction of this iconic - and odd - structure.

JOHNNY FORD.  Born on this day in 1894 was a baby boy who would grow up to become one of the greatest movie directors of all time - John Ford.  Best known for his westerns, often starring John Wayne, including Stagecoach (1939) and The Searchers (1956), Ford actually has over 140 movies to his credit (many of his silents are now considered lost).  Thank you for enriching the world with all your many films, John!

QUOTE:  It is easier to get an actor to be a cowboy, than to get a cowboy to be an actor. - John Ford

ANSWER:  D)  The island is dry.