This Just In

Jets Above Cedar Point


J. Frank Raley

When the Surveyors Came Down

J. Frank Raley, Jr. (1926 - 2012)

The Thomas Johnson Bridge

The Thomas Johnson Bridge, which connects Calvert and St. Mary's counties, had been on the drawing board for nearly a decade, part of the "trade-off" southern Maryland legislators had negotiated when slot machine gambling was outlawed in the region in 1968... [Read more]


Memo To Another Generation

August 1957.  Leonardtown, Maryland.  A hand holds out a piece of paper listing criminal charges against The Enterprise, a weekly newspaper published in Lexington Park. Enterprise reporter Val Hymes,  nervously taps at a typewriter, producing six copies of the charges. Hymes then races out of the St. Mary’s County Circuit Court House, jumps into her car, and flies the fifteen miles to Great Mills Road in Lexington Park.... [Read more]


It's Our River: Commonwealth of Virginia v. Maryland, Take 1

In 1957, Maryland Delegate J. Frank Raley pushed Maryland to abrogate the Compact altogether, a move which prompted Virginia to take the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court. The result was the Potomac River Compact of 1958, which grew out of a bi-state commission to develop a new agreement between Maryland and Virginia.

Virginia had little trouble passing the new Potomac River Compact, but ratification was a much more difficult process for Marylanders, some of whom accused Raley of ''giving the river away." One of the most vocal against the new Potomac River Compact was Walter Dorsey, state's attorney for St. Mary's County from 1954 to 1958 and a state senator from 1959 to 1962. Believing that the 1958 Compact put "too much power in the hands of too few," Dorsey forced the matter to a referendum and lost. [Read more]



Welcome to the SlackWater Center, a consortium of students and faculty from St. Mary's College of Maryland who, along with community members, are focused on the histories and changing landscapes of Tidewater Maryland. Our goal is to bring you the best of this work, and we invite you to share your own work and material with us. 

To learn more about the SlackWater Center, click here. To learn more about our beautiful print journal, click here. To begin viewing the exhibits, click here. And come back often as we continue to post stories and narratives about Tidewater Maryland. 


The Roost Menu, front cover; Courtesy of SMCM Archives, donated by Elizabeth Egeli.

Buy-boats in Cambridge, MD.
The Mariner's Museum

The SlackWater Center

St. Mary’s College of Maryland, 1998-2013

Header image courtesy of The Calvert Marine Museum