Staying ‘A Little Sleepy’
Because the island is a bit remote, renting a car is your best bet for getting around. In a pinch, however, you can call the Tilghman Island Country Store for a free ride in their red, six-seat golf cart, which they call the Tilghman Island Taxi Service. Regardless of how you get there, make time for the chocolate chip French toast or the soft-shell crab eggs Benedict at Two If By Sea. Chef Henry Miller won awards in 2018 for best chef and best brunch from What’s Up? Eastern Shore magazine. Miller’s hearty meal will give you plenty of fuel for a visit to the no-frills Phillips Wharf Environmental Center, which houses over 30 native Chesapeake Bay animals including sea horses, diamondback terrapins, Atlantic sturgeon, blue crabs and horseshoe crabs.
Our final stop of the day was the Tilghman Watermen’s Museum, a recently renovated building chock-full of boat models, photographs, paintings and an assortment of watermen’s harvesting tools for netting, tonging, dredging and crabbing. Co-founder Hall Kellogg is proud of the art and artifacts residents donated to create the permanent collection — especially the colorful seascapes of William E. Cummings, a talented waterman who taught himself to paint. The museum also chronicles the ups and downs of the Tilghman Packing Company and the oyster packers, shippers and shell shuckers who helped the company and the island thrive through most of the 20th century. While Kellogg is exuberant about attracting tourists, he’s also eager to see the island maintain its serenity.
“We want people to come out,” Kellogg said, “but we don’t want all the glitz and glitter and congestion; and sometimes it’s a fine line when you’re trying to preserve the traditions of the island. We want to stay a little sleepy.”
That sleepiness is what we appreciated most as we drove back onto the highway toward home and reluctantly switched gears to prepare for the workweek ahead.