Friday, May 01, 2009

Secret Dance Ritual being Performed on Porch of St. Clements Lighthouse

There are certainly some odd things that happen in Coltons Point. If you have read any of the previous articles about Coltons Point you will understand. Like the time Stevie Van Zany took me on his sail boat to St. Clements Island, just 10-15 minutes away according to Zany.

We set sail, the wind pushed us back into the deck where the flag got stuck in the pier and when we finally really set sail I knew we were doomed. After the first hour of tacking, which means zig zagging across the wind, we were farther away from the island than we started on shore. We were making serious progress the opposite direction on a straight course for the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean.

Stevie assured me this was how a proven sail boat captain would swing out wide and then ride the tide or some such nonsense into the back side of the island. Remember, this island was not more than a quarter mile from the shore. I figured Zany decided he needed to swing out past the Florida peninsula far south to get to the island. I was wrong.

Two hours later we were staring at the island far in the distance only now we were on the other side up river. We stopped and tried to flag anyone down to tow us back to reality. Stationary buoys in the river kept floating past us, the same buoys over and over. Exhausted we collapsed on the deck of the sail boat with ice cold beers pouring down our throat and waited for the Potomac River to decide what to do with us. Finally a wind came and blew us back to shore a little over four hours from when the 10-15 minute adventure began.

Well last weekend I ran into Stevie Van Zany and he again offered me a boat ride to St. Clements Island. Sure thing. Only this time it would be in a motor boat. So we bounced across the smooth waters and reached the St. Clements Lighthouse in record time.

If you have not been there it is a real treat. In the summer guides are in the lighthouse to tell the visitors all kinds of stories about the history of St. Clements, Coltons Point and the Lighthouse. Most folks around here have no idea of the astounding events around the world that led to the landing of the English colonists on St. Clements Island 375 years ago.

That little island was the birthplace of religious freedom not just in America but throughout the world. A fort was built on it and the Island and Coltons Point are most likely the oldest continuously lived in settlement in colonial America.

So as we neared the island just before sun down when strange shadows are dancing all over it as we approached, we heard odd noises coming from the direction of the lighthouse. We left the boat and made our way to the lighthouse for a closer look and shot the following photo of some ancient ritual dance being performed by a modern day Messiah.

This secret society secret ritual was being performed on the porch of our beloved lighthouse by this nearly naked warrior or medicine man of old. If this is what goes on just after dark just think of what happens out here late in the midnight hours.

Anybody reading this really should pack your wallet and get down here to Coltons Point and experience life in the land of Oz right here in the Southern Maryland tidewater region. See if you can find the incredible missing history of St. Clements Island and Manor for yourself. If you do come check the expiration dates of the food in our only general store before you buy it. Sometimes it seems the store is a historic preservation site already.

In 1883 Coltons Point was one of the most popular summer resorts in the Eastern United States with four hotels including one on the island, a beer garden on the island, and dancing on the huge pavilion under the night sky overlooking the 7 mile wide Potomac River. Every week steamboats from Baltimore and our nation's capitol brought hoards of city folk looking to escape the world. Maybe the magic can be recaptured once again?

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