Tapper's Corner Today - Close Up
X=cabin site... k="Kentucky" ravine... mb="Muddy Bank" on Tuckahoe River... nna="No-No Acres" white farmhouse (was Aaron Anthony Farm)... mc=Lee's Mill Creek... dam=ruins of 19th cent. millpond dam... Lewistown Road leads so. to Md. Rt. 328... Md. Rt. 303 leads north 3 mi. to Queen Anne, west 2 mi. to Md. Rt. 309.
X = Cabin Site (Description Below)
Site Description - Keyed to the Map
Once you arrive at Tapper's Corner, you can get your bearings by standing at the stop sign at the junction of Md. Route 303 and Lewistown Road. When you face the stop sign, you're facing east toward the Tuckahoe River. A small white sign across the road to your left announces your location as "Tapper's Corner". Md. Route 303 continues away from you to the left (north) 3 miles to the town of Queen Anne, and behind you (west) to Md. Route 309. Lewistown Road begins here, heading to your right (south) to Md. Route 328. You can turn left at Rt. 328 and drive to the Tuckahoe River bridge to find the Douglass birthplace historical marker, six miles away.
The Tuckahoe River is hidden behind the trees ahead of you in the distance. Directly in front of you is a yellow road sign with a two-headed black arrow. Look to the left of the arrow sign to see the two-story, 1870s era house (nna) that is now the farmhouse of "No-No Acres". The farmland directly ahead of you belonged to Aaron Anthony when Douglass was born here. The white house did not exist when Douglass lived here as a slave child, but it was here when Douglass visited as a free man in 1878.
The trees farther to the left of the white house mark the course of Mill Creek (mc). This was called Lee's Mill Creek in Douglass' day. The road to your left (Md. Route 303) leads from the stop sign, where you're standing, into the creek bottom about 100 yards away. In the bottomland, you'll see the ruins of a dam that formed a millpond to your left. The creek runs from the dam, under the road, and to the right, down to the Tuckahoe River. Although the concrete dam, which ruins you see today, did not exist in Douglass's childhood, he mentions Lee's Mill, which operated at this same spot, in his autobiography.
In order to pinpoint the head of the "Kentucky" ravine (k), where Aunt Bettie's Lot and the cabin were probably located, look from the stop sign to the a utility pole across the street, to the right of the double-arrow sign. A support cable runs from the top of the pole to the ground to the right of the pole. The pole, cable, and ground form a tall triangle. Look through the triangle to the line of trees that reach toward Tapper's Corner, where you're standing. The closest trees mark the tip of "Kentucky", a steep, wooded ravine that runs from the Tuckahoe River, at a place Douglass knew as "Muddy Bank" (mb), to cut into the level farm fields of the old Anthony farm. "Aunt Bettie's Lot" and the cabin site (x) were probably located at the head of the ravine, near the edge of the farm field. During his 1878 return to the site, Douglass found a cedar tree that marked the area where the cabin had once stood. Although no large cedar of that era exists today, there are cedars -- possible descendant's of Dougass' tree - inside the woodline where the plowed field forms a "cove" to the right of "Kentucky's" head.