The Gilbert Byron Society

Gilbert Valliant Byron was born in Chestertown, Maryland on July 12, 1903, and was educated in Kent County’s public schools and Chestertown’s Washington College. After graduating in 1923, Byron taught school, learned to camp and sail, and wrote verse, articles, short stories and novels about the great Chesapeake and Delaware Bay region. He lived nearly all of his 88 years on the Delmarva Peninsula. 

During his lifetime, the author published 14 books, over 70 short stories, and hundreds of newspaper articles earning him the titles of “Chesapeake Thoreau” and “The Voice of the Chesapeake.”  This is likely the largest collection of writing about the bay areas ever produced by one person. 

The mission of the Gilbert Byron Society, founded in 1991, is to preserve, maintain and increase public awareness of and interest in the literary, historical, cultural and ecological heritage of the unique region that has been documented and celebrated by author Gilbert Byron.


Crab Talk

Mama sent me
To get the crabs
From old Benny,
Down on the creek
Where the shanty men seek
He was mending eel pots,
Tar and twine,
And deft seine needle,
Chewing tobacco,
Spitting fine,
Whistling softly.
He couldn’t even see
Little boys like me.

I heard them scratching
In a covered basket,
Shyly I whispered,

Scared almost dead,
“Are those the crabs, Captain Ben?”
Rolling an eye, he grunted,
“Them’s them,”
That’s all he said,
“Them’s them.”

   – Gilbert Byron

Upcoming Events
  • November 30 is the deadline for submissions for the First Annual Gilbert Byron Poetry Contest for Talbot County middle school students. Contest details should be available for County school students by the end of October. Home schooled students wishing to participate may obtain contest information by contacting
  • October 8, 2016 - Open House at the Harvest Hoedown at Pickering Creek
  • July 15, 2017 - Gilbert Byron Birthday Celebration at Pickering Creek - Read more...

Biography of Gilbert Byron's life and work as an author and observer of the 20th Century Chesapeake and Delaware Bay regions.


Contact Jacques Baker for more information or to purchase.


Also available: College Days, a story about student life at Washington College in the 1920's.