Posted: April 21st, 2017
This Spring, I had the opportunity to take a drive back in time through the streets and byways of ‘The Tump’, with the island’s new tour company ‘Teaguer’s Tump Tours’. In case you are wondering, it’s not far to get to ‘The Tump’. In fact if you’re staying on Chincoteague, you’re already on ‘The Tump’. Islanders or ‘Teaguers’ have a lot of sayings to describe locations on the Island, ‘Up The Neck’, ‘Snotty Ridge’ and ‘Chicken City’ are some of my favorite names. You’ll learn about these places and many more on the “Teaguer’s Tump Tour”.
Tour guide Denise Bowden with the passenger van she uses for her tours.
The tour is narrated and driven by Denise Bowden a fifth generation resident of Chincoteague, business owner, Town Councilwoman, Vice Mayor, and Chairperson of the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department where she has been a volunteer for 27 years. I’d say that alone qualifies her as someone who can tell you a lot about Chincoteague way of life, but what makes her a great tour guide is her deep love for Chincoteague history that goes back to when she was just a little Teaguer and her grandmother would tell her stories of The Tump.
Inside the passenger van used for Teaguer’s Tump Tours.
The ‘Teaguer’s Tump Tour” will take you to about 30 sites on the Island. At each place, Denise expertly describes it’s importance with enthusiasm. I really loved how she provided each of us with a booklet of historical photographs of each landmark. Many times the point of view from the windshield would be the same as the old photo so that you could compare the past and present simultaneously. Denise’s warm personality enhances the experience as she tells an entertaining mix of funny, dramatic and heart-warming tales about the island’s past.
If you’re curious about the earlier years on Chincoteague Island, Denise’s tour will be a great activity for you. Her knowledge of island history is extensive. In fact, many “Teaguers” are surprised when Denise reveals history facts they’ve never heard before. Currently, tours will operate from weekends at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., but May 1st, tours will be Monday through Saturday. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under. All major credit cards are accepted and reservations can be made by calling 757-894-3285, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or by visiting Teaguer’s Tump Tours on Facebook.
Guidebook of historical photos for each guest to follow along during the tour.
We hope that you’re planning a trip to Chincoteague soon. For more ideas on Activities during your Island stay, please visit our website www.chincoteague.com . Whether it’s your first visit or you’re a returning guest, our site is there to help you plan a trip that you can fall in love with.
By Sara Daisey
~Sara and her husband Ted are the owners of Chincoteague.com. They are full-time residents of Chincoteague. They hope that their love of Chincoteague inspires everyone who visits their website to also visit their special island. Remember to visit www.chincoteague.com for everything you need to plan your next visit to Chincoteague Island.