Fooling the British in St. Michaels, Maryland
Granted, Mrs. Merchant and her baby had quite a start when the cannonball pierced their roof, bounced down the stairway and out the wall, but they were unharmed in the end. That was the only wrinkle in the wee hours of August 10, 1813, when plucky St. Michaels became “The Town That Fooled the British.” The Talbot County militia caught word of a planned English naval assault and ordered lanterns doused, women and children evacuated. Just like the townfolk in Blazing Saddles, St. Michaels citizens created a decoy village up the Miles River, hanging lamps in ship masts and treetops. The ruse worked—the Redcoat fusillade fell long (unlucky Mrs. Merchant’s home notwithstanding). St. Michaels not only survived—it thrived, becoming an East Coast A-list bayside playground. They’ve even patched the roof at “Cannonball House”—and it's on the market now for a cool million and a half. It just goes to show—pluck pays.