Solomons Island, ideally situated at the foot of the charming Patuxent River, wasn’t always a big deal. Far from it. At first, nobody lived there. Later the few hundred who did were either watermen, boatbuilders, or cannery workers. Even as late as the 1950s and ‘60s, tourists found more enticing places to visit and cruising boaters chose to bypass Solomons in favor of St. Leonard Creek, a few miles upriver, and a stop at Vera’s Restaurant where the exotic Vera Freeman would dive off the dock and swim out to welcome incoming boaters with a fresh orchid. Who could blame them?