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download ePUB Kent Island: The Land That Once Was EdenAuthor Janet Freedman – Clinback.co

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10 thoughts on “Kent Island: The Land That Once Was Eden

  1. says:

    Any Marylander who loves the Bay and for whom the Chesapeake Bay Bridge has always served as their means of access to the Eastern Shore (and Ocean City!) will thoroughly enjoy this bittersweet memoir by a Baltimore resident who tells of her grandmother's farm on Kent Island. Completed as part of Freedman's MLA graduate project at Johns Hopkins University, this book is part family history and part local history, and makes resourceful use of a wide range of sources (e.g., oral histories, Freedman's own recollections, family photos, images from the Kent Island Heritage Society, maps and atlases, and even archaeological information). Long story short, the author's thesis is that the July 30, 1952 opening of the Bridge brought to a close the isolation of Kent Island and forever changed this once rural agrarian community.

    The story of the Nash farm is the story of every rural family whose land has been forever changed--and never for the better--by a highway project. In many instances, the locals had to travel west to go east. With their lands literally divided by the new roadway, the Nash family was cut off from their family graveyard--something for which the State Highway Administration appeared to have little concern or compassion. Nor could they take Sunday drives during life post-Bridge, as it was simply too difficult to get back home with the traffic. The sound of shorebirds was replaced by that of cars. Ultimately, the Nash Farm was lost to fire. Aunt Lil's tavern, however, was refurbished as a real estate office--where it stands as tangible proof of the sheer randomness of what survives and what is lost.

    Freedman is fair in considering both sides of the story--that is, both the pros and cons of development on Kent Island. Kent Island: The Land That Once Was Eden is an enjoyable read full of local wisdom, history, recipes, and vivid descriptions of landscapes, landmarks, and traditions that have literally gone by the wayside. Freedman's writing is solid, and her description of place is quite magical. While one might well hope that this book will inspire readers to advocate for responsible growth and managed development, maybe it will also motivate readers to chat with their older family members and jot down recipes and family stories before they, too, are lost to the passage of time.