the thing about Talbot County
….is that there’s no way there could ever be any one thing. The county, by it’s own nature, is plural, comprised of villages, towns and rural lands.
Easton. Oxford. Trappe. St. Michaels. Tilghman Island.
Sherwood, Longwood, Tunis Mills.
Bozman. Royal Oak.
These places seem so self-evidently completely distinct.
What is it?
It’s funny. A tiny county – some 39,000 citizens at last count – and made up of so many distinct, wonderfully unique, villages and towns.
Yes, America, people DO still live in the same communities that were here a hundred years ago without needing to cram cheap new housing in big developments with modern floor plans, vinyl siding and plastic privacy fences.
Just yesterday, Barbara Haddaway of Claiborne was telling me about a 100-year-old woman who was raised in the village, and visits each year. She can point to each house on the street and name the people who lived there in the early 1900s. And Barbara, a geneology junkie, knows the history and the homesteads and the cemeteries of all of her ancestors in the region dating back to the 1600s.
But this area is growing, and if you look at the population charts, it’s growing rapidly.
Yesterday’s Star Democrat announced movement forward on a development that will build 2500 new homes in Trappe, a town of 1077 residents at the 2010 census (there might be a paywall with the link). It seems that the plan has been in the works for a long time and that it is a welcome effort to help pay for an upgraded wastewater treatment plant. More homes will mean lower water and sewer rates for citizens.
Seems the developer pays for the town’s police chief, police car and pays the salary of the town’s planning officer. Surely that’s helping move things along.
But but but! Increasing population in one small town by over 200%, quadrupling the number of houses – will do what else to this region, to this fragile environment? How will this affect our region’s impact on the Chesapeake Bay? What other pressures will this put on our infrastructure, our county’s feel and personality?
Well, it will certainly offer modern floorplans, vinyl siding and plastic privacy fences. Plenty of them.
This is one to watch.