The Holland Island Story

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

The informative article I wrote is based on the history of an island that once stood along the Chesapeake Bay in the state of Maryland.

The Holland Island Story


[Date: 9-2-2020]



Inside of Maryland State, once stood an Island of over two hundred acres along the Chesapeake Bay. The man behind the Island’s name is Daniel Holland, a colonist and the original property buyer. Belonging to the state of Maryland, Holland Island sits in the Dorchester Country area. Explored by Captain John Smith, the original settling of the island was during the presence of the Sixteen-Hundreds.

Two hundred years later, around Eighteen-Fifty, the beginning of fishing and farming families had settled into place as a community. Over three hundred residents filled up the island by Nineteen-Ten, causing it to become one of the most populated islands of the Chesapeake Bay. Supporting themselves, they mainly dredged for oysters, fished for American shad, and trapped crabs. A total of forty-one Skipjack sailboats, ten Schooner sailboats, and thirty-six Bugeyes completed their fleet of workboats.

The island had an amount of, nearly, seventy buildings—including a school, a church for the community, a community center, a post office, and homes. Although the Island was a fishing village, they even had their own baseball team. By Nineteen-Fourteen, the West side of the island began to seriously erode by tides and the rise of sea level, which is where majority of the Holland Island residents were housed. Because of the situation, residents were forced to relocate to the mainland. Soon, stone walls were built, but unsuccessfully fixed the erosion situation.

When a tropical storm had hit and damaged the church of the community in Nineteen-Eighteen, the last remaining family had left. Until Nineteen-Twenty-Two, when the church was moved to Fairmount, Maryland, very few former residents returned to the island, seasonally. By November of Twenty-Ten, the last building standing above the sea was soon destroyed, resulting from a storm as sea level had elevated. It was a house built during the winter of Eighteen-Eighty-Eight, making the structure over one hundred and twenty years old before the collapse. By Twenty-twelve, the Island—where a community once lived—was completely under sea.

Holland Island was made of clay and silt, laying between the Bloodsworth Island—originally named Thompson’s Island—and Smith Island. Before getting destroyed by U.S. Navy pilots on a training exercise, there was a lighthouse called “Holland Island Bar Light” not far from the island. It was remembered as the unexplained death of Ulman Owens, one of the keepers of the Bar Light. The lighthouse, itself, was built South of the island in Eighteen-Eighty-Nine. The estuary the Holland Island belongs to, the Chesapeake Bay, is a two-hundred-mile stretch, connecting from Havre de Grace, Maryland to Virginia Beach, Virginia. With Chesapeake natively standing for “Mother of Waters”, the Chesapeake Bay is the largest of over one hundred estuaries in the United States and the third largest world-wide.

The state of Maryland loses approximately two hundred and sixty acers each year due to erosion. Rewinding this back to the island, Minister Stephen White—a former waterman of Holland—purchased the island in Nineteen-Ninety-Five for seventy thousand dollars. He cared for the island, forming the “Holland Island Preservation Foundation.” Wooded Breakwaters, a stack of sandbags, and a ton of rocks getting laid on the shoreline had all failed in attempts to save what was left of the land.

Nearly one hundred and fifty thousand dollars were spent throughout the project of Minister White. Within the fifteen years of his ownership, selling the island to the Concorde Foundation in June of Twenty-Ten, just about twenty acers had been loss. Four months later, the final house of Holland Island had taken its fall. Having around one hundred and sixty acers in Nineteen-Fifteen, the acers of land were reduced to eighty by Twenty-O-Five, showing a very slim chance of saving the remain land above sea. Historically, Holland Island was one of the first settled on out of all the islands across the Chesapeake Bay, taking you back to the Sixteen-Hundreds.

Because of the rise in sea level, Smith Island is in danger of possibly going through the Holland Island situation in the near future. Even with the flooding that has already occurred, it is an island that has been lived on for three hundred and fifty years. Maryland, itself, carries two hundred and eighty-one named islands. Many of these islands are historic, having history from hundreds of years ago. As an example, would be Sharps Island, named after Peter Sharpe—who owned the island before Sixteen-Seventy-Five. Now an island under sea, it was raided by the British on April Twelfth of Eighteen-Thirteen.

Also having history, but a strange one, is the Ulman Owens case from the Holland Island Bar Light lighthouse. In Nineteen-Thirty-One, on March Eleventh, Owens was found dead with only a bruise while a bloody knife was found within the lighthouse. The Holland Island Bar Light was in complete darkness the night of his mysterious death, causing those of another lighthouse to worry that something serious might have happened. Not only was a bloody knife found, mysterious blood was found throughout the lighthouse—surrounded entirely by water.

When Nineteen-Sixty came into existence, the abandoned screw-pile lighthouse was replaced, following the attack of a training exercise by Navy pilot. Now standing where the original Holland Island Bar Light once stood is a lighthouse controlled by an automatic light. Many images of the original lighthouse could be seen in black & white among the internet.

For the very last remaining house of Holland Island, a short animated film of a clay-painting was created by a woman name Lynn Tomlinson, named “The Ballad of Holland Island House”. It was released on May Fifth of Twenty-Fifteen, telling the true story of the, once, final standing house, uniquely, from the house’s point-of-view.

The very first settler of Holland Island, Captain John Smith, was an admiral of New England, a colonial governor, an author, and—very well—known for having an important role for establishing the colony at Jamestown, Virginia. Jamestown being colonized was the first permanent English settlement in the U.S. In London, United Kingdom, Captain John Smith had passed away on June Twenty-First of Sixteen-Thirty-One.

Submitted: September 03, 2020

© Copyright 2020 The Ghost-Bull. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:


Marvin Thomas Cox-Flynn

You have presented to your readers a very interesting and intriguing tale of what is so obviously real and true life history ...

As I enjoyed and read your thoughts penned to page, I could help but to note that these now submerged islands lost their life of ABOVE WATER well before the industrial and technological ages that now, today, proclaim Man as responsible for changes in this Earth's climate ...

It does not take a Rocket Scientist to figure out that if we are to believe that there was once an Ice Age, then where did it go, and how was it that Man, shivering and shaking in the confines of a cave, brought about the alleged circumstances that are touted as the Man induced detrimental effects upon this planet we choose to call Earth ... Clearly, this planet's weather and changes in climate has most certainly been going on and of a certainty has been going and taking place on its own long before Man arrived at any supposed or alleged, theorized or proclaimed, juncture as a determinate point of egotistically assuming that he/we/us/ have or are cause(ing) all of the fuss, as Man, guilty of wield(ing) such an influence over this third rock from the Sun that, in fact of greatly exaggerated and absolutely grandiose and extravagantly over stated and over rated belief in our much more than miniscule and literally (in comparison to the inexplicable inexplicable and incalulable vastness of the known and unknown Universe of existence within all Existence) less than reality's microscopic existence assumed and asserted (by way of Religion) SIGNIFICANCE ...

We ain't diddly, and should simply be happy to be here ...

Enjoyed this piece immensely ...


Thu, October 1st, 2020 10:43pm

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